Overcoming Procrastination by taking Imperfect Action
I don’t know about you but often around this time of year I’ll start to reflect on how the year has been. What have I done? Achieved? How well have I done with making the changes I wanted to make, hitting various targets?? Well one of the intentions I had set for myself at the beginning of 2018 was creating a series of informative videos. I saw it as a way of sharing techniques, tips and helpful info. It could also be a free online resource I could direct people to as and when appropriate. This all sounds great, but to be honest the idea of being front and centre in videos presses LOTS of buttons for me.
Not being techy, it’s not something I’d naturally gravitate towards. I’m not big on having my photo taken or seeing myself in photos/videos. I’m also well aware that I set various expectations if I’m going to do that kind of thing. My hair would have to be perfect (this seriously reduces the windows of opportunity to make such videos). My skin would have to be perfect (the windows of opportunity are really shrinking now). I would have to be feeling it/in the right mood, I’d have to feel really confident that the info I’m sharing is of interest and helpful, there’s fear of judgement and it would obviously have to be cinematically fabulous!
Not an exhaustive list of reasons I’ve been putting this off but hence the procrastination. It was easy to put it off. There were so many other things that needed doing/my attention (that were far more comfortable to deal with). My hair wasn’t tidy enough… Until I find myself in November reviewing the year so far. Still no videos with the end of year looming.
And so I chose to take imperfect action
I made a video about procrastination and taking imperfect action to move through it. My hair wasn’t perfect. My skin wasn’t perfect, the lighting wasn’t perfect, neither was the editing or overall quality of any of it. I’m not looking ‘at the audience’ and there aren’t subtitles etc… But I made it and within a fairly short period of time I posted it on social media. Not with the intention that it got lots of views but just so that I had done it, instead of sitting on it. If you want you can view the video here
My next video will probably be equally imperfect, but if I keep going with them they will improve. They’ll become more comfortable to make and take less time. I know the reasons I used to procrastinate are not real reasons, they’re excuses. If my hairs messy, it’s not ideal. But as I’m not a hair care professional I think it’s probably okay, so long as the content is good.
So I would encourage you to have a think about what you’ve been putting off. What were or weren’t you going to do this year, that you’ve masterfully procrastinated about? Why was it important for you to make these changes? How was doing or not doing that thing going to help you? What imperfect action could you take to get going?
By taking some action you’ll learn, gain confidence and be making progress. If we wait until everything is perfect we’ll never get going and we’ll stay exactly where we are, or worse end up going backwards (particularly a risk with health related targets). Be okay with making small changes and taking pigeon steps. Get used to learning as you go. Make what’s important to you the priority, not what others may or may not think. Remind yourself of how you’ll feel if you don’t take some action and what the potential consequences would be.
The more self aware we become the more likely we are to notice our thoughts and behaviours. This in turn helps us deliberately make choices and take the actions we want to take. The more mindful we become the more we can see when our self talk is getting in the way and holding us back.
Sometimes we need some outside help to support us through resistances or blocks that may be stopping us moving forwards. We can’t always see the wood for the trees. This is something I help clients with a lot so do get in contact if you’re ready to make some changes but feel you need some help.