In my first article about procrastination I talked about procrastination caused by disorganization.
A second cause T. Quek mentions is FEAR.
Someone once told me that it is nothing but False Evidence Appearing Real.
So, procrastination inducing fear comes in two different flavours:
“I know I should finish my article on procrastination, but why can’t I seem to do it?”
“I planned to finish my article, but when time came, I didn’t feel like it anymore.”
The antidote to fear is faith, trust and some inspiration. So here goes.
- Last year in Capetown I came across a simply beautiful collection of poetry by the South African poet Helen Steiner Rice, called: A collection of Joy. Here’s a quote from her poem Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.
Yesterday’s dead, tomorrow’s unborn,
So there’s nothing to fear and nothing to mourn,
For all that is past and all that has been
Can never return to be lived once again…
And what lies ahead or the things that will be
Are still in God’s hands, so it is not up to me (…)
- What Would a Monk Do?
Being a monk is all about living in the present moment. Fear is either living in the future: “I will not be able to finish this task! It’s too big, too hard or fill in the dots…” or in the past: “I could not successfully manage this task in the past, so I will never be able to!”*
A Benedictine monk goes about his task quietly, steadily and mindfully. Not looking back, except at designated times. In the evening he takes time out for a brief examination of conscience. The reassuring rhythm of his life may seem boring to some but appealing to fear-driven creatures like me.
Moreover, he gives all his worries to God in prayer daily.
Freedom for me is surrendering my fears to God on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis and living in a flexible structure, enabling me to change plans at any given moment, with the inner guidance of God.
Everybody has fears and that’s ok. If I befriend my fears, bring them to tea, chat with them and surrender them, then that’s great. If I don’t succeed in doing that, I just dust myself off and try again. There’s always a new moment.
What’s my solution?
- Making bite-size chunks of tasks and putting them daily from my general (big-ass) todo list onto a handwritten (this is essential for me) daily todolist (a detailed account about my current system, which is: GTD combined with ZTD, in one of my following articles).
- Surrendering fear by being Aware, Accepting it and taking Action, in the form of little action steps. That’s how I befriend my fears.
- If my worry or fear is too big I write it on a note and put that in my crafted God-box. You can find awesome step by step creative inspiration to make your own here.
What actions do you take to get out of fear-based procrastination? Love to hear your stories!
Next time we’ll talk about a third and my ‘favorite’ source of procrastination: perfectionism based! So stay tuned!
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* T. Quek