Overcoming Procrastination as a Spiritual Practice


I decided I wanted to write this article about an hour ago, maybe two. During that time, I was in process of cleaning out my junk mail inbox. That's right, the Gmail tab filled with 6,500 emails - this morning was the time I chose to clean it. And sure, it's the morning when I have a deadline tomorrow and a quick emergency project; when my house needs cleaning and there's laundry and groceries too; when I have readings for my class tomorrow and did I mention I have to be out of the door in three hours? But there I was, full on avoidance mechanism.

But it reminded me of the last time I jumped up and got the laundry done and the house clean and the deadlines done in the space of an hour. The times I've managed to channel Superwoman, or actually, my own inner Divine power, and get Things Done. 

And it's been about getting in touch with my own spiritual nature, the real reason I want to Get Things Done; and the Things Blocking Me from Getting Things Done.

The Real Reason I want to Get Things Done? To be my fullest self. Do the things I do best. Service the Divine on this plane and fulfil my actual purpose in being here.

The Reason I'm afraid to Get Things Done? Fear I won't do it well enough. That I'm not doing it as well as I should, so I'd rather blame it on being last minute, on not having the time to do it right, on being 'too busy'.

I'm not in touch with my highest self who is sitting here on my shoulder saying, "Get it girl! You got this!" and I'm hanging out way too much with my dark and murky self who says, "You are not good enough and never will be. Why even try?"

So now in my conquest of procrastination, it's time to adjust with a meditation. Of saying, "What am I really afraid of here, and what's the worst thing that will happen if I get it wrong?" So I'll have to redo the draft for my editor, but great - maybe she'll love it! So I'll lose out on the client project, or the opportunity I've pitched - but at least I'll know I tried! So I'll put something out here onto my website, and maybe no one will like it - but maybe someone will!

In meditation, it's been about looking at Future Self in the eye and giving her a high five. Saying, "Hey girl, doesn't it feel great having that article published? That project approved? That response from the email you were dreading to send? That house clean, that laundry done? Yeah, it feels great because I did that for you. Present me. Sitting here on the couch in my PJs."

And then I remember Future Me is the same as Present Me, and she's not going to be bothered to do these things just as much as I'm not. So if I can look at Present Me and convince myself to do something for the benefit of Future Me - then we're on to a running start.

In a teaching of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, he describes the quality of "zerizut", zeal and speed in getting things done. He attributes that to a desire to unite with the Divine Will, and put aside our mundane needs. It's challenging to feel that, though, every minute of every day, which is where the meditation comes in. Talk to your highest self. Look them in the eye, an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year from now. What do you really want? Your Highest Self is the Divine within, and ready to guide you towards your Divine destiny. 

All you need to do is ask.

Procrastination is one of the hardest habits to combat, and one I've been struggling with for years. Years! Love to hear your thoughts in comments!