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In Quentin Tarantino’s cult film Kill Bill, there’s a scene where the heroine played by Uma Therman finds herself physically paralyzed in the back of a car. After making a heroic break for freedom, she is now completely unable to move. No force of will can make her even lift herself off the car seat on which she is slumped. You can only imagine her panic. Eventually, she calms herself down enough to focus her attention solely on the big toe on her right foot, which, through gritted teeth, she commands to “wiggle!”. Carefully, after hours of painstaking effort, she is able to prize herself free. Released from her prison, she throws herself into her mission with all guns blazing.
Procrastination can feel a lot like that. With a mammoth task ahead, you may feel completely paralyzed. To help you break out of the cycle, have a look at our procrastination punch points! Use however many or few suit your particular jam:
Mind map your way to creative genius
Stuck for ideas? Don’t stress. There’s an easy hack to tap into your inner genius: mind-mapping (or spider-diagramming, as you may know it)! The loose, circular structure will help prompt fluid thinking and creativity. You don’t have to use every single idea you come up with. But we’ll bet on the fact that once you’ve got going, you’ll soon find yourself in innovator mode. So, crack on and let the ideas flow!
Break it down!
Got lots of ideas? Channel them into some hard and fast action points! Break them down into small, manageable chunks. All of a sudden, they won’t feel quite so overwhelming. If you’re still not sure where to start, you could try adding a star next to the most important actions necessary. What needs to come first? What can wait? Ticking them off one by one will pump your motivation levels, we guarantee!
Remember that done is better than perfect!
Do you suffer from analysis paralysis? Although perfectionism can be useful when you’re polishing off your finished project, when you’re trying to get started, it may need to take a back seat. When you’re getting into the groove, your inner critic or worry-wort may still be trying to slow things down. But ultimately, you can’t improve a body of work that you haven’t actually produced yet. So give yourself permission to make mistakes along the way.
Make it bite-size
Does the thought of the effort involved make you want to crawl back into bed? That is only natural. So, trick your brain. Instead of focusing on the end goal, break it down into smaller chunks. This is how great writer Anthony Trollope managed to publish 47 novels, 18 works of non-fiction, 12 short stories, 2 plays, and an assortment of articles and letters in his time. He just set himself the goal of writing 250 words every 15 minutes, according to self-improvement expert James Clear. The trick is, once you’ve got into the flow, you’ll only want to keep going. Result!
Once you’ve reached the finish line, give yourself a treat. There’s nothing like a job well done! Reflect on your success and channel this memory next time you’re procrastinating. When all is said and done, there are a million and one reasons we may not feel up to the task at hand. But, by banishing your inner critic and giving yourself permission to go full speed, you can prove it wrong.
From overwhelm to nerves to sheer confusion, the number of reasons we procrastinate are almost as numerous as the amount of times we decide to tidy up, before beginning a project! Whether the task ahead feels boring, overwhelming, frightening, impossible or just plain weird, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. The good news is that, like Uma Therman’s character, we too can prize ourselves free and get going on our mission, one wiggle at a time.
If you’re thinking of looking for a new job, check out our handy resignation letter tips, to keep your bridges burn-free…