Hold Your Horses! (And Stop Procrastinating)

What makes you procrastinate? Is it that you really want to do the many menial tasks that you allow to get ahead of an important project or task on your priority list?

Probably not.

There are usually emotions attached to procrastination, be it a bad mood or anxiety around the task at hand (or the outcome of the task at hand).

Sigmund Frued, famed psychoanalyst, presented procrastination in a way that is a helpful visual when needing to dig yourself out of the procrastination trap. He explains that the horse represents the negative emotions that are causing you to delay or avoid action–the horse is the impulse. The rider is the voice of reason–the side that knows that simply getting things done, even the hard things, is the best path to success.

When a horse and its rider are on a journey, there is conflict between the impulse of what the horses wants to do and the reason of what the rider needs to be done. If the horse gets spooked, he wants to run away; however, the rider must course correct to stay on path to their ultimate destination.

Likewise, if after approaching a fork in the road the horse is left to choose a well-trodden trail versus a trail full of obstacles, he would obviously take the path of least resistance.

The rider, on the other hand, would follow the path he needed to take to arrive at his destination. Once again, the rider must take the reigns and be the reason that overcomes the horse’s impulse.

So the next time you are tempted to allow your negative emotions distract you from the important tasks at hand, or when you think getting many “easy” tasks done is a better use of your time than buckling down and tending to that which is important, simply envision a strong, skilled rider, mounted on a mighty steed, galloping towards your ultimate destination.

Be the rider.

How do you avoid procrastination? Share your thoughts!

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