I am not normally a procrastinator, but I have to admit, having been back in the UK for just over 48 hours, I am definitely struggling to get back into the swing of things! I know I am not the only one that sometimes has a hard time slotting back in. To be honest, I can't really blame my brain for not being quite present with business matters just yet - it has been working very hard on the learning side of things over the past four weeks - and I can also blame jet lag a little for my foggy mind!
BUT... in reality, procrastination often comes from overwhelm. So many thoughts, so many ideas, so many 'things to do', and the result is generally a host of 'where do I start' questions - which in my experience - usually lead to nowhere!
In all honesty I have felt a little fearful about getting straight back into my daily blog posts. I am not sure why. I love doing them and sharing my ramblings with you all - but I feel like things have shifted a bit since I left to do my yoga teacher training and I am not quite sure where to start! There was a lot of time building up to my trip and now that it is over I feel a strange sense of 'what next'...
So I am starting with this. A handful of strategies that I use to get my head out of my arse when it comes to 'putting things off', and beating those procrastination demons...
Create some space. So often, when we have all the thoughts running through our mind, we feel so busy - yet we achieve virtually nothing. So creating some space for yourself is vital. For me - this can be practicing some yoga, taking a short walk, allowing myself a few minutes of stillness (aka meditation or breathing), or even just standing barefoot on the earth to ground myself and remember that all is in hand!
Do something different. I am the queen of routine and coming back from a trip away means that I am craving my daily structure again, yet, I also really feel this is the perfect time to mix it up a bit and switch my routine around. I was frustrated before I left with doing the same things each day at the same time - but part of me just craves structure. So I am compromising and making each day different - but allowing myself to make a plan for my time. This way I feel like I get an element of spontaneity, without the fear of total openness!
Make a list. I live my life by lists, yet when I am feeling at my most overwhelmed I often realise that all the thoughts are in my head and not on paper. So the first thing to do is to download all the ramblings that are going on in my head and put them on to paper - in no matter what order they come out in. Once they are all written down, then you can start to organise them into bite size pieces. There is never a time that I do this and it doesn't make me feel instantly clearer.
Notice your distractions. My ultimate distraction technique is food! Yes people, I will admit it, I use food as a distraction - this became apparent for me before I went away when I realised I had put on a few kgs because I was mindlessly eating to distract myself about the anxiety I was facing about my trip. You may have other distraction techniques - smoking, surfing the internet, social media, online shopping, coffee... whatever it is just become aware of it and see if you can bring yourself back to the task before reaching for the quick emotional fix.
Do the thing you really don't want to do first! I know I go on about how we should only do things that make us feel excited and energised, but sometimes we have to do necessary things - like paperwork, business admin, accounts, etc. Just get it done at the beginning of the day and then move on to the fun stuff.
On the subject of putting things off... question yourself as to WHY you are avoiding it? Is it because you really don't want to do it? Or is it because you are fearful of what the outcome may be? Or is it because you are doubting your capability? Whatever it is - once you know what the feeling is behind the procrastination - you can then start to acknowledge that feeling and move through it. (If you need a hand working through any of these things then you can always get in touch with me directly - I love to help remove progress blocks)
Once you have worked through all these things, then my last tip is to JUST F*CKING DO IT! This was the last and final thing I worked through with myself before writing this post. Just get on with it. Stop wasting time Lauren and make the magic happen.
As soon as you have done it - you will feel relief, satisfaction, pride, happiness... why would you want to deprive yourself of that? Focus on the feeling you will get after it is completed rather than the dread of doing it. Switch up the energy and find a fun way of getting it done.
So what have you been putting off? Making a call? Writing something? Meeting someone? Whatever it is, try some of these tactics and let me know how you get on!