Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

How To Procrastinate Like A Boss

We all have an ideal life that we fantasise about and want to make true. Yet despite our best efforts, we fail to get it done. All because we love to procrastinate.

We tell ourselves it’s okay to break deadlines. We mindlessly consume YouTube videos and stay up way past our bedtime. And we binge bad shows on Netflix because we just “have to see what happens.” 

We really care about our hopes and aspirations. But not enough to stop procrastinating.

Why? 

Why do we fill our lives so easily with meaningless drivel when we have so many meaningful ideas to pursue?

It’s in our nature. We aren’t necessarily lazy or lack proper moral values. We just like to take breaks from stressful stuff. 

And working on things that matter is exactly that, stressful. Because what if it goes wrong and we fail? Or even worse, what if we succeed? Now your next goal will grow even bigger and tougher.

We have countless reasons to procrastinate and they all revolve around avoiding troublesome feelings.

We just don’t like to feel uncomfortable. Not for too long at least.

That’s why we’ll drop our pants and fire up Pornhub in the middle of a difficult project. It’s relaxing. Besides, our future self can fix our problems later. So no biggie.

Except there is a biggie.

Postponing the things that matter makes us feel awful. After all, we’re letting ourselves down. We have all these amazing aspirations and dreams, and we’re turning our backs on them.

That hurts.

Worse still, ignore your greatest desires long enough and you’ll feel anxious, uneasy, and even depressed.

So how do you avoid feelings of malaise if procrastination is hammered into your DNA?

Firstly, you want to have your basic needs met: A home in a safe neighbourhood. A decent wage. Access to good food and health care. And the comfort that your loved ones are doing equally well.

Can you check off those boxes?

Congratulations. Because then you have a good chance of fighting off malaise by working on your mental health.

Cultivating kindness. Doing good deeds. Connecting with others. Growing more competent. And doing things just for the fun of it.

You can’t avoid procrastination. You’ll probably never breeze through something that matters to you, it’ll always feel difficult. So don’t try to make it go smoothly. 

Instead, procrastinate like a boss. Renowned psychologist Adam Grant recommends playing Mario Kart with your friends. 

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach