“To succeed, we must first believe that we can.” – Michael Korda
One of the greatest hindrances to success is our own minds.
People talk about procrastination, but as Hillary Rettig, procrastination expert, points out, the main reason people procrastinate is because they believe there is no point- that whatever the thing is will fail. I’ve seen some other reasons as well- fear being a big one (many of my clients procrastinate on getting mammograms and doing their taxes), but fear of failure is certainly another kind of fear. However, it’s too simple to boil down our complex avoidance to fear or pointlessness. There can be many many reasons, including our physical health, but we’ll discuss that in another newsletter.
How Avoidance Affects Productivity
When we avoid something, we know it’s there, and it plagues us. How much it plagues us varies person to person, and some people are definitely “better” at avoiding than others. In order for us to focus fully and engage with energy, we want all hands on deck- we want our conscious, our subconscious, and our bodies functioning optimally. When we experience one or many “thorns” of avoidance nagging at us, it is hard for us to focus and be fully present. It interferes with our sharp decision making abilities (taking place in our prefrontal cortex) because our mind is trying to hold onto too many things simultaneously and makes us stressed.
The Zeigarnik Effect
All the way back in 1927, the Soviet psychologist and psychiatrist Bluma Wulfovna Zeigarnik discovered the Zeigarnik Effect- that people hold onto unfinished tasks in their minds more clearly and for longer than finished ones. Not only that, she found that each unfinished task was accompanied by tension, but when the tasks were complete people could barely remember the details. Go Bluma!
In Nourish Your Babies: How to unravel your tasks and DO them we talked about the Joumor tool to Matryoshka tasks you’ve been avoiding. What’s really neat is that in many cases, there’s no fear, no self-doubt and no overwhelm- when you matryoshka the task, your first step can be as simple as making the time to find a phone number.
Believe in yourself? Just take action instead
It can be hard to believe in yourself when you don’t, especially when you’re tired or depressed. But the great thing about Joumor is that taking action will naturally boost your self-esteem! You’ll feel accomplished, less stressed, and have more space in your mind and on your desk.
Want to relax and clear your mind? Want more energy? Forget vacation. Forget confidence-building classes. Take care of 1-10 things you’ve been avoiding. Your return on investment will be off the charts.
Want to share your accomplishments that you’re proud of? Head over to the blog and post them in the comments!