Intention, Focus, and Procrastination

April 30, 2016 Posted by Linda Vettrus-Nichols - No Comments


I had made a commitment to myself to write a blog every Friday with the intention of eventually putting out a newsletter. I had managed 8 Fridays in a row and was thrilled with my accomplishment. I also got to thinking I might put the blogs together in a Kindle book. I even let a few people in on that idea. I had a choice in the way I framed what had happened. I could look at it as a failure or as an accomplishment. I chose failure. I felt I had betrayed myself. In my head I knew I wasn’t a failure, but in my heart I was.

It is interesting that it was 8 blogs because 8 is a power number and it is my number according to numerology. As “the Baptist Sunday School Teacher” I stayed clear of anything ending in –ology that sounded like “whoo, whoo” such as astrology and numerology. In the past two years, I have found a truth running through both of these words.

Focus is very much a part of overcoming procrastination. So is Intention. When a baby is on the floor and sees something he or she wants, the intention is set. When we want something, really, really want something we set an intention to get it. Next is the focused gaze, much like a dream board of things you want to attract into your life and you look at a picture of those things everyday on your dream board.

The missing link for avoiding procrastination is ACTION, focused ACTION. I tend to go to events, take in the information, but not put it to use or apply the one thing I got out of the event. That is procrastination as its deepest level. Action stops procrastination. The REASON I am procrastinating is actually at the deepest level.

When I worked as a Special Education teacher in a Psychiatric Day Treatment Center, with young school age children, I would ask my students why they had done a certain behavior, like hit another student. I would tell them, “If you don’t know why you did it, you will do it again.” If they said, “I don’t know, I would continue to question them and help them process their “why.” It was miraculous to see how well that worked, eventually they would be able to give me a reason without needing help processing. During the 3 1/2 years I worked there, I learned to say, “…you get to do _____,” rather than saying, “…you have to do _____.” If I used the words, “have to” a few of my students would explode in anger. When I changed the verbiage to “get to” there was a calm response as if it was a privilege or I was giving them a present. I have used the same verbiage to keep myself from procrastinating. I need to start using that verbiage on myself once again.

This is a favorite motivational line I have used on myself when I am suppose to be making business calls: “If you want that _________, get on the phone.” The blank can stand for something as simple as a movie ticket or new clothes or anything I want in the near future. Some people are motivated further out into the future than 6 months. Whatever works I say!

So, when you feel the urge to procrastinate or you start to pick up on a pattern of procrastination, remember you can easily set an intention, focus your thoughts, and take action today. TNT doesn’t just stand for an explosive, it stands for Today Not Tomorrow!