Don’t feel like doing what you’re really supposed to be doing?
We all experience this, sometimes multiple times a day. Often it’s the most important task, and therefore the most weight, that we feel the least compelled to do.
Why this happens is a topic for another more lengthy post. But when it does, our inclination is to run. Far, far away.
Best case scenario, we’ll occupy ourselves with less important busywork – email, organizing our desk, making endless to-do lists. Worst case, we’ll dive down the rabbit hole of the interwebs and surf an endless array of useless news, cat pictures, and fail videos.
The failed approach: the headlong battle
We often try to fight these urges to procrastinate, to avoid at all costs what will actually give us the most benefit, with the help of willpower. We will ourselves to overcome.
The problem with willpower is that it’s overrated, if it exists at all. It is usually no match for that fear or anxiety that’s pushing us to procrastinate.
It’s your conscious vs. your subconscious mind, and you already know how those battles play out.
As a result of all of this, we often go through our day caught between two extremes – forcing ourselves to do things that a deep part of ourselves has strong resistance against, or running away from that thing and feeling strong feelings of loathing or guilt when hours go by and we do nothing.
I’m proposing a middle ground. It’s not an easy, quick fix solution, but it’s easier than doggedly grinding through your work, forcing yourself to do something you hate.
A better, deeper way
What I’m proposing, as you may guess, is:
When faced with the urge to procrastinate, meditate.
Don’t do the act. But don’t run away, either. Find this middle ground of observing your resistance.
It will help you better understand why you don’t want to be doing what you’re doing. And it’ll help calm and alleviate your anxiety and aversion that you have towards your task.
I had an amazing life coach who taught me the following principle over and over again: “if you’re feeling panicked, stop. Do less, not more.”
This is excellent advice that fits right in to this point. A voice in your head might tell you that meditating is wasting your time, because you’re not doing the task.
Don’t fall for this. The irony is that this same voice is the one that’ll try to push you towards useless work or the black hole of the internet.
Realize that facing your fears, anxiety, and resistance head on is the best thing you can do to accomplish this specific task… while being a monumental skill towards living a fulfilled and complete life.