Do you struggle with procrastination? Do you worry about getting things right or wrong?
In my experience of working with clients I see this worry as a main cause of procrastination. The worry of making the wrong decision stops you from taking any kind of action at all. Other reasons for procrastination are outlined in Psychology of Procrastination.
And yet, any decision will have consequences and these consequences will be navigated, they may make you stumble or throw you off balance, but that doesn’t mean that the balance is gone forever.
Now don’t get me wrong I am not an advocate for making quick decisions. However, it is worth noticing when you are taking your time to make a decision, whether the time you are taking is related to gathering more information to make the decision or whether you are indeed procrastinating out of fear of making the wrong decision.
Let’s think about this in movement terms — because that is my thing. You will be able to work out your own preference of decision making by noticing your movement patterns. You might even be surprised with what you discover….
The decision making process is associated with how we use time. Movement Theorist Rudolf van Laban speaks about how we use the effort factor ‘Time’ in our movements. We can either move ‘quick and suddenly’ or we can move in a ‘slow and sustained’ manner.
Quick and Sudden
What happens if you move quick and suddenly? How does it feel to you? In my practice I find some clients really enjoy moving fast. It gives them the opportunity to switch of the mind chatter and worry that would usually proceed any action. The speed allows them to enter a flow state that is led by their bodies. Their creative work on discovering that they like fast movements suddenly takes a turn, because they are no longer worrying about whether the pink dot will be the ‘wrong’ decision to add to the painting or not. Instead they allow themselves to just be in the moment, making quick decisions, regardless of the outcome.
Slow and sustained
Some clients really dislike moving fast, they dislike the feeling of not being in control. And by control it is important to note that this is the mind that feels the lack of control.
Similarly when moving slowly (this one divides the room — always!) some find it extremely mindful, they find peace in slow movement and balance. The other half of the room find moving slowly excruciatingly painful, it makes them feel totally off balance, frustrated and irritated.
What is your preference?
Now, by identifying which Time effort you prefer (quick or slow) you can identify what your decision making preference is. You might find that for some activities you have one preference and for another the other. (Again there is no right or wrong — just awareness).
The key difference to note is that regardless of what your preference is the movement is there, even if it is super slow.
With procrastination you are at a standstill. There is no movement. You are stuck.
If you now reflect on the things that you feel are at a ‘standstill’ in your day-to-day life, maybe that painting that was started, but still hasn’t been completed, that project that just seems to be going on forever, or that present that needs to be bought, but still hasn’t…I invite you to consider….has the decision not been made, because you fear making the wrong decision, or are you moving towards the decision at a slow, maybe hardly noticeable pace, but it is moving because taking your time is your preference?
Take action — make a decision, with your movement preference in mind
If there is procrastination and it is the fear then how about you take action and commit to making the decision no matter the outcome (either by taking your time and mindfully contemplate your choices or by making a quick choice, whichever your preference) and then notice what happens…
Discovering our movement patterns is a key to unlock many of our thought and behaviour processes in every day life and can help you to change the way you things – if you are keen to learn more about this please do get in touch with me here.