In psychology, we are always uncovering really interesting information to explain why people do what they do.
And some of the ways and ‘reasons’ we procrastinate are fascinating!
Tongue-in-cheek, one such strategy of avoidance we use is referred to as Empty Project Syndrome. We avoid completing projects because – oh my goodness, then what would we do with ourselves?
And when the project is done, we wouldn’t be needed anymore, right?
Now, I said a person’s individual motivators are interesting – I never said anything about logical!
But professionals, when given an opportunity to be really honest without consequence, often report a fear that shows up just as a project is about to be finished. Instead of feeling complete and accomplished, they are afraid and nervous.
These feelings, which some will call irrational, are simply learned behaviors. Somewhere in our world experience, we have learned that having no big projects to contribute to means we are not good enough. Or that no one needs our expertise and knowledge.
These same people who suffer from Empty Project Syndrome at work have a hard time personal projects too. Chaos and half-finished things are everywhere.
Don’t think this is you? Well, if you avoid completing anything, it is possible that EPS is the cause. But if it is, don’t worry – you are not alone.
Action – Begin to bust the irrational thoughts and actions by completing one outstanding project TODAY. Then pause for a moment, acknowledge your success and move on to another that can be fully finished within 7 days.
The more projects you consciously and purposefully finalize within the next 4 weeks, the less like this negative Empty Project Syndrome will affect your motivation.