All Posts

Procrastination – Transmuting Excuses Into Action!

Take a look at these ways to get things done when you are really not feeling it!

Procrastination – Transmuting Excuses Into Action!

You know when you really want to create something amazing?

You have all the ideas and you are ready to go but for some reason you’re just not feeling it? You want it! Everything is in place and ready to go!!

But there’s something stopping you.

Maybe you are just tired? Overwhelmed and fuzzy headed from the endless ideas racing around your head? Or it might be that you are feeling apprehensive about how and where to start?

Whatever the reason may be, this self sabotaging mind state must not be allowed to continue! Something has to be done! So I’ve written this article to help you figure out the cause of your procrastination and suggest ways that you can take back command of your mind!

You may find that you recognise or relate to some or all of the following thoughts:

  1. I’m so tired, maybe I’ll do it tomorrow/later? 
  2. I find it so hard to focus, I think I might actually have ADHD?
  3. I just can’t be bothered to do this right now
  4. I don’t know if what I create will be good enough, what if I suck?
  5. I’m not really sure where to start

Thoughts like these occur when you are not in the right state of mind and it’s all too easy to lay down your arms and surrender. I used to succumb to these kinds of thoughts all the time, ah who am I kidding, I still do, haha, although I am far more aware of what’s really going on and I now know how to conquer this conundrum.

Let’s take a look at these thought patterns and explore some effective methods of transmuting them into a more self serving and productive state via the powers of conscious awareness!

1.  I’m so tired, maybe i’ll do it tomorrow/later?

Exhaustion and tiredness might be the number one most justifiable excuse of all time.

We’ve all been there.

When you are in this state of mind it can make you feel quite desperate, like it’s just too hard and it can sometimes make you feel hopeless.

At this stage you have to stop.

You are not in a productive state of mind and attempting to force it will be very stressful and damaging and is very likely to fail.

Try standing up, walk away from the situation, take some deep breaths and ask yourself:

What are the logical reasons that I feel like this? And how can I get back into a positive energised, and focused state?

Too tired to think of questions? Fine! Here are five suggestions:

  1. Am I breathing deeply enough?
  2. Am I dehydrated?
  3. Have I slept enough?
  4. Am I hungry?
  5. Have I done enough exercise today?

These five questions sound simple and unrelated but it’s questions like these that should be the first port of call when you notice you are procrastinating due to tiredness or lack of energy.

Simple solutions include:

  • Take ten deep and slow breaths
  • Drink half a litre of water
  • Take a 20 minute nap (not too late in the day)
  • Eat some nutritious food
  • Get the blood pumping with some pushups or star jumps or a little jog, anything that moves the body and raises the heart rate.

Obviously if there are deeper reasons for your tiredness and fatigue then they will need to be addressed, but it’s worth exploring as it’s imperative to have enough energy throughout your day to achieve your goals and avoid procrastination!

2. I find it so hard to focus, I think I might actually have ADHD

Distractions! This must be one of the biggest reasons why things either take way too long to complete or never get done at all?

One thing to remember is that the human mind can only focus fully on one task at a time, true multitasking is a myth

It’s time to start respecting your attention. Sustained mindful focus is the key to being creative and productive. If you flit from every phone ding to pretty face then you cannot hope to enter the flow state, which is where you want to be.

To increase your chances, eliminate as many external distractions as possible; switch off notifications, work in a dedicated space where you won’t be interrupted and set up the space to your liking, easy!

The more tricky part is to quiet the internal distractions, not getting lost and distracted by your own thoughts. This requires more discipline and awareness. Try meditating every day and ensure you are feeling clear in the mind before you begin.

If you want effortless productivity and unlimited creativity then it is imperative that you get into the flow state. No mind, No Distractions.

3.  I just can’t be bothered to do this right now

This feeling is a real bummer.

I find that this one can be cured by self enquiry and refocusing your attention to the potential outcome of your actions.

Imagine how good it will be once it’s done, focus on the fruits of your labour. This can sometimes be enough to re-energise & motivate you. If you need something more then focus on the longer term results, think about how putting the effort in now will pay off down the line, think of all the benefits of realising your creation.

If you still feel unmotivated then try asking yourself the question

“Why am I doing this? Really?”

If you can’t find a reason to get excited then really, why are you doing this? Is this really what you want to do? Is accomplishing this goal going so important that it simply must be done? It might be time for some self enquiry to discover what you really want?

4. I don’t know if what I create will be good enough, what if I suck?

This one is a form of perfectionism which relates to fear of failure which I am all too familiar with.

Worrying too much about the outcome of your creative pursuits can scupper, stifle and paralyse your progress and thinking it won’t be good enough won’t make things better.

Obviously nobody wants to make mediocre creations, but it is important to remember that the path to mastery takes patience and continued efforts and you might just have to accept that some of your creations will be mediocre, I mean even the great masters create some very questionable pieces. It’s all part of the journey to greatness.

Refocus your attention to improving and remember that we learn from experience, you may have to produce a hundred or a thousand pieces crap before you create your master piece?Not everything you do has to be or will be a master piece. Be okay with “not-quite-perfect, but good enough”.

You will improve by creating, so create and share and learn through experience. 

Practice detachment.

5. I’m not really sure where to start

Problem: Lack of experience/confidence

Postponing action because of lack of knowledge or lack of confidence is an indicator that you may lack experience in the field you are exploring. 

Doing something you have never done before will be daunting at first and that lack of experience is sometimes enough to put people off from trying it out which is a shame because it’s through experience that we build confidence.

Think about it like an experiment…

Trial and error

Not knowing where to start is such an exciting position to find yourself in! You are a beginner! You can have so much fun experimenting and playing around and the best thing about it is you can do no wrong. Being a complete beginner gives you a unique advantage to try things with total freedom as no one blames a beginner for failing.

The aim of the game is to gain experience and see what works and what doesn’t. Keep it playful and fun, soon enough you will feel your confidence grow. No more excuses!

In conclusion

  • Remember why you are doing this
  • Focus on the outcome/end game
  • Calm your internal distractions – Meditate
  • Embrace experimentation and enjoy the learning experience
  • Be aware of your state of mind
  • Ask yourself the right questions

I hope this article has been of some value to you, if so feel free to leave a comment and subscribe to my newsletter!

Leave a Response