We all know our best work is done in a flow state. For some, like writer Tim Drenning, It can be a slow process getting into flow.
Probably that reluctance to start is quite common. I find it myself sometimes, though I’ve gotten better at starting.
How about you? If you catch yourself “fiddling” with everything but your work when you have something important to do, you may find Tim’s solution helpful.
Procrastination is one of the biggest thieves of time known to people who usually work without direct supervision.
Start with Something You’re Not Proud of!
Tim found that, if he lowered his expectations, his resistance to start disappeared. He was struggling to start meeting a high standard rather than to start work.
By lowering his expectations, he found it easy to start. Once he’d completed the initial low-expectation work, he had attained the flow state and could move on to work he’d be proud to sign.
More Ways to Beat Procrastination
Some people may find that, whatever help they found in the lower expectation suggestion, they’re still unhappy with their “starting gait”. If that’s you, try these:
- Schedule an enjoyable event at a time when you’d like to have your work completed. If you know there’s a social event or a sports activity at a specific time, you’ll be motivated to stay with your work, so it’s done in time for the event.
- Promise yourself a treat when you’ve completed the job. A cookie, a cup of coffee, or other snack is a great reward to motivate you to reach the point where you’ve earned the reward. You can do this with stages for a longer project. When you’ve written a certain number of paragraphs, a small reward helps you celebrate your progress.
- When you put out energy, it comes back to you. Think of your flow state as energy you put out to the world. You get it back when someone offers an enthusiastic comment about what you’ve written or offered.
- Watch people who are in flow state. Musicians, sports figures, and other performers can set a great example, and it’s easy to see their fans give that energy back to them very quickly.
If you’re among the procrastinators of the world, take heart! As with anything you do, the first step in overcoming this obstacle is to recognize the issue. The next step is to seek help rather than just try to beat your way through it. I hope you find the help you need in Ted’s article.