Want A Strategy To Stop Procrastinating? (Don't ask Google for the answer!)

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You're sitting at your desk with a list of stuff to get through. At some point, you notice you've gone off track and spent the morning busy doing 'stuff' but the real stuff (the stuff you really wanted to get done) remains largely untouched. 

And now frustration kicks in because that means you'll have to make up the time later when you'd much rather be sitting in the garden with a glass of something nice, or watching Netflix, or actually, just getting to bed on time! 

So, what to do about it? Well if you typed into Google (and I don't recommend you do) "how to stop procrastinating" you'd find that there are 5.7 million results that come up, with a range of (well-meaning) strategies - that if you tried them all you really wouldn't get anything done!

But rather than tools, techniques, and strategies which ultimately add more to your to-do list, let's go a little further upstream...

Procrastination happens because of a misunderstanding. 

When we mistake distracting thoughts as a call to action, that's when we deviate from what it is we really mean to do that day. 

The truth is thoughts are just...thoughts. Puffs of energy. Passing through. There's no rule that says we have to act on our thoughts. Sure, it seems real and very compelling in the moment, but it's nothing more than a clever illusion. 

And actually, you already experience thousands of thoughts a day that you don't act on, and the thoughts that you do act on, are no more special or important than those that you don't. Why? Because all thoughts are created equally. Really, all thoughts are created equally.

The good news is, if you are experiencing distracting thoughts, that's OK because a new thought will be along in a moment - literally just a moment. That's the nature of thought. Thoughts are temporary and fleeting and pass through quite effortlessly without you having to do anything. All thoughts fade. It's how the human operating system works. Every thought you've ever had faded away, without you having to do anything. 

Now, it's only when we pay attention to, or act on those thoughts, again and again - that's when it can become a bit of a thought habit - that's when the lower brain (our reptilian brain) catches on that it might be significant so develops a radar for those types of thoughts. 

But even then, and here's the funny thing about our reptilian brain (and I heard this from a video I watched by Dr. Amy Johnson), the reptilian brain is very skilled at producing urges, but it is not capable of acting on them. This part of the brain has no functionality for decision making or muscle movement. So it might bombard you with compelling thoughts to order something online that you don't need, or grab another coffee beyond your daily quota, but it has no functionality whatsoever to make the muscles in your body move to take the action!

Only *you* can do that.

I don't know about you, but I find it both wonderful and amusing to know that. 

It's a bit like having a rebellious back seat driver trying to make you jump a red light, yet they have no access to the accelerator or the steering wheel. Good luck with that, we say! 

So when you're trying to focus (and by the way, you don't need to feel motivated to get started, that's another misunderstanding too), you can relax knowing that distracting thoughts are not a call to action, just thoughts passing through. The less attention you give them, the quicker they'll move into the camp of all the multiple thousands of thoughts that pass through daily and don't get any airtime at all!   

(Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash)

Looking for support on your self-employment journey? Here are 3 ways I can help you...

1. Tell me your niggles and I'll turn it into a podcast. 

What's niggling in your business (or life) right now? What's taking up headspace or where have you got 'sticky' thinking? Imagine you're typing a question into Google because you've had enough and you want some answers or new insights. But instead of having to wade through a load of results that may or may not help, tell it to me instead and I'll put together a podcast episode, that hopefully speaks to your issue and stimulates some fresh new thinking for you.

Email me your niggles to sarah@happyhealthyentrepreneur.com and I'll get creating! Please let me know if you're happy for me to publish your name and biz, or keep it all anonymous. 

2. Feel like giving up on your business? Please don't do that just yet. 

Instead, I'd like to invite you to take my home-study online course Reignite Your Entrepreneur Resilience and see what that can do for you first. The urge to pack it all in can feel really strong at times, and you'd be really normal for experiencing it, but this course will help you to understand the true source of your resilience, strength, and confidence to keep going in the face of adversity and challenge. Give it a go, it's £75, and you get lifetime access to all the materials. 

3. Private 1:1 coaching

You know those rare days where everything seems to flow quite effortlessly? Your head feels clear, and you notice a real sense of confidence when communicating with clients. You feel productive and focused and you find yourself getting stuff done more quickly? Yes, those rare and beautiful days! 

Well, what would it be like for you to have more of those days in your business? Imagine the impact not just on your income but also your enjoyment of being in business too. 

If you're ready for a fresh new way of looking at your business and your life, then let's arrange a call and discuss how we could work together sarah@happyhealthyentrepreneur.com


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