I am a massive procrastinator. I love nothing more than to drink coffee, eat biscuits and plan stuff. Could do it for days! Trouble is, if you actually want to get shit done then this bad habit can really stand in the way of your goals. I have a super easy meditation technique to help procrastinators get shit done.
We have all made promises we couldn’t keep and plans we knew would fail:
- I’m never eating bread again
- I will pay all invoices the minute I receive them
- No more sugar for me
- Alcohol shall never pass my lips
- I will run every morning before breakfast
In fact, goal setting is itself a form of procrastination. I know of many addicts (smokers, drinkers, biscuit-over-eaters) who have set dates to quit their addiction. This is just kicking your habit into the long grass!
Procrastinators make plans in order to avoid starting
Long term plans are for people who have no issue with will power. These people decide on an action and then embark on it. Simple. Why would you not?!
But if you are a procrastinator like me and you struggle with getting on with and then sticking to stuff then I have a much better idea. And I am living proof that it works.
For procrastinators, plans, goals and resolutions can be forms of self harm. We set ourselves up and then spectacularly fail. As our early determination fades and we realise that forever is a long, long, long time we return to old, faithful comforts and will-power goes to shit.
My plan to never eat bread again (too many times to remember) generally fails at the first sign of a tiger baguette. Monday it’s all quinoa and chickpeas but by Sunday I am buttering bagels. Ah well, it’s just bread. As I say to my husband,
I am 43 and I like to eat bread. Deal with it!
How long does your will power last?
I have always found that 24 hours is about my maximum commitment. Anything beyond that and I move into flakey territory. But a day? I can do anything for a day. This is how I quit alcohol. I promised myself each day that I wouldn’t drink for the next 24 hours (which in fact is only really about 12 hours of useful walking about time). 365 of those promises later and I am still happily alcohol free.
Give yourself limitations and restrictions and you can blossom within those boundaries. Spread yourself thinly into the never ending future and your resolve will waver surprisingly quickly.
Since I am no longer having to make the no alcohol promise to myself every day I have started to use this super easy technique for other things. Like productivity and happiness. Oh just productivity and happiness, you know, nothing too huge!
The super easy meditation technique for procrastinators
I start each day with a meditation (it’s just deep breathing with your eyes closed in case the meditation word freaks you out). These meditations can be short, sometimes long, depending on how much time I have. Beginning with some deep breathing I do my best to clear my thinking mind so that I can allow unconscious stuff in. This isn’t always easy but with practice it gets easier and once you start to see the benefit of meditating your mind gets there quicker. You can follow a guided version of it on the podcast….
Once I am relaxed I then allow a word to appear. This word will frame my day. It will be the title of my day and should be related to the type of day I want to have. So for example, this mornings word was ‘create’. I had planned to do some creative writing today as opposed to writing for Voice of Calm. So ‘create’ was very fitting. I have been super creative all day and now I am writing this post so, you know.
Let your daily word be your guide
Last week I was meeting with a friend I knew had to get things off her mind and so on that day the word ‘listen’ fizzed into my meditation. On my way to meet her each time I started to think about the advice I would like to give her I reminded myself that I needed to listen. This was my task. And as it turned out it was right. She needed me to listen more than she needed my advice.
On Sunday I had so much to get done in the garden that my word was ‘move’. And I didn’t stop. Sometimes I can be awesome at planning all the things I want to do but spend much of the time standing, looking, eating biscuits, while nodding and thinking. Shit does not get done and I end up frustrated. ‘Move’ was a great word. It nudged me out to my tasks and kept me going all day like a little engine.
Whether you are trying to change a habit or just want to use this tool to get shit done in a way that won’t have you losing your mind, a word a day is a wonderful way!