Are you doing things to feed your creative soul?
Or are you putting them off? If you’re not doing something to feed that soul then stop, right now, and ask yourself why.
Have you joined the PPSNA (Professional Procrastinators Society of North America)? C’mon recruiting is down and they need more members. I know it can wait until tomorrow but why wait when you can join today? Do you need a carrot? Or a stick? Hey, I hear they are now giving away 6 months free with a 1 year commitment. Is that enough for you? If you don’t join you will be left behind. The worst fear, all raw and exposed, of the go getter that you are.
Are you being left behind?
Still not, huh? Well then, you are one tough negotiator. A tough cookie.
Well, for those who are more like me and who have some unfinished projects on their plates that never ever seem to get closer to the finish line here are some ways to alleviate the pressure and move on. The way to “be the ball” so to speak. To get on with it. Just do it. Cliché, cliché, cliché.
First of all revoke that PPSNA membership. No, don’t let it lapse…….Cancel it! I’ll wait……sound of fingers drumming on Formica table top……
Now how did that feel? Good, huh? Check the box on that item on your list. List? Yeah, you know that “dusty old, yellowing page so-old-that-the-ink-is-fading and the edges are curled” list of stuff to get done?
It felt good too. That damn thing didn’t do me any good anyway.
So, here we go. This is as much for me, if not more, than you. Hey, what is it that saying? “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Can you see what I am doing here? Doesn’t it just piss you off? Can’t he just get on with it already? Well, the great thing about writing (and reading) is that you can just skip ahead and avoid the entire load of BS unless, just maybe, there is something interesting in all these words.
Well? Not the case here though, huh?
Ok, ok, enough. Here we go for sure this time.
But first, why do we diverge? How do you decide what you are doing provides value? Are you just filling time with easy stuff? What stops you from doing the things that really need to get done? Is it because it’s difficult, because you are easily distracted, it’s just so damn boring or you are simply afraid to take that critical step?
As frustrated with me as you might be you have to admit these questions plague us all.
So, finally, here are those long awaited tips to avoid putting things off.
Break difficult tasks down into manageable chunks. Keep them short and to the point. If it’s a big “to do” break it down to smaller deliverables which makes it a lot easier to see the end of the road. After a while the big “to do” is no longer that big and it gets done. Check off those chunks and discard those to do’s. It feels so good to put them to bed one after another. Feel the rhythm. Feels good, huh?
Make a date with yourself.
Yep, you and only you brothers and sisters. Cleave off time to be with yourself. Set aside time to get some of those routine tasks completed in order to leave room for the ones that provide you with real value. Turn off those detractors; email, phone, TV, internet or whatever your “entertainment fix” might be. You can go back to it later. None of it is going anywhere. Focus on that date. Pay attention and just go get the job done.
Empty your head.
Onerous or routine tasks take up a lot of room in there and when they occupy your mind there’s really no room for the stuff that really matters to you. Yes sir, we all have routine and yes, some of that routine is onerous. That’s part of life and another part of life is to stop whining about them and get them done. See the value in getting them done. Once they’re complete they’re not bouncing around in that bean of yours anymore. Ahhhh……the clear sweet sound of clarity. Peace be with you my son.
Be Attila the Hun.
Not literally. That would be bad. But how about those fears? You could go all Attila the Hun on those suckers. Conquer those fears. Confront the issues that are holding you back. Don’t talk to them or console them. Talk to someone else about them. They will help you see that they are small and insignificant. Grab your sabre, sickle, or flail and slay those fears. Forget them. Discover that the hold they have on you is insignificant and when you do find the value in the task. Find and understand the value and you will be on your way.
Deliberately short list filled with value because identifying value is where it’s at to avoid that nasty procrastination bug.
Why? Two reasons.
What more do you need? And maybe you have a few of your own to share.
So, do you?