When Procrastination Bites
Let’s talk about procrastination. Or wait…maybe we should talk about it later….
It was the beginning of spring and a beautiful sunshiny day. I was working from my dining table, bored and miserable, the glistening sea in the distance calling to me.
I was supposed to be collecting the contact details of tech bloggers, mummy bloggers, health and wellness writers, productivity people and more. Anyone who might be interested in the meditation app I was busy creating. Which is like millions of people!
And entering them all in an Excel spreadsheet.
Not only does Excel make me want to throw my laptop out the window, it also happens to be very difficult locating the contact details of these people. Blehhh!!!
So rather than suffer, I took myself and Snoop – my dog, not the gangster rapper – off to the beach instead.
As I arrived I ran into a friend who’d held a senior position in one of the major newspapers.
I told her I was making an iPhone app that woke people up with lovely sounds and gave them a choice of guided meditations they could do in bed.
She loved the idea and gave me the names of two journalists I needed to contact.
Then told me that the husband of her best friend was about to take over as head of iTunes Australia and I should get in touch. Nice!
When the app was released, it was featured by iTunes and within a week jumped to number two highest selling app in Health and Fitness.
We had nearly 2500 downloads in the Asia Pacific region and were off to a great start.
All because I procrastinated with that bloody spreadsheet.
Look, I’m not saying you should always go to the beach rather than doing the tedious or unpleasant things.
Nor am I saying I never procrastinate, I really do.
What I’m saying is that sometimes procrastination isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes it’s your internal guidance telling you to do something else.
Sometimes you don’t have all the pieces of the puzzle for whatever it is you’re trying to make happen.
So how do you know when you’re procrastinating and what to do to push through it?
Research show that most procrastination is really fear.
Fear of: failure, success, imperfection, criticism, not being good enough, looking stupid, not knowing enough, wasting your time.
Pause for moment and ask yourself : Where in your life you procrastinate? And what are you really afraid of?
My favourite excuse is I don’t know enough. Like I said in my previous post about asking for help, I always think I need to study more, or have more information. New technology, a better website, a better hairdo.
I can find many reasons not to do what I need to do.
Like yesterday when I came back to writing this post and the cat was on my laptop.
You know, like “The dog ate my homework”.
So how do you know when procrastination is really procrastination? And what do you do to get through it?
The answers for me are the same.
Everything comes down to tuning into your internal guidance system.
I know I’m sounding like a broken record, but alignment is my favourite tune. I have it on high rotation at all times!
How else can you know what you really want?
How else will you know if you’re following your true north or following some conditioned idea of what you should be doing?
This isn’t to say you never do anything you don’t absolutely love doing.
But discovering what you really love and cultivating your intuition can prevent you from wasting a lot of time.
And tending to your wellbeing is what tunes you into that higher guidance.
So when you feel you may be procrastinating you can check in and ask yourself:
What am I afraid of? What am I trying to avoid?
In the end I did do that spreadsheet. And when the app was released I spent a couple of very tedious days contacting all those people. Almost none of whom called me back.
But who knows, maybe the act of following through helped to keep the energy flowing.
I’m telling you, it’s all about flow.
Whatever you can do to do to keep your energy flowing is good.
Stress and anxiety and doubt and worry are the opposite of flow.
So when procrastination gets he best of you, get outside in nature. Swim in the sea. Go for a run. Have a nap. Meditate. Write a list of every single thing you need to do. Ask the Universe for a message.
Then get on with it.
Chip, chip, chip away. One step at a time. The thing in front of you.
But sometimes you may realise, you just need to move the cat.
Anyway here’s what she has to say on the matter. Such a clever kitty cat!
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