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  • Amina Aitsi-Selmi

The untold truth about procrastination and how to break out of it [Wise Wednesdays]

The untold truth about procrastination and how to break out of it [Wise Wednesdays]

A couple of years ago, I sat procrastinating over my book. I grabbed a cup of tea and gazed out the window at the flitting birds.

Then the idea came: why don’t you get a publisher?

“Whaaat? How would I do that?”

Then another idea came to contact someone I’d met recently. One thing leading to another I ended up submitting my first ever book proposal and the rest is history.

This year, I found out the book had been nominated and has made it to the finals of the Business Book Awards 2021. You can see some of the fascinating titles here.

I’m grateful to my clients who allowed me to learn with them and include their journeys in the book, those who supported the process (including Wise Wednesday readers!) and my publisher Kogan Page.

I’m also grateful to “procrastination” and what it taught me in that moment. Without it, I may still be pushing myself to write the book alone.

You see, procrastination isn’t a time management problem.

It’s an emotional one: an uncomfortable inner-conflict.

It’s a battle between your natural instincts and what you think you ‘should’ do.

It paralyses you.

And then you feel bad about “wasting time”.

But I’m here to invite you to look at procrastination differently.

[Read on or watch the video]

Procrastination isn’t an enemy, it’s a teacher. It has an important message.

Sometimes it’s a specific message like: get a publisher.

Sometimes it’s a general one like: give yourself a break.

Often, the former follows the latter.

The deeper message is to learn how to process negative emotions better. And that beating yourself up is not the way.

In fact recent studies show that self-forgiveness reduces procrastination and self-compassion boosts motivation.

Next time the procrastination monster shows up, grab a cup of tea and sit to listen for what it might have to say to you for 5 minutes. It could be the best 5 minutes of your day or year.

It will show you how to transform a negative experience into a positive one and get back into action.

If you can’t hear anything, here’s what I think the procrastination monster might be trying to tell you:

1) Accept the moment: Declare: “I am where I am and that’s where I’m meant to be right now”.

2) Relate to it with compassion: State: “I am compassion in all its forms. I am compassion even here.”

3) Focus on the next smallest step: Say: “The world moves as I take one small step”. Oh, and choose the step that feels a little bit more exciting than the others.

You’re not procrastinating because you’re lazy.

You’re procrastinating because you weren’t taught how to relate to inner-conflict with compassion.

But all the procrastination monster ever needed from you was a little love and attention – towards yourself.

And in return, to reconnect you to your zone of genius.

Have a great week,


p.s. Join me for the next Leaders Circle: Falling Upward on the 31st of March. In this interactive session you’ll dive into how to embrace the unknown to lead your career and business rather than feel at the effect of circumstances. You can learn more and sign up below: Register for the Leaders Circle: Falling Upward.

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