There’s a time for navel-gazing, and thinking, and learning, and processing, and all of that good stuff that I firmly believe in and practice. There’s also a time to just take action, do the thing, send the email, make the ask, and move yourself forward.
We all have those things that stay on a to-do list for far too long. Maybe your things are tasks you hate to do or maybe it’s more complicated and there’s some fear at play, under a surface of procrastination.
Whatever it is that you’re avoiding, it’s important to know when to explore the reasons for avoidance, and it’s important to know when you just need to act.
Here’s the way I figure that out:
Let’s say you’ve got a big project going on at work or in your business. You’re making steady progress and things are moving along, but the same few items have been on your to-do list for a number of weeks. Maybe you even notice a pattern, and the same kinds of things always linger a bit too long on your to-do list. This is a great time to act. Clearly there’s some discomfort involved, but you’re already in the middle of something and you’re well aware that leaving these items is part of a pattern of behavior. Set yourself up for some accountability or block some time and get those things done!
Now, when there are habits you want to create, or practices you want to implement that you know are needed and good for you, but you continue to resist and not make them happen, that’s the time to dig in. Let’s say you’re trying to get back into a creative writing practice. On an intellectual level you probably know that writing is good for you, and it makes you happy, and helps all of the other areas of life feel better…but when it comes to sitting down with the blank page you just can’t make yourself do it. There’s avoidance, and then judgment of yourself for avoiding the thing you know you “should” do. This is the time to investigate. There’s something underneath of the procrastination and resistance that’s keeping you stuck. Find a trusted confidant, therapist or coach and start looking into the things under the surface.
If you’ve been stuck on something for quite some time and can’t figure out why, maybe it’s time to just act.