Oh yes.... we've all been there. We start our day with the best intentions, don't we, and then five hours later we're watching cat videos on YouTube and eating a bag of Combos, five beef sticks and three donuts (ahem). And then we think to ourselves "Well, looks like the day is wasted, might as well just not even start." How many times has that happened to you? Me? Three times.... this week. Sigh.
So I'm here to help myself (and hopefully my readers) explore the notions of avoidance and procrastination and possible ways of combating their negative influence, re-establishing our supreme dominance over our own lives through self-empowerment!
I'll be the first to admit that the process is hardly so glamorous. It's messy. You're about to get full-on nasty during this struggle, I assure you. Or warn you. I'm not sure which is more appropriate, because procrastination is mean and ugly and it will dig its claws into the sweet flesh of your motivation and strip it to the bone.
Okay, it's not that dramatic, I promise. But we are going to work at understanding our procrastinating tendencies and towards completing our goals.
Remove Distractions. This is the only step to combating procrastination, when you get right down to it, but let's look at this a little closer. Removing distractions removes our excuses. Have housework that just has to get done before you can sit down and tick creative goals off your list (this is a big one for me)? Then schedule yourself one day a week... just one. Just a couple hours. And clean your house. Telling yourself you have emails to write or phone calls to make? Schedule them. Aside from medical emergencies, there is very little in this world that can't be scheduled appropriately. It's not a romantic notion... that of scheduling... but it gets things done. Remove those excuses by assigning one day in which your only goal is to delete your excuses from your mental hard drive.
Having a hard time determining what your excuses are? Journal. I know this may sound strange, but write down your thoughts, feelings, the practical goings-on of your day during those days when procrastination has an ugly hold. You might be surprised by the revelations. Sometimes we struggle with self-love, with self-doubt, and we encourage ourselves to do nothing for fear of failing when we do something. This is a much more difficult excuse to banish, and it takes time, and it takes it's own work which, ironically, we can also procrastinate doing. We turn on the television, or fall into a YouTube black hole in an effort to quiet those internal voices of discouragement. And when the hours have been chewed up and swallowed whole, we breathe a little sigh of relief, wipe the figurative sweat from our brow and think "Shew.... one more day I wont have to fail at something". Oh man... that's such an shrieking, harpy little voice, isn't it?
And sometimes we have to make ourselves hear it. And then ignore it. We'll never learn to ignore it if we seek only to cloak it with louder noise. So turn off the TV. Turn off the computer. Hell, turn off the power to your house, take your project and go sit in the grass outside. Let the natural hum of the world create a rhythm for you, with which you can work in tandem. There is no audience there watching you. There is no judgment. There is only space and time to work. Give yourself that gift. Empty your list of excuses. Assign yourself one day to face each excuse with a full heart and good intention.
And then get to work!