that it doesn’t matter how much I have ‘going on’ in my life – I still put off, procrastinate, and avoid doing things I love.
But it’s exciting, because lately, I’ve seen my putting-off abilities really improve.
They’re not where they need to be, but they’re reaching new heights.
That seems crazy, doesn’t it?
At this point in my life, I should be much better at delaying on doing what I really enjoy! You Only Lollygag Once!
I’m not even talking about things “we should do” or those “we need to do.” I’m talking about being skilled at putting off good things, like hobbies, health, balance, and enjoyment. It takes time, practice, and know-how to do this well.
So without further delay, here are 5 fantastically proven ways I’ve learned to put things off.
1. Telling myself I can’t possibly do X until I have Z.
In other words, I determine I’ll do something upon the completion or receipt something of else, especially when the two are wholly unrelated.
For example, I concluded it best to apply for Spanish school only once we had a confirmed place to live. Deciding that a lease needed to be signed first was a perfect delay tactic for facing my fear of learning a new language.
This approach corresponds with such genius thoughts as, “I’ll write more diligently once I’ve started Spanish class.”
Tara Mohr clarifies this super-effective technique in her book Playing Big, “”This before that” are the false beliefs we hold about the order in which things need to happen. We come up with tons of these stories. The problem is, they are usually false.”
2. Refusing to jump in the water.
For those who swam with me, you may know how much I despise jumping into a cold pool. Those same people also know that once I’m in, I can’t get enough. I love swimming, and wonder each time why I didn’t jump in sooner.
One particularly effective method to put something off is to never start it – to never jump in the water, put pen to paper, or sign-up for the class.
Any project, like doing laundry or planning a fun weekend getaway, coasts downhill like a pinewood derby car – but only once it’s rolling.
With this special tool in my toolbox, I can delay doing productive and exciting things by sitting at the edge of the pool endlessly adjusting my goggles.
3. Hopping down the social media and internet bunny-hole for immeasurable amounts of time.
As we all know by now, this is a solid, proven method to completing not a single bit of poo and feeling extraordinarily un-refreshed afterward.
I have become skilled at this which makes it difficult to become unskilled at this.
4. Reading really good books.
Getting hooked on enjoyable, humorous, and insightful books is a perfect approach to not getting other stuff done.
But reading and learning is fantastic – and might be better than a whole lot of other things.
Ok, so scratch #4. I have spent too much of my life not reading.
4. Not forming the good stuff into a good habit.
To build something or make it a priority – like taking a morning walk or making pizzas on Thursdays – the thing has to become embedded in your routine.
It takes consciously choosing something over and over.
I’m convinced of this and also quite skilled at this after maintaining just about zero routine for 6 months in Asia. I’d like to say I worked out a lot or wrote everyday in a journal. But I didn’t.
It’s pretty much impossible to sustain anything without cementing it into a good habit.
Now, to credit myself, I’ve established one really good habit – nibbling on chocolate every day, at least once a day.
5. Not figuring out what I want to do.
The “what I want to do” here doesn’t refer to what I want to do with my life, what’s my calling, etc. It’s about what I want to do – in general, this week, and for free time.
I’ve noticed a sure way to delay or spend my time on stuff I don’t enjoy, is to not write it down and make a plan. Rather than asking, “What do I want to accomplish? And what do I want to do for fun?” I can just as easily not do that, and perform numbers 2 and 3 on repeat.
Have any secrets on how I can put off good and fun things?
Share them in the comments below!