Are you procrastinating without even realising it?
It’s the new year people - welcome to 2022 on the AHWH podcast.
This is season no 3 and since November we’ve been talking about Change & how to make it easier for you. We’ve been talking about
how to plan it and ask the right questions to prepare for change well.
How to be strategic and make sure that we're making a level-headed, regret-free decision for the future
and we've been talking about how to follow through with action after we made the good decision and get the change actually done without getting stuck in self-doubt
I interviewed Mark about storytelling with impact and we how to tell ourselves a better story about our life because feeling miserable about the past does not help build a great future
and we also had 2 episodes on how to celebrate the holidays honoring our own enoughness by understanding what needs to be done to create a memorable moment and leaning into our strengths to get shit done with more ease.
But my friend it's the new year and the new year is the number one top ranking time of year where people start tackling change but it's also the time of year where we really quickly fall into disappointment because we make resolutions for the New Year's that are … well, simply not he right ones
If we’re setting a resolution for a change that is actually not emotionally relevant for us - at least not relevant enough - we’ll lose interest really quickly and won’t get it done.
But if the resolution is so big, a real emotional game-changer we might be procrastinating and also not get it done. We’ll be Postponing over and over again… Until we feel so bad about it that we don’t even talk or think about it anymore because we’re guilt- or even shame tripping ourselves for still not having done we said we’d do.
So welcome to today’s episode on rediscovering the things you’ve been procrastinating about and
Yes not knowing, not realizing that you’re procrastinating is a thing, because we don’t like feeling bad and out of integrity so our brain conveniently somehow forgets that we care about the change we’re procrastinating about. But we don’t really forget, that information is just hidden and there are 3 tells, 3 signs in our behavior that we keep doing over and over again but since we don’t know that they’re linked to our procrastination…. They seem to be just things we do to waste time - you can call them gap fillers that stuff pockets of time that are not allocated for purposeful or task-driven actions. Instead of doing nothing and being idle, you keep busy by being busy, but it never leads you anywhere, because it’s a part of your procrastination pattern.
But before I address those 3 we have to clarify what procrastination ACTUALLY is:
So let me play you a clip from a clubhouse room I hosted a while ago that people loved a lot because procrastination is nothing that should make you dislike yourself - here we go:
people who procrastinate are really nice people. you know why, because procrastination has been so mislabeled in our society, prescribed AutoNation is always connected to the feeling of, I fail starting or doing or finishing the thing that I said I would do. And it's absolutely not that because procrastination is in truth, a sort of inner wisdom and you don't have to take my word for it.
I have that from the organizational psychologist Dr. Ben Hardy, who said. People who procrastinate. It's not, debt. They do not care. It's actually exactly the opposite. It's the fact that you care so much, but you know, it's your inner wisdom that this project, even though it might be maybe cognitively simple, to understand, let's take the cluttering, right?
It's simple, you know what to do when you have to declutter make a decision, get rid of stuff. But even if it's simple to understand, you know, that this task in some shape or form is too big for you to manage by yourself. Right? And when we care so much that we say before, I even started doing this and doing this wrong or get frustrated or not according to my expectations, I will.
not started at all. It's our subconscious who just refuses to produce motivation. And what we need in that situation is another who to help us with the how, because the, how is clear, it's just, again, in some shape or form too big, too complex, you might feel like you don't have enough expertise, something like that.
Right. So if I would ask you about procrastination in your home, what are the projects that you keep pushing back? Keep pushing back. We always push it to the back because we actually care so much about this project that we want to do it. Right. If we take procrastination as wisdom, what does this wisdom tell you? if you feel inside of you, what are you too afraid to touch?
How does this resonate with you?
You care so much, you can’t see this thing pushed through badly. You keep telling yourself better not done at all until it can be done correctly.
That is noble. And I hope this knowledge helps you shift from feeling something negative into finally taking positive action towards the thing you crave so much. Because you will never feel magically ready for that change. ‘Ready ‘ is a decision you have to make, and then work your way towards it - using for example all those beautiful resources I gave you in my previous podcast episodes
But now, let me give you the pointers, the habits you keep doing that tell on you where you procrastinate and so far have not had the confidence to get into action to get meaningful change done. Because that is the magic formula for new years resolutions that turn into proof of your integrity: It’s got to be meaningful and feasible.
