Are you happy with your career?
You can’t rely on anyone else to make you happy.
The question is, “Why don’t the unhappy people find more satisfying work?”
I believe it’s fear.
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I’ve figured out how to reduce my procrastination problem by 90%. I don’t want to give up that last 10% because I love day dreaming, doodling, and contemplating too much.
As I’m working, I have a “1 next thing” list. The task I’m working on and the thing that I will do next.
- Write “The Ultimate Procrastination Remedy” blog post.
What usually happens is I hit a small wall and my focus wants to shift to something easier. I’ll write this idea down (write an email response to Leo of Zen Habits), so I don’t forget it and I can get back to working on my present project.
(If you have trouble viewing this video click here and watch it at Work Happy Now)
Stress can be a great teacher if we are willing to listen. I’m not always in the mood for listening, especially to my big bully “stress,” but lately I’ve been having civil conversations with these feelings and we’ve learned to become friends.
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I’ve been working on my procrastination habits. Havi of the Fluent Self has a great procrastination program that many of you should consider buying if you have trouble with getting stuff done. Here is my review of her program.
Havi’s programs gave me the idea to design a little ritual to put myself in the right frame of mind before I continue working on a project. My problem was not being able to start. My problem has always been finishing. My procrastination kicks in when I’m in the final stages of the project. I begin second guessing myself and its direction.
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I’ve been blessed to do an interview with Havi of Fluent Self and her sidekick (Selma, her duck). Don’t tell Selma that I called her a sidekick.
Havi is an expert in patterns, procrastination, and calming techniques – all qualities that many of us are looking to improve. Selma is an expert in floating in the tub. Both of them make a great team. Let’s welcome Havi and Selma.
Thanks for joining me in this interview. Let’s get right into it.
Work Happy Now: After reading Procrastination Dissolve-o-matic (Havi’s procrastination program for people who want to work on their internal blockage so they can get their projects done) I learned some fantastic techniques, but I’m curious – can you describe the technique that works best for you when you are putting something off?
Havi: Lately I’ve mostly been using the focusing yoga mudra that I teach in the book to turn my attention inward, and then I actively let myself NOT WANT to do the thing I think I have to be doing.
Once I’ve softened some of that internal resistance, I check in and find out if there’s something I can do differently. I also give myself five minutes to NOT do the thing and to not want to do it at all.
WHN: The perfectionism syndrome that you described in your book really resonated with me. I too want my projects to be perfect and it keeps me from actually doing the work. How did you overcome this?
Havi: Oh boy. Lots of practice. Lots of reminding myself that everything you do is in flux. Things can always be improved upon, so it’s a matter of finding out: when are you going to just let things be the way they are right now?
Also, one of the things I’ve learned from teaching is that I actually teach much better when it’s spontaneous than when I’m fabulously over-prepared. So that’s helped me get better at releasing the need for ridiculously intense hard-core preparation
WHN: The idea of actually enjoying the work is a difficult concept. Many of us were raised to push ourselves to get the work done, not actually enjoy it. It’s the “work for the weekend” attitude. How do we overcome such deeply ingrained resistance?
Havi: Well, you want to make sure you’re also not guilting yourself here with the whole “how come I can’t enjoy it” thing … it’s important to figure out which parts or aspect of the work trigger your resistance so you can shift your focus.
The work is really just a reflection of your own relationship with yourself … and as you work on that relationship, it gets easier to be a bit more playful with the work. But the truth is that sometimes work does suck. It’s not always going to be fun. The question is, how can you meet yourself where you are when you’re not getting what you need from the work, and give yourself comfort and caring and better options.
WHN: Learning to be a detective with your patterns is a fantastic idea. I think it will help me avoid getting too caught up in my emotions. Can you explain why it’s helpful to become a detective with your patterns?
Havi: If you’re “fighting” your patterns, you get too involved in mastering them and kicking them. But when you’re noticing them, studying and learning from them, picking up clues like a detective — you have some emotional distance from your pain.
This (paradoxically) allows you to get closer to what’s really going on with your patterns — so you can start giving yourself what you need.
WHN: Many of us are hard on ourselves. I’m my own worst critic. I’m learning to become more of a inspiring coach to myself, but it’s tough. How does someone cultivate as you put it “the lover” within themselves?
Havi: Well, as I think the point I tried to get across in the book is that this is really the advanced practice. You don’t start there. No one does.
Instead you start with noticing where you’re hard on yourself and asking yourself whether it’s possible to maybe eventually be able to stand being around yourself some day, despite the fact that you think you’re a mess and it’s all so miserable. That is absolutely step one.
I don’t think we need to rush into pushing towards inspiration, since that often just triggers more resistance. I think it’s all about figuring out where you are and then meeting yourself there.
WHN: I thought your blog post about Planting Clues was a great tool to stay on top of our stuff. You talk about this in your book. How does someone plant clues that will encourage them to do their project or task?
