This article was originally published on mindbodygreen by Lloyd Burnett
How many cute cat videos are you going to watch before you buckle down and get productive? Procrastination can feel like an insurmountable force that sucks your free time away and keeps you from achieving your goals.
It’s easy to see procrastination as an enemy that needs to be defeated, but consider this: What if it were actually intuition trying to get your attention rather than resistance trying to dash your dreams?
Here are three questions that will help you discern whether your procrastination is a result of your intuition or of self-sabotage:
1. Are your distractions things you aren’t even that interested in?
Years ago, I tried to write a book. I had a great idea and all the publishing information I needed to get started. But every time I sat down at the computer to write, I got lost in silly videos and news stories about celebrities who didn’t even interest me.
I was frustrated and ready to give up until I realized that my procrastination was my intuition guiding me inward to heal some fears that needed my attention before I was ready to write and publish a book.
I wanted to be a bestselling author, but deep down inside I was terrified of people reading my work. Procrastination was a red flag alerting me that something needed my attention. It guided me inward to work with the parts of myself that didn’t want anyone to read my work due to a fear of criticism and rejection.
When I shifted from seeing my procrastination as resistance and saw it as my intuition guiding me, I finally saw the healing that was calling for my attention, and I was able to effortlessly write a book that reached the top five on Amazon.
Are you distracted by anything and everything? If so, I invite you to go inward and see if there is any healing that wants to happen before you actually finish your project or achieve your desired goal.
2. Does the research feel like a breeze while the implementation is stagnant?
I once paid thousands of dollars to learn a step-by-step formula to set up an online coaching practice. I was excited to start learning and consumed the information with a voracious appetite. However, when it came time to implement the action steps, I dragged my feet and struggled to finish the easiest of tasks.
I beat myself up for not being able to focus and judged myself for being lazy until I realized that my coach’s path wasn’t my path. My procrastination was actually my intuition guiding me to use the invaluable tools I learned from the program to walk my own, unique path.
When I gave up the need to follow the formula, the strong pull to procrastinate eased up and I found myself not only excited to learn, but also excited to put my knowledge into inspired action.
Are you struggling to implement action steps from someone else’s formula? If so, I invite you to ask yourself if procrastination is actually intuition telling you to take the knowledge and blaze your own trail.
3. Does procrastination only trap you in certain types of projects?
I had to drop an economics class in college because I procrastinated and didn’t study for the final. However, I finished my theater final project two weeks ahead of schedule without the slightest desire to procrastinate.
When I investigated my procrastination in economics, I realized that I didn’t care much for the subject but wanted to earn a financial degree because I believed it was a sure way of feeling financially secure in the future.
Procrastination was my intuition telling me that there was another path to accomplishing my real goal: feeling secure and living abundantly.
Are you procrastinating on things you feel you have to do to accomplish an ultimate goal but don’t really want to do? If so, I invite you to ask yourself if procrastination is your gut saying there is another, more enjoyable path to achieve your desired end result.
It’s time to question the story that all procrastination is bad and needs to be overcome. If you’re caught in a pattern of procrastination, instead of judging yourself or trying to force yourself to be productive, I invite you to investigate your procrastinating behaviors to see if there’s another force at work.
If you’re willing to see the gift of procrastination and allow it to guide you, explore this free training on interrupting patterns of self-sabotage and manifesting the life and business you desire.