To walk or not to walk? That is the question.
I almost didn’t write this blog. I thought it might be confusing; that I’m contradicting the advice I shared in my last post. But I wrote it anyway, because I know it’s important.
Last time I said that if you’re feeling stuck, you should get up and walk away.
I stand by that advice, and know that it works. If you’re eager and motivated to get a particular thing done but you’re just not in the right headspace or your energy is off, walking away can help.
But it’s not ALWAYS the right thing to do.
If you’re putting something off, consciously or otherwise, walking away is NOT a good idea. If you’re procrastinating, feeling uncertain or uncomfortable about a task, chances are you’re already walking away from it, reaching for distractions or tasks that feel easier and more comfortable.
Instead of walking away, you need to STOP walking away. You need to just start the thing. See if you can (and you absolutely can) identify the very first, tiny step to get you going with the task you’re procrastinating over and then do it without delay. Make a decision to focus for just 10 minutes to start with. Don’t run from the discomfort. Simply begin.
If you’re now utterly confused about whether you should be walking away or not walking away, hopefully this will make things clearer:
Walking away might help if…
You’re motivated to do the thing you need to do
You really want to do it and have engaged with the process of getting it done
You’re feeling frustrated because you’re not getting anywhere despite your best efforts
The longer you sit there focusing on the thing you need to do, the more wound up you become.
If that sounds like you, get up, walk away, do something different for a bit and see if inspiration strikes when you give your brain some breathing space.
Walking away probably won’t help if…
You’ve been putting off the thing you need to do
You feel uncertain, unclear or anxious about the thing you need to do
You’re not really trying to engage with the process of getting it done
You’re turning to distractions to avoid doing the thing you need to do.
Instead of running away, sit with the discomfort and make a start. This blog post might be helpful!
So, have I confused you? Does it feel difficut to tell the difference between feeling stuck and needing inspiration and good old procrastination? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one in the comments below.
Becoming attuned to our own foibles and patterns is what makes the biggest difference when it comes to nailing our productivity. It might not always be black and white – which is what can make it feels so gash-darn difficult sometimes – but it really is worth the effort!