Do what you love

It won’t bite you on the arse (or, how I learned to get moving on my creative projects)

Yyyyyyyyep: it’s another one of those ‘staring-at-a-blank-page-hoping-the-words-will-write-themselves’ kinda day! 😛

It’s a very bad habit, really: to try and view the overall task in front of you in terms of the finished product.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m a big believer in manifesting and all that, but I also believe obsessing over how long it’s going to take, how many sacrifices you will have to make, how much is at stake (the rhyming is an accident, I swear! hehehe) and how perfect it must be, is all very counter-productive.

See, that’s what I’ve got going on at the moment.

– Arrrrgh!!! So many chapters to write! SO much research!

– I still don’t have a website!!!

– I haven’t written in my blog for two weeks! I need to write something!

– I need more clients!!!

– I neeeeeed to work from home full time, and I won’t be able to until I check off everything on the above list!!!!

– I have 50 articles lined up to read, on productivity and building your writing business and writing your first e-book and shaking the procrastination demon, and I haven’t read a single one!!

– Seriously: where the FUCK are the clients at? When will I get time to write my book if I’m drumming up clients??? When will I get to quit my job?? Electricity bill is due soon…

So: I have those seven thoughts — and several dozen more — rolling around in my noggin at this precise moment in time.

Luckily, I’m no stranger to this happening. Time was, it’d take me about 6 months to recover from the internal bashing I’d give myself! Now I’ve really honed and sharpened my ‘dealing with shit’ skills, and on average the recovery time is between 5 and 6 days.

Ideally, it’d be more like 24-48 hours recovery, but I’ll get there! If I can shave 5.75 months off it, I can definitely cull it to a day or two! 🙂

How do I deal with it? How do I stop procrastinating, stop letting my brain go to war with itself and start pursuing the life I love, the life I know I deserve?

Step one: do what I just did.

Can anyone say “braaaaaaindump?”
Get it all on paper, for your sanity’s sake! Write it all down: what troubles you? What do you wish you were doing right now? What small steps can you take to get there?

For me, this blog post is my brain dump. Sometimes by just getting it all written down, the natural order of things will start to take shape! Your mind will no longer be tied up in knots and you will miraculously know what the first step needs to be! Then, just take it one step at a time. Tackle one problem, one obstacle, one goal at any given moment, all the while keeping your far-seeing eye on the prize!

Step two: do one thing, every day, that scares you.

hmmmmm I seem to recall hearing that for the first time back in 1997, on a little ditty ‘Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen.”

Put yourself out there. Show someone what you’ve drawn. Go to that audition. Record that piece of music. Start your blog. The world needs your creativity! Don’t deny it your gifts, just because you’re too scared of rejection. You — and the world — will potentially miss out on something wonderful.

Step three: give yourself a break

I must admit, apart from procrastination, this is up there with my biggest downfall.

– I wasted the day away! I’m useless!

– I’d much rather watch Netflix or play Xbox than do (insert last-thing-in-the-world-you-feel-like-doing here)

For me, that’s the cycle. I see leisure activities as a chore, a punishment because I was too useless to complete the tasks I’d set myself for that day.

Pretty soon, I’m not even enjoying Orphan Black or How I Met Your Mother, or an icy cold beer because I get to thinking I’m just using my downtime as a means to escape the things I keep putting off.

How have I stopped this, you ask? Well, I’m still working on it to be honest but it’s quite simply a matter of adjusting your thinking!

The circumstances won’t change: you’ll still have creative things you need / want to get done AND you’ll still have a desire to relax and get away from it for a while.

Don’t. Punish. Yourself.

Just start by thinking: “I’ve been putting this off forever! I will literally just spend five minutes doing it. Just five minutes!

“After that, I have a choice: I can either spend another five minutes on it, or I can take a break for half an hour, have a coffee, chat to a friend, go for a walk!

Nine times out of ten, you’ll keep working on your craft. This works for me nearly every time now.

By just dedicating five minutes to getting something done, the five minutes turns into an hour and before you know it, you’ve had a hugely productive morning / evening! And you will learn to recognise when you need to take a break to escape and procrastinate, or when you DESERVE a break due to a job well done!

We all have off days. I’m having one right now! (The pouring rain outside doesn’t help, either)

But by just making a few little adjustments to your thinking, by biting the bullet and taking baby steps to overcoming your fears, you could be well on your way to your dream life!

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