As with all ambivalences (see below), procrastination pops up
when there are conflicts over values, ideas or feelings. We are aware
of some aspects of these; that is, we may have a conscious experience of
the conflicts. Or, the conflicts may be between what we are aware of
and what is out of awareness. Many a thought has come and gone, yet
still resides in our unconscious minds. Here, we find values,
preferences, hidden motivations, likes and dislikes; plus as Freud said,
here exists a whole pantheon of buried impulses, some good, some not.
I'm not talking about conscious choices that appear to be
procrastination, but really are expressing other dynamics, such as
planning. Examples of this are delaying a project because not enough
data are available to manage it, or proceed, so we wait. Another example
is when you are sick. If you are like me, when I'm sick, I manage my
resources much more intently and take on less and less until I feel better. When I'm sick, I don't feel like doing anything. If the sickness is protracted, my delays will be too. This isn't procrastination of the kind I'm talking about in this paper; its preserving resources, no matter how long it takes to recover and begin anew. The proof is that when I have enough data or I feel better, I actually start on something and the illusion of procrastination disappears. I'm not talking about illnesses or neurological conditions, like mood disorders or ADHD. Procrastination that causes problems, not problems that appear to be but are not procrastionation is the focus of this ebook.
In this article, I'm writing about the conflicts between what we are
aware of and what is in our unconscious minds. Worse, we can have conflicts between two values, ideas or feelings that are wholly unconscious. In this case, there will be procrastination but almost no understainding or awareness of the dynamic-just anxiety. Why?
As with all indecision, procrastination is experienced as an impulse to avoid something, or say "No" to something or to not pay attention to some part of our brain that is speaking, just not very clearly or perhaps loudly enough.