Getting things done despite your minds resistance! Procrastination in its truest form is just resistance.
Never underestimate your minds resistance, its force, creativity and deviousness. procrastination can manifest itself in so many different forms. Here are some common forms of resistance for you to look out for. As long as it is, this is far from an exhaustive list:
- Being a perfectionist
- Arranging a meeting about doing the work you could just do now
- Spending ages changing fonts, styles or titles when the rest of the work is already done
- Spending hours on research or data collection
- Leaving out the controversial or interesting bits
- Being afraid of change
- Criticising people for trying to be innovative or different
- Worrying more about the word count than the words
- Obsessively checking your work
- Asking others for reassurance disguised as feedback
- Making a cup of tea instead of starting a courageous conversation
- Playing with productivity apps on your phone rather than being more productive.
- What you’ll notice is that so many of these hit straight to the heart of our proactive attention and distract us with powerful emotions and ingrained habits. Recognizing resistance is the vital first stage. Once you recognize anything resembling resistance, the battle begins.”
Lessons from a NINJA
- A Ninja’s Zen-like calm comes from regularly reviewing every area of their work – treating everything as a project.
- A Ninja takes an unorthodox view of project management and meetings, focusing more on agility and responsiveness than on old-fashioned ‘planning’.
- A Ninja uses projects and meetings to promote mindfulness and preparedness, and to create trust and develop group momentum.”
Dealing with the resistance
There are really two ways to deal with resistance at any given moment:
FIND A WAY OF IGNORING IT OR SILENCING IT (SO YOU DON’T NOTICE IT)
Our resistance scuttles around inside our brains, rarely showing its face and disguising itself as other thoughts wherever it can. You have to regularly dig it out. flush it out if you will.
Capturing and collecting what’s on your mind allows resistance its little moment in the sun. It nags, blurts and screams. And you get the chance to organise each and every one of those thoughts. The nags and noises are tossed away and given short shrift.
Meditation. We rarely delve deep enough into our own minds to really listen to what’s going on in there. Meditation is a great way to explore, to notice and to recognize. It’s also a great way to slow down and detach from the frantic trail of thoughts racing through your mind all day long. In doing this, you become much more able to focus, concentrate and be present.
Nutrition and physical exercise. Good physical health can actually reduce the power of resistance. Fitness sessions produce positive endorphins, leaving us feeling on[…]”
“Change the paradigm from, ‘What if it goes wrong?’ to ‘What if it doesn’t?’ Our fear often points us towards imagining only our possible failures, in such a way that we fail to realise that the consequences of our actions could in fact be unbridled and wonderful success! On the other hand, if we imagine every task as potentially the thing that our ultimate success depends on, it becomes overwhelming because the stakes are high! So pick yourself out of the quagmire of negative thinking and imagine a world where what you’re working on right now isn’t going to make you a millionaire, but certainly isn’t about to bankrupt you either! It’s all going to be fine.
Say it out loud. Tell someone in the office, perhaps a close and trusted colleague, that you’re struggling to finish this PowerPoint presentation because of the resistance. As soon as you say it out loud, you’ll realize just how silly it is that this little lizard-brained idiot holds any sway with you. Watch your resistance back off the minute it knows that it’s been spotted.”
“Let the resistance out to play. Take a piece of A4 paper and toy with your resistance. Let it write a ‘cons’ list of all the reasons not to do the thing that your resistance is shouting at you to avoid. Exhaust the resistance this way. Once done, write a simple list of pros underneath, as you quietly assume control.
Out-negative your resistance. Think of all the times that things have really gone badly for you in the past. Anything that the resistance throws at you from here is a step up, a victory, and therefore a level of comfort for the resistance that might just force it to surrender … for now.”
Routines can distract resistance for just long enough to get you into momentum. Following a particular pattern at the start of your day, where the fifth of six elements happens to be doing a piece of work that your resistance would usually shout and scream about is a clever way of nipping in with the work before your resistance notices. For a long time when I worked from home, my morning routine was deliberately regimented:
Shower (preferably cold)
Worst task of the day
Hidden inside so many positive, comfortable tasks was doing something truly dreadful. With the endorphins from my workout still pumping around my body, the resistance didn’t know where to look. These days, every morning is different but those that start with good routines tend to continue on into more productive days.
Above all, it’s all in the mind. Distract the mind and procrastination will have to subdue.
For more information on mindset check out my book “30 passive income ideas”. It talks about the mindset after failure, being in control of your destiny and of course passive income streams that can make you financial free and have more free time.