By Sunny Simon
Yesterday procrastination bit me big time. I dreaded starting a particular project. It wasn’t a distasteful task, I just felt rebellious about beginning. Cleaning the grill, scrubbing down the shower tiles, even sewing on a missing button (oh how I hate sewing) sounded more appealing.
How do you solve a case of the blahs about a particular undertaking? At a loss I turned to my friend Google for an answer. When all else fails, ask the experts. There must be 365 ways to beat procrastination, right?
Diving into my research I spied an appealing approach. Number three on the author’s list of 11 was, “Jump right in, no matter what.” That may sound counterintuitive when you’re procrastinating, but I promised myself if I made one small step on the project I would let myself off the hook for at least 20 minutes. Done. Although I struggled, I managed to compose the first paragraph of a guest blog I was asked to contribute to a friend’s website.
Returning to my research I noticed another tidbit that resonated. “Work in the right environment.” Interesting, I was in my office, an ideal setting for writing however, the overtones of the ballgame my husband was watching filtered through the house. To top it off, my man cannot watch a game without shouting out advice to the batter or berating the umpire over a rotten call. Packing up my laptop I reconvened to the patio. Worked for awhile until I was distracted by a couple of bunnies playing tag.
Completing two paragraphs obviously wasn’t progress, so with a sense of urgency I returned to the drawing board. Another expert suggested I take a break to complete another more palatable item on my to-do list. The premise being accomplishing something would provide the momentum needed to work in earnest on the original task. Having the ideal just the job in mind, I returned to the house and slowly folded a large load of laundry. Relaxing into the task I allowed my mind to get creative about the message I wanted to convey in the blog. I poured myself a glass of lemonade, returned to the patio and spent the next 30 minutes polishing off the blog.
My take-away from the bout with procrastination is two-fold. Number one, forgive yourself. We all slip up and succumb to dragging our feet on a project. Number two, let procrastination work for you. If I hadn’t taken a break, my laundry would still be in a large pile.
Seems to me there is never one cure all, so next time procrastination gets the better of you, start the task, change your environment, take a break and then get the job done. It worked for me. Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at www.raisethebarhigh.com