Havi: I have one client who has been putting off working on her new website. She decided that she needed reminders of how meaningful her actual work is for her and how much it grounds her. So we had her take a pebble from her garden and keep it in her pocket. It’s her “meaning and grounding” pebble. It may be a bit cheesy, but it totally makes her feel better. It’s a steady reminder of why she’s doing this work to put what she does out there into the world.
WHN: I grew up looking at a mountain and only seeing more mountains. It creates resistance due to futility. When you are consulting with a person with this attitude, what do you recommend that they do to reduce their avoidance and get their stuff done?
Havi: Yeah, that’s really hard and frustrating. Sometimes it seems like there’s nothing but more horrible ahead, so you just do what you can to meet yourself where you are with that.
Notice the avoidance. Notice what triggers resistance. Allow yourself to NOT WANT to do the thing, whatever it is. You’re entitled to not want to do it. Allowing yourself to feel like it’s all a big waste of time is part of the process of getting back to the point where you can get excited about where you’re going.
That’s what’s going to help you find some of the playfulness and … who knows, maybe even a little adventure.
Thank to Havi for such a great interview. I know that this will help many of my readers overcome their procrastination. If my readers want to take their career to the next level I recommend Havi and Selma’s program. It’s worth every penny. Havi also does consultations if anyone ever needs to work through any roadblocks to optimal potential.
Click here to check out my review or Procrastination Dissolve-o-matic.
Articles Related to Getting Stuff Done:
- Procrastination Dissolve-o-Matic Program Review
- How Transitions Can Dramatically Improve Your Productivity
- Failures You Should Either Release or Keep Pursuing
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Havi from the Fluent Self and her sidekick (Selma, her duck) have put together a fantastic “get your stuff done and stop beating yourself up about it when you don’t” program. I would give it four thumbs up if I had four thumbs. Four thumbs? I’ll just borrow yours. Believe me you’ll give this program two thumbs up.
The Procrastination Dissolve-o-Matic covers internal blocks and tried and true productivity techniques. As we all know the only way to get stuff done is to understand why we avoid it in the first place. We don’t avoid meeting our best friend at the local coffee shop. So why do we avoid that email or report?
We usually procrastinate the stuff that brings up uncomfortable feelings that we want to avoid. This program helps break these patterns down so we can change our habits.
Havi describes it as:
The three A’s that help us overcome our emotional baggage.
We beat ourselves up when we don’t get our stuff done. We look back on the day and wonder where the time went. We know where the time went. It was sucked up by email, the phone, and meetings. It’s important to acknowledge these failures and stop trying to whip ourselves into shape.
If all we do is whip our asses into shape then we’ll just end up with sore asses.
We think that if we are hard on ourselves then eventually it will sink in and we’ll start knocking out the work. How naïve can we be? If our ass kicking hasn’t worked to this point then it probably won’t ever work.
We must feel these blockages, understand why the resistance is there, and figure out how to overcome them.
Gathering this self knowledge will lead you to make decisions that will help you use your patterns to overcome procrastination. Once you come to these informed decisions, all that’s left to do is act on them.
It Really is Up to You
It’s up to you to put yourself in a winning situation, that’s what the last half of the book is all about. This program gives you seven productivity techniques that will help you take action. My favorite was number #4 – Apply Pam’s Algorithm. Chopping down projects into smaller tasks and making them so digestible that it almost doesn’t seem like work. You can accomplish quick amounts of work and know exactly what to do next.
The program is a bit pricey at $108, but in my mind worth the effort, especially if you try these techniques and implement them. I’ve created a little preparation ritual to help me finish my ebook. It has done wonders for me. That’s all you can ask for in any knowledge based program – a few concrete ideas that you can apply to your life.
There is no magic fairy dust that will end your procrastination, although Havi does have a fairy dust method that has helped me calm my anxiety before I begin a project. I digress… It’s up to you to keep adding to your tool chest of good habits. Hopefully over time you stop beating yourself up about the stuff you don’t get done (You need some “me time” too) and appreciate all the hard work that you do for your family, your projects and your own happiness.
If you want a little sample of Havi’s program click this link here and you’ll get a little taste of her skills that will leave you wanting more.
When do you procrastinate? Why do you think you hold yourself back from just doing it?
Do you want more reviews like this? Then help me out and subscribe to my RSS feed and help me spread the Work Happy Now cause.
Check back on Sunday and I’ll have an Interview with Havi that will delight your senses. So much so that you’ll feel like floating away from your computer and doing some great work. You’ll laugh in the face of procrastination.
Related Articles that Will get Your Work Happiness Mojo Rising:
- How Transitions Can Dramatically Improve Your Productivity
- 5 Fun and Easy Tips to Let the “Real You” Shine Through at Work, Southwest Airlines Style
- 30 Seconds of Laughing and a Few Minutes of Learning