Achieving Concrastination

Self-ImprovementPsychology

  • Author Bruce Wilson
  • Published July 11, 2022
  • Word count 599

Achieving Concrastination

Bruce Wilson, PhD

The opposite of procrastination is concrastination. It means: Start doing the task now and don’t stop until the task is finished. Why is this concept so hard to achieve? Does thinking or ruminating get in the way of action? Do we fear that we are inadequate? Are we lacking the courage to try? Does inaction sabotage the being in action? Are uncomfortable emotions in the way? Whatever the reasons, concrastinators are far outnumbered by procrastinators. How do get more in the now when now is what we are avoiding?

Ruminations

When we ruminate we are overthinking about our past or our future. We are blocking ourselves from the present moment. These thoughts can become circular and self-sabotage our attempts to be in the moment. Usually, ruminating involves an inordinate amount of over analysis and/or worrying. At some point these ruminations can become obsessive and block the ability to act. Ruminations may also promote negative thoughts and lower one’s self-confidence, which also shuts down personal agency.

“We are here and it is now. Further than that, all human knowledge is moonshine.” – H.L. Mencken

Because ruminations are not in the present, they are not actionable. They must be controlled in order to get back to the now. Anxiety, depression, and perfectionism are all potential contributors to being stuck in ruminating thoughts. Grounding yourself in the present will assist the ruminator in gaining back personal control.

Uncomfortable Emotions

Procrastination is believed to be more than putting off action. It may also be an avoidance strategy to repress uncomfortable emotions. When we ruminate we are stuck in circular cognitions and may be repressing our feelings unknowingly. Dealing with our uncomfortable feelings of guilt or shame can free our ability to be more in the now. Most of our repressed feelings are past or future oriented and not in the present. Exercise can be a beneficial activity to change both mood and rumination. Through physical activity worry, anxiety, and emotional turmoil can achieve some respite.

The Inaction Effect

The psychology of regret has been identified more with inaction than action. This has been called the inaction effect. This means that decisions that were not followed up promoted more regret than decisions that were followed through. Taking action, concrastinating, appears to have more positive emotional outcomes than procrastinating. This post emotional outcome is salient to one’s confidence being enhanced. Unlike procrastination, concrastination appears to enhance self-confidence rather than inhibit it.

“You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die, or when. You can only decide how you’re going to live. Now.” – Joan Baez

Becoming more of a concrastinator, rather than a procrastinator, may be difficult for some. Being a self-starter is challenging. Leaving the perch, so to speak, takes courage. Distraction cannot become an attraction. Social Media and smartphones, which have led many down a pathway to distraction-addiction, are creating more and more avenues for procrastination.

Purpose and meaning will most likely have to be present. Emotional intelligence will need to be engaged. And, the ability to stay with the task and not give-up must be mastered.

The concrastinator is not impulsive. The actions taken are about a proactive responding, not reacting without forethought. All of these factors equate to increasing one’s self-discipline, which is usually absent when one is procrastinating.

Self-Discipline

What does self-discipline require? It requires delaying gratification, establishing authority over one’s habits, routines, priorities, determination, dedication, and effort. The payoffs are incredible because they add self-respect and lasting accomplishment, along with an embellished sense of character.

Bio

Dr. Bruce Wilson is a psychologist with 25 years of experience. He enjoys sharing his ramblings with friends and colleagues. He is currently in private practice at Mind Health Care in Geelong, Australia. This article is solely his work.

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