So apart from the fact that you’re obviously consciously not doing THE thing here are 3 things you unconsciously do - the habits you catch yourself doing when you’re not focussed on anything and your brain keeps coming back to because it can’t let go - you care no matter how much you try to avoid it:
You get busy intellectually by doing more research first. You keep telling yourself you don’t have everything you need to get started. Which results in you spending more time online with Mr. Googla and Mrs. Pinterest than you need to. More data is what your brain says it wants - NO it NEEDS, because then no one can say you didn’t even try - least of all you. you won’t be able to blame-shame yourself because you’re busy doing something. And something is always better than nothing.
And then tell No1 is: when you find a relevant source of information you first look for the easy fix. You actually don’t want to know that much you just want to know what the most effortless course of action would be.
so let's say you would want to redo your interior. And you're looking at an interior design page like mine, and I have several offers on how we can work together and there are 3 options.
I can teach you how to do it yourself. I can teach you how to discover and define your style and give you the best practices to get the project rolling
Is offer A plus one or two 1: 1 consultation calls. You do the work, prepare something to show me, answer a questionnaire and then I look through it all and give you helpful advice on where to make things easier and where to add more, the right amount of pizzazz so that it will feel in the end like a proper HOLY CARP _ WOW rather than just a yeah - that’s nice!
You only do the minimum work as in the questionnaire and example pics and hire me to do the planning and shopping list for you. Which is that previously mentioned an easy fix for you, because I am putting more effort into it than you are. But what is easiest for you comes at the highest price
So back to our example: your home is something you really care about, you feel trapped between needing it to be helpful and practical and moveable, because you only rent and don’t own AND wanting it to look gorgeous and feel settled and not just have the everlasting interims solution that it has been for the last… well, forever, really.
And you know it should get done sooner than later and because feeling at home and feeling that this is where you belong is important but it’s also emotionally A LOT to deal with: you scroll to the easiest, but most expensive service you can find. Hoping that this person with their offer will fit into your budget.
That’s tell No1 - you always scan any website for the easiest way for you to get out of doing this.
Baam - red flag.
Tell No.2 is: you found something that might be the solution to your problem, but you’re having conflicting feelings nonetheless. If you find a person - the who to help you with the how - you wonder if their particular method or style is what will reeeeeally get you what you want.
If you found a method you can do by yourself (guided or unguided) you wonder if it’s worth purchasing because a person to do it for you would be so much better.
BAAAM - red flag No2 is going back and forth, over-debating pros and cons.
Hiring a person is just too high risk. A method shall be because then YOU can set the pace and do not have work to some else’s schedule - well if that is not a tell within a tell: you care about getting something done, but cannot stand the thought of the pressure that accountability will bring…. I should add that as No4.
Anyway: a method it shall be. And that’s a milestone, because it is the first decision towards your desire. But instead of celebrating that you keep replaying red flags 1 & 2
And the easier the method the better - obviously (A reply of tell no1)
But then you go back to over-debating, and you like to tell yourself is your better judgment warning you that this might not be the thing for you… but come on. Seeing how often you’ve done this, you know you’re bullshitting yourself. You’re hooked on that conflicting feeling because it saves you from making a decision and from being held accountable.
You know that what I’m saying is true, because you want something that is really so straightforward to do, but as soon as you find a person or method, you keep telling yourself, wait, it can't be that straightforward. If it’s that simple it won't give me the change that I'm actually looking for.
So you’re instantly, somehow justifying not taking action. You keep finding arguments on why this method or this person won't work for you. And you keep finding arguments to not go beyond research.
Baam Red flag no3.
So let me recap this episode for you.
Stop feeling bad about procrastination. You’re not doing it because you’re lazy or a person out of integrity, you’re a person that really cares about your subject of procrastination and are just not quite there yet to do it by yourself.
And if unfulfilled new years resolutions are a recurring theme in your life, then maybe it’s because you simply have not chosen the right project of change. Look into what you procrastinate about because that is a tell that this is actually truly meaningful to you.
And if you think there’s nothing you procrastinate about, or you know you’ve pushed it so far from you that you can’t tell anymore:
Then, Examine your own behavior. Look for those pockets of time that you send “researching” Google and Pinterest and what-not.
Are you scanning any website for the easy fix first
Are you over-debating the solution offered by the experts without getting into action or asking yourself, how can I test or verify if this is for me or not
Does the thought of accountability put you off even though you keep coming back to this project over and over again?
Do you keep arguing and looking for easy, but then when you find it that very same argument for the person or method: simplicity becomes the very argument against that solution.
These, friend, are the 4 tells that you’re procrastinating because you feel not up to the task by yourself. You know what you want but you’re doubting your own competence. But that’s OK. You can’t know everything about everything - you’re an expert on something else and all you need is another who to help you with this specific how.
