You’re not lazy if you procrastinate

✍️ Writing

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You’re not lazy if you procrastinate

Hey friends,

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with writing at night and it’s working surprisingly well. It’s a tip that I got from our editor Rachel who says that our creative juices get going at different times in the day. I’ve been having moments late in the evening where I feel like I’m in the zone with writing… fingers crossed it lasts.

✍️ What we worked on this week

This week, we looked at the emotional blockers that lead to procrastination. We typically think of procrastination as being an issue with our willpower and grit. And most of us believe this about productivity gurus: if something needs to be done, they’ll make the time for it and check it off the to-do list. But what if the story is more complex than that?

🧠 The most interesting thing we learned

A while back, I read this quote by Dr. Tim Pychyl, professor of psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa, and it still really resonates with me:

Procrastination is an emotion regulation problem, not a time management problem.

Our friend Tim is basically saying – hey, what if procrastination isn’t a problem with us, our time management, or our willpower? What if procrastination is our way of coping with negative emotions that we feel when doing certain things – emotions like anxiety, stress, self-doubt, boredom?

If procrastination is an emotion regulation problem rather than a time management one, then when we find ourselves procrastinating this could be a signal for us to rethink. It signals to us that the thing we’re procrastinating from is probably triggering some challenging emotions within us. Figuring our what those negative emotions are is important. It might help us realize that the task we’re procrastinating from isn’t quite right for us. Or maybe help us realize that we need to change our mindset towards that task, like lowering our expectations about the outcome.

❓Question of the week

Mindfulness techniques are one way to become more aware of the (positive or negative) emotions that we’re experiencing. I would love to hear about your experiences of mindfulness and meditation. Maybe, like me, you’ve struggled to stick with meditation and found some other ways of being mindful. Or maybe you’ve done a 10-day meditation retreat.

Whatever your story is, if you’re up for sharing a story that might feature in the book, please reply here.

As usual, the form will ask you for your name and email (optional) so that we can give you credit for the story, or potentially reach out to you to ask for more details 🙂

📢 Answers from last week’s questions

Thanks to all of you who took part in our survey on self-doubt last week. Shoutout to Mila, Mariana, and Schuchi for sharing these valuable tips on how to get over self-doubt.

A few of you mentioned that self-doubt is induced by fear of failure. Mila said that reminding yourself that regret is often worse than failing sometimes helps reducing that self-doubt:

“I try to remind myself that inaction is the biggest regret of the dying and so taking no steps towards my goals today, will ultimately lead to regret. and I would rather have tried and failed than have regrets.”

A couple of you mentioned that telling yourself to “just do it” is a helpful tip. Mariana summarised this nicely using the 5-second rule:

“I like to use Mel Robbin’s 5 second rule, so whenever I feel the self-doubt crippling in I just go “5,4,3,2,1” and do the thing before I can overthink it more”

Finally, Schuchi suggests keeping a small book of reminders that you can do it. I used to do this with nice Youtube comments and whenever I feel a little demotivated to make a video, reading comments about how I’ve done a little bit to help someone out sparks that energy to create.

“Make a small book/ diary to write down such things. Such as when you feel really confident write down very shortly how being in that moment feels, or when you feel happy, motivated etc… During tough times these little reminders of your past are to let you know that you have the ability, and you can do whatever you have thought you want to do.”

That’s it from me for now. Have a great week!

Ali xx

Ali Abdaal

About The Author

I'm an ex-doctor turned YouTuber, Podcaster, entrepreneur and author. I've been creating YouTube videos for over 7 years and have a following of over 4 million over on my main channel.

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