Something that needs to be talked about is that inner voice in your head that either encourages you to go do something else – thus procrastinating, or the other one… the critical one… the one that tells us how much you suck because you didn’t get the things done you set out to do.
Why is it important to listen to those voices?
Because they have an impact on your life both on a conscious and a subconscious level. Let’s start with that negative voice because I think in the long run it’s the most destructive of the two. In one of my productivity blog posts to help you beat procrastination, I shared about the importance of forgiving yourself. To recap, it does you no good to beat yourself up over past procrastination and that you should expect to “fail” by procrastinating again here and there. Nobody is perfect. We all have good days and bad days. The important part is to show up and try your best.
That negative inner voice in your head doesn’t help you do that. Become aware of it and when you hear it, defuse it. You can do this by responding to it out loud or in writing (via a journal). Or go up and do something else. Do whatever it takes to silence that voice. A great option is to prove it wrong by doing something productive. Over time that voice will speak up less and less unless you indulge it by paying attention to it and letting it ruin your day.
Next, it’s time to tackle the inner voice in your head that tells you it’s much more fun to do just about anything other than what you should be doing. We all have that voice. It’s why we come up with terms like procrasti-cleaning and procrasti-crafting. We can get pretty innovative when it comes to doing anything but the thing we don’t want to work on and that little voice is feeding us suggestions and cheering us on.
The best way to diffuse this particular voice into something more productive is with “yes, and” statements. “Yes, playing video games sounds like a lot of fun and I’m going to play for an hour or so after I get this task done.” Use the suggestions this voice gives you as bribes if they sound like something fun. Ignore them otherwise, or put them off until tomorrow.