Yellow Owl top 4 procrastination busters
As you may have noticed I haven’t written for a while. First it was the school holidays (note excuse number 1). Then it was not having enough time (excuse 2). Then it was writers block (excuse 3). Finally I decided to call it 'procrastination'.
Yes, I kept finding something else to do and boy is there lots of other stuff to do. And I can always convince myself the other stuff is more important. But in the spirit of walking my own talk I thought I’d turn this experience of ‘procrastination’ into a blog post. So what is there to do when all excuses are gone and you realise you’re procrastinating?
1. HARNESS POSITIVITY
Barbara Frederickson’s 2004 work on the Broaden and Build theory says if you are in a positive state this broadens the scope of ideas you generate. The more ideas you generate the better you feel which then helps generate more ideas…you broaden and build on your thinking. I'm not keen on trying to artificially create a 'positivity state' but I am keen on harnessing it when it emerges.
2. START WITH SMALL GOALS
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s popular work about flow talks about small goals with feedback. For me it is about saying to myself I will write for 10 minutes and see what emerges. The feedback is seeing something (at this point ANYTHING) on paper. Strangely just telling myself to write for 10 minutes takes a bit of pressure off. Before I know it, I'm on my way.
3. PAUSE AND EXPLORE WHAT’S GETTING IN THE WAY
Sometimes it is helpful to explore what is getting in the way. Is it conflicting goals? Can these be revisited? Is it time? Too many meetings. Do you need to create a meeting in the diary with yourself to complete the task? Is it being in the office? Can you work from home tomorrow morning? Is it thoughts about doing this task? For me, when I took the time to sit with it there was a fear of not having anything of value to write. From a mindfulness perspective, just taking the time to pause and notice what is going on opens up possibilities.
4. JUST DO IT
When I lived in Sydney it would take me at least half an hour to jump in the water. That cold water hitting your body is chilling but as everyone in the water would tell me (with a big grin) ‘you get use to it’. Sometimes you’ve just got to dive in and not think too much about it. Just do it as they say.
Eventually..dah! dah! it gets done…blog completed!
Hope this is useful. If I can help you or your organisation find ways to inspire positive performance at work please connect at email@example.com or on 07443118322. Have a great one!
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow. Harper Collins, USA
Frederickson, B. L. (2004) The Broaden-and- Build Theory of Positive Emotions, The Royal Society. 359,1367–1377.
Image from Wix free library.