Here’s an easy tool to help you stop procrastinating: make it less blobby.
Why smart women procrastinate
No one likes to feel incompetent–especially smart people. One of the main reasons why you may not start working on an important project is because it isn’t easy. Got a research paper to write? That’s hard. Checking email? That’s easy. Want to procrastinate? Check your inbox. The easy filler helps you feel productive. It may even give you a sense of accomplishment. You can convince yourself that you’re actually tacking that project you’re avoiding because you’re clearing the decks to make room for it.
But, in the end you’ve just procrastinated.
Another reason you may procrastinate is that the project evokes negative emotions. Lots of people avoid estate planning because it reminds them of illness, death or difficult family relationships.
Even things that may seem like fun can cause negative emotions. For example, I think a big reason why women don’t work on their hobbies is because they want to avoid feeling guilty.
Stop procrastinating: Make it less blobby
Imagine you are playing with slime. It’s shapeless. It’s hard to hold–it oozes between your fingers.
That’s what tough projects are like. They’re blobby.
But, if you give it some shape, it’s easier to contain and tackle. Everyone knows it’s easier to get started when projects are broken down into smaller actionable steps. Blobbier projects, however, need to be given more structure before they get broken down.
Ask yourself these questions that help my clients:
- How does this project make me feel? Name the different emotions the project evokes when you think about it. See if you can name a range of negative and positive emotions. For example, you may look forward to purging unused objects and making space but you may feel sad or uncomfortable getting rid of something you’ve inherited from a loved one.
- Can you name the blob? Do you know what to call your project? More importantly, can you name it in a way that evokes more positive emotions? “Create a crafting space” is likely to be more motivating than “Clean out the basement.”
- What are the different components of the project? Are there sub-projects? Maybe it’s actually more than one project? For example, creating a craft space is likely to be many smaller clean-up and organizing projects.
- Is there a sequence? Do you need to complete some parts before others? In our example, it’s likely you need to toss or move things before you can vacuum.
- Do I need to do this alone? Can I delegate part of this? Is there someone who can help me? Can I do this with someone to make it more fun or manageable? Perhaps a friend can help you decide what to keep or toss.
- Are there parts I can skip? or postpone? Maybe the project or parts of it are not as urgent as you think they are. Rather than sift through boxes of inherited items, you can set them aside in the garage.
- Can I drop this altogether? Is there a different solution that would work better? Perhaps you realize that you don’t need a craft room to start sewing or scrapbooking again–maybe just getting rollaway cart and setting things up in that formal dining room you never use is good enough.
If you’d like more help making something less blobby, check out other resources on procrastination or getting unstuck. Or, if you would like more customized solutions to stop procrastinating more efficiently and effectively, book a coaching session today.