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Quick Tips #4: Overcoming Procrastination

Question: I get overwhelmed by details, when it comes to a task I suffer a lot from overwhelm of the little details of the task and then as a result I start to procrastinate, how do I get out of this?

Let me just put that into two different questions, part one you get overwhelmed with details, and part two you procrastinate and how do you get out of that?

Now, what you’re describing here is very much about your introverted loop and the subsequent procrastination is the tail end of the introverted loop. What happens when we first get overwhelmed with different details and then we start to procrastinate, and the details then get bigger and bigger. We’re sitting right in that negative introversion of ourselves, we don’t have enough ability to step out of it into the extroverted world, which is away from our feelings and our thoughts, so we’re in our heads and we don’t step away from it into the outer world and look at what we’re doing from an external point of view so to speak.

So to get out of this loop, I’m not going to say “oh let’s first think about things and let’s try and figure it out that way” because that would be more of the overwhelm and subsequent procrastination. So what I am going to suggest to you is that you utilise your inner parent process, which is your auxiliary process. So for INFPs it’s called ‘exploration’, and for INFJs it’s the ‘harmony’ process. So you actually use those processes (which is your inner parent process), to get you out of that introverted loop. The reason we use these is because your inner parent process is an extroverted process, and thus using your extroverted process allows you to break the cycle of the introverted loop.

How to do this in practice is to get your inner parent to set a play date with your inner child (or inner children, depending on how far along this journey you are). If you are familiar with the ‘inner children’ model then it is especially important for your inner parent to take your 10 year old out on this play date, as your inner 10 year old is an introverted process, for the INFPs your inner 10 year old is the ‘memory’ process and for the INFJs it’s the ‘accuracy’ process. So it’s really important that your little 10 year old boy or girl is being taken out on a play date, out to the outer world, that he or she gets a break from making decisions in the case of the INFJ, or gathering information in the case of the INFP. Because the INFP tertiary process which is your 10 year old is an information gathering process and for the INFJ the 10 year old, accuracy, is a decision making process. So those little 10 year old's need to get a break from what they are doing and that’s how you get out of that overwhelm and that’s how you get out of the procrastination.

Then once you’re out of the picture, you need to actually just prioritise, look at actual things that need to happen here and stop making yourself focus on the details. So step out of it, prioritise the situation, look at what the most important things to do are, do those things one by one, focusing on one thing at a time, do not multitask! Multitask is false economy. Then once you start to gather that momentum of being able to step out of the picture, prioritise, and then do one task at a time, then on a practical level this pattern breaks. So this pattern is very much about breaking that cycle and you have to DO it in order to break it, you cannot think your way through this, if you try and think your way through this you are going to get into trouble and into a lot more overwhelm and subsequent procrastination.

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