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Conquering Procrastination: The Power of Emotional Management

Conquering Procrastination: The Power of Emotional Management

Procrastination is a common challenge that many of us face when it comes to completing our design projects. Whether we have Months to work on a project or just a few days, the tendency to put off work until the last minute can be a productivity killer and leave us unprepared for design meetings with clients. While time management plays a role in combating procrastination, a deeper and more impactful approach involves understanding and managing our emotions. This is a solution that I have found to help me overcome my procrastination tendencies.

The Secret of Procrastination

At first glance, procrastination might seem like a simple issue of time management, but its deeper than that. It is an emotional management issue. When faced with tasks that have negative emotions, such as fear, anxiety, or uncertainty, we tend to avoid them by procrastinating, which becomes a coping strategy to escape these emotions temporarily. It ultimately leaves us with increased pressure and a decreased ability to perform at our best.

Discovering Your Emotional Outlet

The key to overcoming procrastination lies in finding an outlet. This outlet can take various forms, such as a side project, a hobby, physical exercise, or even engaging in mindfulness practices. The purpose of this outlet is to provide a space for you to vent negative emotions, refocus your mind, and recharge your emotional reserves.  For me working in my yard is my outlet.  Tasks in yardwork do not typically need deep thought, which allows my mind to wander and daydream.  This can be a great distraction from what is stressing me out, as well as allow my mind to work out other problems in the background.  The yardwork is also physically demanding, giving me exercise, and allowing me to sleep better so I am sharp for the next day.  Here are some things that might help you find your outlet.

  1. Side Projects: Engaging in projects that interest you can be an effective way to unwind and shift your focus away from the stress of pending tasks. Whether painting, writing, or working on a personal project, these activities offer a sense of fulfillment and emotional release.
  2. Hobbies: Hobbies are not only enjoyable but also serve as excellent emotional outlets. Whether you love gardening, cooking, playing a musical instrument, or any other hobby, immersing yourself in these activities can give you a much-needed break and allow your mind to relax.
  3. Exercise: Physical activity is a powerful tool to combat stress and anxiety. Regular exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters, and helps you maintain a positive mindset.
  4. Mindfulness Practices: Mindfulness meditation and deep breathing exercises can help you stay centered and focused. Practicing mindfulness regularly can reduce stress and enhance your ability to manage your emotions effectively.

Channeling Negative Emotions

Once you have identified your emotional outlet, the next step is to use it strategically. Instead of resorting to procrastination when facing negative emotions, consciously direct those feelings toward your chosen outlet. For instance, if you feel overwhelmed or anxious about a looming deadline, take a break to engage in your hobby or go for a run. By doing so, you’ll create a healthier coping mechanism that allows you to refocus back on the project when you come back to your desk.

Tackling Procrastination Head-On

By finding your emotional outlet and channeling negative emotions effectively, you’ll be better prepared to tackle procrastination. The more you practice redirecting your emotions, the more you strengthen your emotional management skills. This will, in turn, help you face tasks and projects with a clearer and more focused mindset.

Procrastination is not just a matter of poor time management; it is our ability to manage emotions effectively. By recognizing and finding a suitable emotional outlet, you can break free from the cycle of procrastination. Embrace side projects, hobbies, exercise, or mindfulness practices as tools to manage negative emotions, stay emotionally dialed in, and be ready to tackle any task that comes your way. Remember, mastering emotional management is the key to conquering procrastination.


I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.

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