Our limbic brain is the seat of our emotions and usually will have the final say in a lot of things. We may know that there is a deadline looming or time is running out - but our limbic brain also remembers any previous pain of failing. It’s like there is a fulcrum that is constantly filtering and weighing both sides. This creates what we call “resistance.” And resistance can be very strong.
In order to overcome this resistance we need to work with our mind and body instead of using pure force. It benefits us to work with our emotions and limbic brain to help ourselves begin to move forward.
Here are 4 starting points that usually work if we can actually implement them.
1) Get accountable in community – increase self-scheduled “pain” if we don’t follow through. We need to increase the “pain” associated with not following through. Tell others about. Get accountable around it – the “pain” of having failing others can be a motivator against the perfectionism
2) Start with smaller, fixed amounts of time. Let’s use writing as an example. Just start with 15 minutes at a time. That’s it! Doing so reduces the “pain” of the process and we’ll feel more easily lead into to it. What we usually do is say we need 3 hours and it has to go SO well. That ain’t happening! You can also see how much pain is attached to that kind of expectation. Keep it small and get used to it – soon you will be able to do more.
3) Activate the Autopilot – choose process over product. Many procrastinators actually think too highly of themselves! That book or product has to be the “best thing ever” and that keeps them stuck. Don’t focus on the product! Just get moving on the “process” and then rinse and repeat.
4) Create a schedule in advance. Yes, I know this sounds basic…but we still don’t do it! Ultimately we need to give time to the things we value. Time will not appear for your project or goal unless you block it out in advance. When that time comes we treat it like an actual appointment - we don’t change it!