Why? It’s right there on the chart: I didn’t know where to start.
When we put things off, it almost never makes us feel easy and unburdened. The therapist Kathleen Smith has written that procrastination, at its core, is a relationship problem — that worrying about how our work will be perceived can drive us to avoid it altogether. “But rather than observing how we function in relation to others,” she explains, “we end up labeling our productivity problems as personality flaws.”
And sometimes, the relationship in question is with yourself. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle: The more you procrastinate, the more harshly you judge your own habits, and the more you procrastinate. Breaking the loop, then, can be as simple as showing yourself a bit of generosity — or, as Fosslien writes in her caption, “Switching from thinking ‘What if this fails?’ to ‘What if this succeeds?’ and then getting excited.”