Lets have a word about procrastination, avoidance, distancing.
A client came to me about ‘all the things he has to do, and that he was not succeeding or getting anywhere’. He felt between a rock and a hard place, nothing was working.
We spent a lot of time talking and have spoken many times before about other things. I noticed that one of his frequent sentences was:
“I am going to……”or, I will do …” and often, “I should have done….”.
He was very focused on all the different things he had to do and on the point that he was not good at multi-tasking instead of focusing on a job in hand. Therefore getting nowhere other than more and more depressed and worried and distanced from what needed doing.
I explained that an example of multi tasking could be talking the phone (clutched under the chin) talking to a client whilst feeding the baby in one arm and stirring the soup with another. Or, filling in your accounts on the computer whilst on speakerphone to a supplier and watching (and worrying about) your expensive employee chatting to their best friend on the phone, again.
I suggested that having various jobs or commitments, keeping hydrated and exercising are not multi tasking unless he was planning on lifting weights whilst riding on the sit-on mower and making deals on his mobile.
I also suggested, somewhat forcefully after he kept escaping from our conversation to all the things he will do, he only needs to do one of these various jobs at a time. It creates variety, which we all need. The jobs do not over lap at all and if each job was given an allotted day or time slot and done properly, whole heartedly and thoroughly he wouldn’t have to think about it whilst doing another job. Therefore no multi tasking required.
I advised that he take job A – (which is basically selling) and has a list of everything that is required, the clients list, items he needs to sell, his target written down clearly. Then on that job’s day he starts and does absolutely everything he can with all his resources to get the best possible outcome on that day. So e-mail, phone calls, post if all else fails. Explore every avenue and be creative (if a contact number is not immediately available look at every possible way you could get one or make contact). At the end of the day he may feel a little frustrated if he has not made any contacts BUT ultimately he will feel immensely satisfied that he did everything he could to the best of his ability during Job A’s time slot. No point worrying about it afterwards, it will not change a thing. Let all the hard work percolate until the next time it is Job A’s time slot.
Next day he takes Job B and applies the same intention, intensity and determination and so on.
Maybe as there are a few different jobs have 15 – 30 minutes just to address any e-mails or things to deal with such as if the best client in the world’s PA sends an email to arrange a meeting…
Then, when he is mowing the garden (or driving the kids to dance class or doing exercise) he can put some great music on or an audio book, drink a beer and multi task happily (beer drinking is not applying to the bracketed options obvs 😉 this then becomes recreational rather than part of the job pile.
Lets also talk about ‘job’, ‘task’, ‘commitment’. Make them fun/interesting/exciting and they become enjoyable. Who wants to just do a job compared to playing at chatting to people, finding out how people work, feeling successful and providing something that someone needs? Who wants to do a task or fulfill a commitment when they could be playing at mowing, singing their heads off drowned out by the engine, zoning out to their favourite tunes or being told a facinating and exciting story. Think about how to make what you do into what you want to do. Life is to be enjoyed not endured, how lucky we are to have it.
I worked in a shop at one point and it was so boring until I made a challange to be the fastest on the till (it was the olden days, you keyed the money in as you passed the products along the counter beside you) and to try to get as many people a day to smile. In the end I had lovely if brief chats with people who I got to know in a chitchaty way, and was the fastest cashier in the North – my till was always out by a few pence either way (always!!!) so I didn’t get a pat on the back but I did get a lot of smiles 🙂
The moral of the story is you can spend so much time worrying about that big pile of stuff over there rather than concentrating on jumping right on top of the smaller, more manageable pile of stuff right in front of you. Jump right into the centre of it, splat!, and sort out every tiny little bit of it then go over to the big pile, take what you can carry and put it where the little pile was and jump splat! into the middle of that one and deal with it. How satisfying!
Saying “I will do….”, “I am going to do….” and “I should have done….” is SO much better changed to “I am doing”.
I am drinking water and I am hydrated.
I am exercising and I am fit.
I am dealing with this now.
I am doing my best right now.
I am in control.
I am satisfied.
I am finding a way to enjoy what I do.
I am doing it, now, in the way that works for me.
I am I!
I am moving this blog back to Whatdesrididnext.wordpress.com. If you want to join me there I would be very happy! Thanks for reading.
I have learnt (many, many times haha) that thoughts become feelings.
And its very useful be able to to turn the thoughts off especially when they become destructive and in turn feel bad. Easier said than done? Maybe not.
I have learnt and used many methods. For a quick fix the most effective so far, for me, has been the #Sedona method – just letting go – it is SO simple if you LET yourself do it.
(NB: This is an amazingly effective method for much deeper and bigger problems with more exploration and practice).
I really believe that a lot of our problems can be self made or at least self-perpetuated.
I was speaking to my son yesterday, who has a big audition coming up and end of year exams etc. He was saying he is so stressed about this and that and he was so tired. I have felt that so many times (quite possibly where he learnt to be stressed :() but it doesn’t help! I try to say it doesn’t help but that doesn’t work; it only works when we realise it for ourselves.
If you are stressing about something, it doesn’t make you sharper, more alert to the problem, more able to deal with it. Its the opposite. You tense up, lose some rationality, become tired and lose energy and focus, resulting in being overcome by the feeling of stress rather than the event that’s causing it!
If you fall and relax into a roll you are less likely to hurt yourself than if you fall and tense up like a stick. If its tense it will break, if floppy it with bend and be moved – does that make sense? Same in our heads.
Recognise a problem, breath through it, stay ‘in the moment’ right now this minute is just that – don’t start catastrophising about what might happen or did happen, stay here and now and focus. In most cases we have options and with a calm mind we can look at them. We may not have many – or maybe we don’t have many that we like.
Sometimes we have to let go of our preconceived ideas and wants, change the plan. Tweak it or turn it on its head but we have to be prepared to do something other than go under.
Sometimes its helpful to speak to someone else about it, or write it down, do the for list and the against list. If you are sinking fast write a list of everything wonderful about your life, recognise the good bits, any good bits however small! It will change how you feel.
If its a case of choosing what to do, where to go, which option to take ( and I’m not just talking about where to go to dinner – though it would work for that too!) write your list – as short as you can, maybe up to 6 options – and pit them against each other one by one.
If you are a miss matcher like me when you get to the last one (and so supposedly the winner) you will choose another but it will have focused you and helped the decision be made.
Depends on the problem, its not always about choice.
Sometimes I have found we think we are stressed but if we look deeper we are actually excited, nervous, anticipating or something else and if we used those words to ourselves we would take the sting out of the tail of “stressed” and so our reaction may change.
So in a nut shell;
if you have a let a thought become a feeling, as in the Sedona method 1) FEEL the feeling, let it get as big as it can then 2) ask yourself – “Could I let it go?” (answer yes to this one, even if you think you can’t) then 3) ask “Would I let it go?” – can you see the difference? You have to allow yourself because it is you who is in control. 4) Take a deep breath and answer YES breathing the feeling out. Honestly if you practice it works. I didn’t even need to practice at the beginning though various things have happened over the years when its needed real concentration and was worth persevering. Look up the Sedona method, there is a lot more too it, but this is a brief synopsis that has worked for me in moments when I have needed to address a feeling quickly and unobtrusively.
There are many methods out there for helping deal with stress, stopping the chitter chatter in your head, the self inflicted drama of what could be etc. Another post another day, I hope this one helped.Learn More