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Things You Should Stop Putting Off And Do This Year
I don’t feel like it, you sigh, pushing yet another task to the back burner. The back burner is now overflowing, with deadlines looming and panic sets in. You just can’t work up the want to return calls, make dinner, visit the gym, or finish a project. These are all things you have to do, yet you continue to put off doing them.
Think about how that makes you feel.
Doesn’t it stress you out? Are you plagued with feelings of guilt and frustration? Well, all of those negative feelings churning inside of you will disappear when you finally tackle the tasks you’ve been ignoring. Good news, right? Well, there is more good news. There are plenty of strategies you can use to get yourself out of your rut.
I’ll Screw It Up
Do you avoid tasks because you’re convinced you’ll just screw it up? This might be an excuse you make to avoid doing something. It could be genuine fear. Regardless, you can look at any and every task in two different ways. You can view it as an accomplishment, which is referred to as a promotion focus. This type of focus is undermined by your doubt. In this case, you can opt for the prevention focus. This isn’t about picturing how completing a task will improve your life. Instead, it’s about how your action will prevent loss. If you complete this project, then you won’t get fired. If you go to the gym regularly, then you won’t gain weight. It’s basically changing how you frame the task and using your doubt as a motivation tactic.
I Don’t Feel Like It
Your alarm rings early, but you hit snooze because you don’t feel like getting up earlier. Your phone reminds you to stop by the gym on the way home, but you ignore it because you don’t feel like it.
There are a plethora of things we have to do, but we avoid doing. Usually, it’s because we just don’t feel like it. Nothing is physically holding you back from doing it. Yet, you are allowing it to hold you back. You have bought the lie, unconsciously or otherwise, that you have to feel a certain way in order to be motivated into action. You don’t. You don’t have to feel like anything to do what you have to do. Think about people who work in creative pursuits. Their career revolves around them doing the thing, even if they don’t necessarily feel inspired to do so. They tend to create routines that encourage them to work on their art, whether they feel like it or not. You have to do the same thing.
It’s Unpleasant/Boring/Too Difficult
This is one of the most common reasons we draw on to avoid doing what we have to do. We tell ourselves it’s too hard, it’s boring or unpleasant. That is probably true, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore it. In fact, by ignoring it you are simply increasing your stress and anxiety surrounding the task. Often, we convince ourselves that we can overcome this with willpower. Next time, we’ll start the project sooner. Well, if it was as easy as that you would have done that this time, right? You don’t have an endless supply of willpower to draw on. If you did, you wouldn’t be in this position.
When things are difficult, when you have to do something that you have difficulty facing, try if-then planning. This is essentially making a plan that requires specific steps. If it is 1:30 in the afternoon, then I will park other work to start the report my boss needs. If my manager ignores my promotion application during our next meeting, then I will raise the subject before the end of the meeting. It’s as simple as that. You have plans in place if-then. You have decided what you plan to do, and when. You’re making decisions in advance to relieve the pressure you have been placing on your willpower.
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