If there’s one thing I’m good at it’s putting things off. And I know I’m not alone.
Free spirits, by their very nature, tend to live with as little routine as possible, and sometimes it can be hard to focus on getting stuff done – especially those things that we don’t really want to do anyway.
Even though I live in the flow – there are still things I need to do that I don’t want to – housework for starters, then there’s scary things like outlaying a lot of money for something, or booking a dentist appointment… and all these things cause me to procrastinate.
Yes, sometimes it's good to mull something over first - but how much more do we suffer when we are constantly putting things off that we know we need to do, rather than just making the decision and getting on with it?
Here’s what made me think about this.
Today I was walking my dog – it was a beautiful Saturday morning and I walked past a woman who had just finished washing her car. I said to her that it’s such a great feeling isn’t it, when you’ve been procrastinating over it for ever … and you finally do it?!
Her face brightened up and she burst into laughter and agreed – I’d obviously struck a chord… she’d probably been putting off washing her car for weeks (or maybe days depending on how fastidious she is) and had finally done it and felt amazing.
It made me think about that great rush of energy we get when we finally do something that we’ve been procrastinating over… If we feel so great when it’s done – then what energy are we blocking while we’re putting things off?
How many times have you been putting things off without even realising it?
You’re feeling energised, and think – yep – I‘ll tackle that task now.. just let me tidy up my desk quickly? Or, I’ll just check my emails first.
These are what are called avoidance behaviours, and quite often they masquerade as ‘important-things-that-I-need-to-do”.
This kind of procrastination can become a habit – because you’re not even aware you’re doing it, and you feel like you are doing what needs to be done (after all - you just cleaned your desk and checked your emails) – but somehow there are always one or two tasks that never make it off the ‘to do’ list.
Here are 6 ways to stop putting things off so you have more energy for what matters..
The bottom line is to understand that even as a free spirit living in the flow, there will still be things that you have to do that you don’t really feel like doing.
Flow is living in an overall energy of allowing things to manifest in their own time and their own way without constantly trying to control how it happens. It's about allowing things to be the way they are, even if sometimes you have a preference for something else instead.
But there are still going to be the bits you don’t really like doing. You just need to do them and get them out the way so you can allow your energy to flow, not get stuck in excuses and resistance.
Someone once said – you use more energy not doing something and resisting it than you do if you just do it. And it’s true.
It's also true that how you do one thing is how you do everything - and it's the same with energy. If you're blocking energy in one part of your life you're blocking it in every area of your life. Putting things off that you know need to be done will block the free flow of energy around everything else too.
So if you're prone to procrastination like I can be - stop for a moment and think - how much energy are you blocking by avoiding the issue, whilst you make up stories to yourself about why you haven't done it, and feel guilty or irritable because you haven’t done what you said you would?
There are times when taking no action is the right thing to do. But when you’re putting things off that you know in your heart need to be done - just do them and allow the energy to flow freely through your life again - you'll be surprised at just how amazing you'll feel!
Updated March 2019
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