It might not be procrastination

Sometimes what we call procrastination is actually just making the choice not to do something. Just because you have a task to complete, doesn’t mean you need to do it right away, maybe you don’t feel like it.

We often create this sense of urgency as though nothing can or should be done any later than right now.

Of course, there is a clear issue when not completing the task has negative repercussions such as being overloaded, stressed and rushing to complete things. However, if you’re simply choosing to do something later then it might not be so bad.

Adding new features vs making things better

When changes get made to something it usually involves adding a new feature, improving an existing one or both.

But sometimes the addition of something new isn’t helpful, you’d be better off improving what’s already there. Often adding something new is about innovation and creativity which doesn’t always result in an improved experience for the user or customer.

There can end up being so much focus on the exciting stuff that the basics get pushed aside.

Le’ts say you sell plain t-shirts and the stitching is poor quality to the point where it’s loose. You could improve what is already there by making the stitching better on the next batch or you could add something new like embroidery, a new neckline or a different length.

If you’re focused on adding new things you’ll end up with a poor quality t-shirt with embroidery on it when you could have had a good quality t-shirt that is plain. Once you get the basics right, you’re now in a better position to start adding new features.

Something to prove

Sometimes the only reason we choose to stick at something is because we have something to prove to ourselves.

From the outside it might seem as though we’re wasting time and money because the success isn’t coming. From the inside we’re just not willing to give up yet because we believe that somehow we can find a way to make things work.

People tend to make fun of or be critical of things people do when they don’t consider them to be successful or aren’t making money from it. But the thing you choose to stick at doesn’t have to be something you’re trying to earn a living from.

More importantly, if you have something to prove to yourself, don’t let other people get in the way of that.

All good things must come to an end

When you know that something is coming to an end it can be easy to lose momentum and to lose interest. It can feel pointless to muster vigour and enthusiasm when you know that in a few weeks everything will be over.

But all good things must come to an end, it’s something we’ve all learnt a long time ago. Knowing that the end is near shouldn’t stop you from giving your best and putting in effort. In fact maybe knowing that it’ll be over soon should encourage you to keep showing up and giving your best.

It isn’t worth pretending

When people have an expectation of who they think or want you to be, they have a difficult time I’m accepting when you become something else.

It could be a permanent thing or perhaps you are just going through a phase but either way who you become is your choice. I think we all need to have the space to explore and experiment in order to find ourselves and figure out the kind of person that we want to be.

Unfortunately, sometimes because of the people around you, you end up pushing self-exploration aside. Instead, you’re so focused on what other people think, people pleasing and wanting to feel accepted that you would rather pretend to be someone you’re not.

Being yourself doesn’t even feel like an option.

I think it’s important to remember that being accepted for the person you’re pretending to be isn’t true acceptance. Once you really take that in, you’ll end up realising that it isn’t worth pretending anymore. You may as well just be yourself.

From bad to worse

When your life isn’t exactly what one would describe as good, you may find that you’ve developed a fear of things going from bad to worse.

It is this fear that keeps you stuck, stagnant and stops you growing to potentially start living a life that is better than your current circumstances.

From the outside it might seem frustrating that you don’t take action but for you, the person that is experiencing the situation, doing nothing makes prefect sense.

But the problem with doing nothing is that things have no change of getting better.

Do something that scares you

Halloween is the perfect time of year to be reminded to do something that scares you. It could be watching a psychological thriller that gives you heart palpitations and nightmares for a week. It could also be speaking up when you have something to say, saying no instead of yes or making an appointment with your doctor about something that’s been worrying you.

When things scare us our immediate reaction is often to run away from it because in our minds that makes sense and it’ll keep us safe. However, when you run away from something, you’re actually just avoiding it. It might not be an issue for today but it’ll be still be there tomorrow. And when you avoid something but know that you’ll have to face it eventually, you end up heightening the fear.

Suddenly, just the thought of speaking up is giving you heart palpitations and affecting how you sleep.

You have the option to face the thing that scares you and do what needs to be done. The outcome might not be perfect but what matters is that you tried. You might speak up and feel like you didn’t get your points across well. But if you keep speaking up you’ll keep improving. Then, one day it won’t even be something you have to think about, you’ll just do it.

Making busy easier

Sometimes in life, all of a sudden you’re busy.

Things go from being normal one day to all systems go the next.

It might feel quite overwhelming because now you have so much to think about and plan. Perhaps you even find that your plans overlap. Now you have to choose what to leave early or show up late for.

You end up in a bit of a trance, just trying to get through the busy period until finally normality is restored.

Being busy can be difficult but you can also make being busy a little bit easier. Things like planning things in advance instead of in the moment, checking your calendar and being sure to write things down can all make a big difference in helping you feel less overwhelmed.

Making space for what you want

Sometimes in order to bring in something new, you need to make space for it. A life that is filled to the brim with ‘stuff’ is not a life that is open to the new.

It might seem like the change you want isn’t happening or that things aren’t working out for you. The reality is, you don’t have space for the things that you want.

You have to make space by clearing out the things you no longer need, even if you feel like still want them in your life. It could be physical clutter, friends you’ve outgrown, past times you don’t enjoy, a diet that is hindering your health or a job you’ve been talking about leaving for the past 2 years.

When you finally make space in your life you’ll start to notice how new things flow in with ease, you’ll also become a little more picky about what you choose to keep.

What do you really want to do?

I think sometimes the fear we have of making the wrong choice is really just a sign that our mind is not clear. On the flipside, when you’re mind is not clouded over with stuff you’re able to be more spontaneous and quick thinking with your choices.

More often than we realise we know exactly what to do. However, we allow our thoughts to get carried away and we engage them even when we know it’s not helpful.

Maybe you want to pursue your love of baking but then you let your mind wonder. You start to think about money, what your friends will think, your parents being disappointed, people not getting it, worrying you’ll regret leaving your stressful well paying job, you tell yourself maybe baking is just a hobby or a fantasy career and you wonder if you’re good enough. The thoughts go on until you’ve talked yourself out of making a decision.

You now spend the coming months or even years trying to decide what to do. The truth is you’re just putting off doing exactly what you know you want to do.