Do you ever have one of those days where you have a massive pile of really important documents you need to get through, but they are all super hard and super time consuming and so you avoid doing them as long as possible…until it finally gets to the point that you realize that you just can’t avoid them any longer because they simply have to get done…so you suck it up and get to work and start plowing through them…staying hyper focused as you knock them out, one by one…you are completely in the zone and you have to stay there because you know the moment you lose focus it will be dang near impossible to ever get back in the zone like this again because you now know exactly how miserable the zone is to be in, and if you leave it you know you will never want to return to it again, so there is no walking away from it now…so you force yourself to stay in the zone….there is no time to eat…there is no time to pee…you MUST stay in the zone….so you force yourself to stay there and to get through it until that ugly pile is done. Yeah, well today was one of those days for me.
It is hard to face doing things that need to be done, but you don’t want to do because you know they are not going to be fun to handle. It is so much easier to procrastinate and push them off as long as humanly possible until external factors force your hand. But when you finally dig in and plow through it there is such a sense of relief at having it finished! It is amazing the weight that comes off your shoulders when you know you actually got it done. And then you recognize just how heavy the stress of it sitting out there was weighing on you this whole time you avoided it and you wish you had just dug in and got it done from the start. So you think we would learn from that and stop procrastinating hard things the next time…
I spent time researching studies that showed ways to help us get in the zone and here were some interesting things I found.
- We are more productive when our workspace is warm.
- We are more productive when we have exposure to daylight.
- Classical music in the background can help you focus better and be more productive
- And the most effective tool I have learned to stay focused is this – Punish yourself until the task is done – for example, set the rule that you can’t look at any emails or answer any phone calls or texts until you finish the assignment that needs to get done. You will be amazed at how fast you work in order to have access to your communication devices again!
I don’t have the magic answer to this procrastination problem but I am really trying to force myself to do better at facing the “long and painful to do things” that need to get done sooner rather than later. Life is so much happier when you aren’t carrying the dread of “needing to do” around with you all day.
Here is to a productive day tomorrow and knocking out more of the unpleasant tasks that need to get done 🙂