Is Procrastination Really a Valuable Business Tool We're Ignoring?
Notable business coach, author and entrepreneur Michelle Vandepas, who is known for helping clients define their purpose, clarify goals and develop actionable plans to advance their businesses, surprised a sold out audience at the inaugural TEDx event in Colorado Springs by speaking "In Honor of Procrastination."
Michelle is now teaching others how to honor their procrastination, which she believes may really be just a creative ripening of their dreams, and then act on the knowledge that arises from that process of slowing down. "Vegging out is intelligent," she says.
Citing Leonardo Da Vinci as a procrastinator who took years to complete a piece of work, some say 20 years for the Mona Lisa, Michelle asks if he was really a procrastinator or was something else at work in his creative process.
Michelle presented the idea of taking the negative spin off procrastination. Our modern society, fixated on setting goals and getting more done, has vilified that word. If we claim we are procrastinators and, according to Psychology Today 20% of the population are chronic procrastinators, that negative association prompts shame, overwhelm and judgement which people then try to overcome by taking time management classes, multi-tasking and over working. But Michelle claims it is a neutral word meaning "to put off."
Using examples from her own life, she explained the three types of procrastination:
• Avoiding the mundane boring day-to-day tasks
• Fear based (fear of success, fear of failure)
• Delaying dreams we'll regret if we don't pursue
Michelle states that taking time to slow down, quiet the monkey-mind and enjoy the quiet place inside allows for the creative incubation Joseph Campbell wrote about. The place where answers naturally bubble up and guide us to realize the dreams we'll regret delaying.
"I invite you to slow down with me and enjoy the moment; because from this place you can get in touch with your inner compass, and you can step out of fear and into the part of you that's brave. Be in praise of your own procrastination. Allow for your ripening and then move forward on the things that are really calling you."
Since delivering this talk, Michelle says people have asked her how she can help them realize their dream of speaking at TED, TEDx or another major venue. Others have stepped forward saying they don't want to take their dreams to their grave. Even more comment that it is a relief to change the association from negative to creative.
Maybe it is time to honor the procrastination in all our lives.
Author of three bestselling books, a documentary producer, a world traveler, and ex-foster mom to 10, she inspires others to live fully and to not take their dreams to the grave with them.
Michelle Vandepas started as an entrepreneur at age five and never looked back. As a business owner and consultant Michelle has guided over 500 entrepreneurs personally to grow their businesses while expressing their purpose in life and making a difference. Michelle also helps people realize their own dreams of speaking at TED and TEDx events.
This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences.
TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events dedicated to ideas worth spreading. The events bring people together from diverse cultures to share ideas through speakers and videos in small groups, enhancing a spark of conversation and new ideas. Topics range from science and psychology to business and global issues.
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