And do you know why you’re repeating this cycle of research without action? Because a simple change is actually not enough. What you crave is nothing less but a full-on transformation.
Let me go back to my field of expertise as an example.
If you look for someone to help you design your home but keep replaying those 4 habits over and over again, then you’re not looking for someone to make your home prettier. You’re looking for someone to help you re-invent the concept of home. The feeling, the way life unfolds inside your 4 walls, the atmosphere or base pulse at which life lives inside your house or flat.
Let’s narrow it down even further: Your home has to change because there is just too much going on. You know it’s not so much more or new things you crave, but getting a handle on what you already have. You know decluttering is what you actually need to do but you’re procrastinating on that.
You keep researching the topic and every time you stumble upon a service you look for the easy fix, then
you keep arguing back and forth and make it about that person or that method rather than what do I need to do to make this work for me?
Following through with help starts to freak you out on some level and you make time and need ign to be in control over YOUR schedule a thing
And finally the whole simple, but not too simple is a conundrum you keep getting stuck in….
All of those are excuses you keep pushing like a shield in front of you because you think decluttering is like a spring clean. You think it’s about getting things out, throwing some away, and re-organizing the rest so that life can go on like always have - and that is not motivating you enough, because it’s not enough of a change. You crave a full-on transformation where life actually is fundamentally different than before. Where you don’t keep doing what you’ve been doing so far, because it got you to where you are now: stressed, overwhelmed, and unhappy.
Decluttering is fundamentally different from spring cleaning.
We need to clean up after life has happened. Life came, swept you away, you did things, it created a mess, it was beautiful, you enjoyed it and now you have to clean up afterward so it can actually happen again.
We clean up when we’re happy with the general status quo and want it to repeat. Cleaning up is a gorgeous activity if you like the way everything is right now.
Decluttering however is the opposite. It’s about the disruption of what is right now. Some of the actions are the same as in a thorough spring clean - looking at your stuff, throwing shit out, and reorganizing the rest. Your behavior, the way you live life and make decisions afterward are fundamentally different though after the declutter. You want life, in at least one way, to be something else. And that is scary.
Because that is when your procrastination is not just about how something external from you is, it’s about you being someone who lives life differently - not a different home, but a different you.
OK, friend if you’ve been procrastinating because you feel insecure about the how - HOw to do the thing you want to do. This episode should’ve helped you heaps. And now that you realized it’s absurd to expect yourself to know it all you can go back to the previous episode of this season and start the process of figuring out what you need to know, how can help, and how to find out whether a decision is the right one for you.
If you however realized that change is not enough and you seek disruption and that scares you because… well it’s just freaking scary to change yourself because it ripples into everything else… not just the relationship you have with yourself but also the relationship you have with life and expectations and the future and the relationships you have with other people… well, in that case, stay tuned for next weeks episode that is a conversation I had with Pippa Parfait about - now hold on to your hats - about changing in order to purposefully be disobedient and intentionally fuck with the status quo of how things are normally done.
Yeah, you heard that right. Not just disrupt and hope that people will be OK and still like you, but to go in into it with the conscious intention to fuck up things, because they’re quote frankly already fucked up and not working for you.
Let that sink in until next week: what would a new years resolution have to sound like or be about in order to purposefully be disobedient?
Ok Cherie you know the spiel: if you liked this episode if it provided value (and you freaking know it did), please give it a like, a download, or best of all a recommendation. You can do that by sharing it on social media, or sending it to the one friend you know would profit most from it. Or leave a comment or review of the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher or wherever you’re listening to this.
And if you want to be notified and reminded when next week’s episode airs, please subscribe. You even get my lux up - shopping guide on top. Showing you my 8 favorite low-cost items that are really worth spending a wee bit more on so that your home instantly feels more luxurious, without breaking the bank and without making it about other people’s approval.
So I hope to see you back here next week and until then I stay your humble, but cheeky designer friend
Of crap wait: I forgot.
In February I am hosting my Love, the shit out of your home Bootcamp. 4 weekends to a beautiful mindful home with so much less stuff. It’s all about that disruption through decluttering I was talking earlier about. If you crave to learn how to home differently and be able to set firmer, loving boundaries especially with yourself, and buying and keep junk you don’t want or need, then get on the list for that Bootcamp. It’s all about creating space - literally create space - for yourself to consciously live life differently in 2022. The link is beneath this episode.
Uf now - now I can say au revoir, a la semaine prochaine with Pippa and purposeful disobedience.
Cho cho mon ami.
Other podcast episodes
Find the posts and episodes you missed before here: