Think You’ve Got a Procrastination Problem? Think Again.

Written by Christine Kane

Think You’ve Got a Procrastination Problem? Think Again.Victoria was despondent.   A talented landscape designer living in a major city, she’s got the portfolio of a superstar. But all of her energy and creativity was drained as she shared her challenge:  “All of my projects are taking me a hundred times longer than my projections. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  I think Mercury Retrograde has it out for me or something.”

I asked her to tell me more about this.

“Well,” she sighed, “I think I have huge issues with time.  I’m procrastinating getting started on this work for clients. I just don’t feel motivated… And I think one of my contractors has lost his mind.  He has dropped the ball on me three times this week!”

…and here she inserted a seemingly innocuous statement that was the key to the whole thing.

“I don’t know.  I’m probably just resentful as hell of these clients because I’m not charging enough, so I don’t even want to get started doing the work…”

I stopped her right there.

“You don’t have an issue with time.” I said.

“You don’t have an issue with mercury retrograde, or even your contractor.”

“You have a pricing issue. You’re not charging enough and you know it.”

And here, she got it.  “You’re right,” she said. “That IS the cause of all of this, isn’t it?”

Bingo.

Best-selling author Debbie Ford coined the concept of “shadow comforts” to describe all of the distractions and addictions we use to try to comfort the broken parts of ourselves or the fact that we aren’t truly following our soul’s calling. So we try to numb ourselves with “shadow comforts,” but they never truly fill us.  Nor will they. The only thing that will fill us is when we face the hard truth.

It’s the same principle at work here.  Victoria is like so many heart-centered, creative entrepreneurs.  She is reaching outside of herself, blaming all the wrong things for her procrastination, rather than facing the hard truth. She needs to raise her prices.

It doesn’t stop there though.

She also needs to:

…VALUE herself enough to charge what she’s worth (which is DOUBLE what she is charging).

…HONOR her business by hiring only the best contractors.

…FOCUS on the basic clarity of her message, ideal client – and clean all of this up so she can thrive in her business — rather than finding new bright shiny stuff to distract her from this kind of daunting work (that can pay a much higher return than a quick fix of a new online business.

None of this is hard work. It’s just deep work. And it requires letting the bargain-hunters go away, and firing the B-players you have bargain-hunted for yourself – and holding to your vision of what you want your business and your work to be.

If you’re procrastinating, it may be that your energy and creativity are getting drained by your own mistreatment of yourself.  Maybe it’s not a procrastination problem. Maybe it’s a value problem.  Maybe it’s a pricing problem.

So…what steps do you need to take to reignite your motivation, and energy?

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{7 comments ... read them below or add one}

K.C. July 2, 2014 at 8:54 am

Thanks for the support around this issue. I just started my second year with you and your team. As I write this I have other tabs on my browser set to a job search because I’ve used every excuse to stay unfocused and out of my business. It’s a processs. Just yesterday, I cancelled my ancestry, netflix, and hulu subscriptions. I’ll be deleting games from my phone and iPad later today. I’m heading out for vacation in a couple of hours and I have printed and downloaded business tools for the car ride and I have a business related book to take with me. The biggest aha in the last 36 hours is around my value. I have a definite value issue. It creeps in as “what do I offer that she doesn’t already know?” So, this morning I wrote out a list of real women I’ve worked with in the last year and what I’ve heard them say, the latest of which was “thanks for talking me off the ledge.” I’m turning that on myself and every time I catch myself, I’ll be talking myself off the ledge. :-)

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Wendy Pitts Reeves Reply:

This is GREAT, K.C.! Seems to me that more often than not, we teach that which we ourselves need to know. Getting clear about your own value, talking yourself off the ledge – that’s powerful, isn’t it? Congratulations! :)

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Alle L'Eveille July 2, 2014 at 9:26 am

Timely topic! I have a proposal to turn in today for a project I am more than willing to walk away from if they are looking for a bargain. This reminded me to stop waffling and thinking in their wallet and start thinking in mine. Thanks!

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Wendy Pitts Reeves July 2, 2014 at 11:34 am

“None of this is hard work. It’s just deep work”.

THIS is what I need to remember.

Thanks, Christine…

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Andrea July 2, 2014 at 11:37 am

Ugh. You’re so right.

I’ve been procrastinating about some recent work thinking it’s because I just want to do other creative things. But this recent stuff is not going to pay very well because I lowered my usual prices a bit to get the work. And now I’m not motivated at all.

Thanks for the kick in the pants;)

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Jeanne B. July 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm

For me, procrastination and lack of punctuality have been life-long battles. With this long weekend coming up, I’m planning to take a deep, hard look into the root cause of my issues to try to figure out their source. I’m sure I’m not late because I’m disorganized; I’m likely disorganized for some other reason, which leads to being late. I’m sure I’m not procrastinating for the reasons people think I am; I’m sure it’s because I probably don’t want to be doing the things everyone thinks I should be doing that I do anyway, when I’d rather be doing something else (that they won’t approve of). Better to just procrastinate and do nothing…

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Karen Pierce July 13, 2014 at 1:45 pm

You’re right, Christine. For me it’s a problem of accepting abundance and being seen. It isn’t that I have a mother in a Assisted Living Facility that takes all my extra time.
Have to be truthful with myself. Fears around what will I do if this “gets out of hand”…”will be hard”..but underneath is the aforementioned baggage! Thank you.

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