Procrastination and Resistance

Isn’t this topic familiar to everyone at one time or another? Even as I write my blogs these days I can feel the tug to procrastinate and sometimes give in to it. Let’s look at how procrastination sneeks in.

1. Mostly it starts in your mind. Like you, I have many rationalizations to put off what my goals are. These all sound logical in my mind but are in reality excuses to put things off. I say things like I worked long hours this week. I need some work/ life balance – I will put that off for today (good one). Or I have neglected the spiritual side of my life and need to do some centering prayer (who could argue that?). Or I really need to connect with my grandchildren. These are positive ideas – I am not saying I want to just put my feet up and watch netflicks but I could. My thoughts have weight because they are part of other goals that are important to me. But the reality is that they are thoughts leading to procrastination in writing my blogs.

2. Or some of you may only recognize the feeling. Especially for redundant chores that maybe don’t hold a lot of meaning for you. For instance, cleaning the house. That is one that I hear in my office, especially for singles. They struggle with setting aside the time and energy to clean the house. They come home with a feeling of being pooped and sit on the couch to rest and find they have watched whatever was on including a season’s worth of reruns. The disorder in the house gets bigger and then they isolate so that no one comes over, feel overwhelmed and guilty and a poor mental health cycle has begun.

3. And then some of you don’t notice your procrastination and then look back (maybe after the New Years Resolutions wear off) and find that for some reason unknown to your consciousness, you have just not done it. That happened to me recently when I had made some goals without writing them down in my calendar and when doing a collage about what I needed to let go of in the fall, I discovered a resistance to doing some things in my business that had not reached my consciousness.

So how do we take back our lives from procrastination?
– Have all your goals and projects written down in your calendar so that your goals don’t remain guilt inducing wishes.
– Personify your voice of procrastination. Choose a gender for it. Give it a name.
– Be aware of your thoughts and feelings when seeing the “to do” that is in your calendar.
– When you hear the enticing thoughts, however worthy of your voice of procrastination – speak back with a louder voice that has some worthy thoughts of its own.

You may also use additional ways of beating procrastination. One is to chunk up your project from one large chunk into smaller doable chunks. Let’s take the example of my writing my blogs. I can start with putting titles down that I can think of. The next chunk would be to put some ideas under each title so that when I do write the blog, I have some thoughts ready for me from which other thoughts flow. Usually those are the only chunks I need to go for it but more chunks could be added.
Another version of chunks that works well is to have a list of 5 to 10 minute items that need to be done in your life but you might put them off. So chunk them up into 5 to 10 minute segments. And to follow along with my blogging, when I need a break, I can do 10 minutes on the jiggly machine or do tai chi on my chair for 10 minutes. These are things I would normally put off. I can also make anything in the sink disappear while the kettle boils for tea. You get the idea.
We ALL need to conquor our own voice of procrastination. Get out your journal and put down ways that might work for you, and start practicing. Live Fully and with Joy today!

Author: Lynda Chalmers