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Play against procrastination

Have an upcoming task you don’t like? Try to see if you can make it more fun. By being playful around it for example. A classic form of this is a tidying up contest between kids. Most children don’t like tidying up. But turning it into a contest often works wonders, even when it’s the same task.

Adults don’t respond as well to contest, especially not perfectionists. They are in an eternal contest with themselves, a contest they can’t really win. Which, of course, takes the fun out of it. The self criticism that is involved, makes it even worse.

So how to bring more fun in serious tasks, boring tasks, task that tend to invite self criticism…? For me, making things more playful works. As a child, I wore my mothers high heels when I had to hoover. It really made vacuum cleaning more fun. Walking on high heels that were way too big for me made the task a challenge, instead of 100% boring. And of course, I felt a bit of glamour being in my mums most special shoes…

As an adult, one thing I still fall for is to make things more colourful and spontaneous. My to do lists are less irksome when I write them as mind maps, or with coloured pens, or differently coloured post it notes – or turn them into a raffle. My marketing gets more fun when I can create something. A picture (my recent vouchers). A blog post. Getting to know a Facebook feature I don’t understand yet.

I have some boring tasks waiting for me today. Will I make all of them more fun? No, not when I get them done without the extra effort. But if I find myself procrastinating on:
– making a doctor’s appointment
– arranging new health insurance
– renewing my driver’s license
I’ll try to find a way to make them more fun. If that doesn’t work, I know I’ve written this post so I’ll feel accountability

My playful act for today was to create a Facebook offer (a feature I don’t understand yet). In January you can get 50% discount on personal support when working on my course, From do it Later to do it Now in 10 days. For 5 euro a day you’ll get personal support to make sure you get the daily tasks done, and extra tips when you send in your worksheets. E-mail me if you’d like this offer but you don’t use Facebook.

Me and my book :)

When I was younger, I wanted to write books. When I got older, I gave up on that idea. Too difficult. Too much work. So many books out there already, what could mine add to the world?

Then I created a course on procrastination. I made a course book for it. A practical document that could also be used as a self paced course. A realistic book that wanted to help in getting things done, but – even more than that – to create lasting change.

When my fabulous designer Lisa suggested I could turn the digital book into a real book, I thought that would be Difficult. A Lot Of Work. Lisa simply asked my permission and did it for me. And now it’s on sale on Amazon!

Pro-tip: don’t believe everything you think 🙂

A post to share my happy face! To celebrate. To share the joy. And to let my inner child know she was right about dreaming! It is a wonderful feeling to hold my own book.  I’m so thrilled to have my very own ISBN-number that I consider learning it by heart just for the fun of it.

MeAndMyBook

Playful unprocrastinating

I was getting way too serious about my idea to create clutter free x-mas presents, in the form of coaching vouchers. I was looking for the perfect word. The best description. Nothing happened.

Tonight I decided to play. Now I have ten possible vouchers you can buy for a loved one.

What they receive is quality time with someone (surprise… It’s me!) who knows how to listen, ask questions, deepen a conversation, create fun, help people come up with ideas and other useful things like that.

What you would pay, is up to your budget. Meaning we can work something out that feels okay for the both of us, no matter your budget.

My goals are:

  • Useful, clutter free x-mas presents
  • Promoting coaching, because it’s great.
  • Raising money for my tuition this year

 

And here’s the second batch. As you can tell by the names, sessions can be about anything. In English or in Dutch. Uplifting or freeing buried emotions.

New clients as a birthday present

How would that work? I don’t know. But since marketing is my favourite thing to procrastinate on, and celebrating my birthday is something I love to do, this is it. I’m asking for new clients for my birthday. To work on procrastination, or to work on anything else. Because it’s wonderful to not have to do everything on your own, and it’s wonderful to get past blocks and disliking yourself and other things that are bothering us, haunting us – or calling from within.

I say ‘us’, because I’m human 🙂 And because I work with a wonderful coach who helps me work on those things I can’t work on alone. Because they feel to scary, too difficult, too whatever. I stopped doing alone what I can’t, and it’s one of the reasons why I feel happy today, on this birthday. It’s been a while since I felt that, so I’m really, really, really grateful.

I’m copying a text from Facebook, since the link refuses to show:

No work shall be done today. It’s my birthday, and I’m spending time enjoying the day, being grateful, and sharing love with an incredible lot of nice people, many of whom I’ve met through Facebook or through http://psentraining.com/

If there’s anything I wish for all of you today, it’s to not procrastinate on taking good care of yourself, whatever that might mean. Maybe it’s saying no to someone or something. Maybe it’s saying yes to some one one or some thing.

Maybe it’s saying yes to receiving love, to being supported, to take a chance you wouldn’t normally take.

Word.

Thanks for reading! Angela

Procrastination

For me, National Poetry Writing Month makes it difficult to stay productive sometimes. The lure of reading poems, having lovely conversations with their writers, or creating something inspired by a prompt, is so… tempting! I rarely write poems about procrastination, but luckily other people do. Here’s one I enjoyed reading, and that taught me a new word (rictameter).

GibberJabber

NaPoWriMo #12
Poetry form: Rictameter

Today
I plan to be
properly productive –
not let time get away from me.
But it’s half past eight. I’ll begin at nine.
Now it’s nine-twelve. I’ll start at ten…
…And that’s how, somehow, I
got nothing done
today.


Image Credit: Procrastination by Cherry Boniu

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I probably shouldn’t admit it, but sometimes procrastinating can get really productive… Here’s what I’ve been doing instead of working on my administration: combining paintings and drawings I’ve made with poems I’ve made.

The digital work is a chore I don’t like, and I had no ambition to create these things. I tend to prefer making new things over doing something with existing stuff. But, well, hey, I wanted to postpone something else, and this (to my own surprise) was the enabling activity of my choice.

So, now I’ve made a lot of things I’m kind of satisfied with. And I’ve worked on my administration in small bits.DeathByPoetryYoudontevenknowmynamePleaseBeCareful

via New skill!

The world did not end*

* spoiler alert. It didn’t. It even got better…

I realised I made a mistake. This is what happened afterwards – the short version:

  • That’s stupid, You’re stupid! (inner critic, yelling and pointing a finger at me)
  • Get me out of here, I can’t bear it! (inner child, screaming, running in all directions trying to escape, wanting to put her fingers in her ears)
  • I realise there’s an inner drama going on (inner adult)

First response: fight that critic! (inner critic criticising inner critic).

Second response: do something nice to relax! (inner child asking for fun escape)

In the meanwhile, I was procrastinating on Facebook… Then I realised it might have something to do with the inner drama…

Me calling my inner adult.
First response: silence…
Second response: maybe…

Me calling out my inner adult from behind my frightened child: I know you are here, let’s do this together. I’ll ask you questions, you can answer.
First response: okay… (inner adult)
Second response: hey, I’m already here! (inner adult)

Me: What can you say to a stressed out parent type?
Inner adult: Thanks for the warning, I’ll take it from here. I know how to handle this.

Me: What can you say to a frightened child?
Inner adult: It know it looks unbearable, but I don’t thinks it’s that bad. Shall we go and have a look together?

Me to my inner adult: Thanks!

I’ve learned this weekend that the most natural response for human beings is to reach out and search for help. If that help doesn’t appear, then comes fight or flight mode. When that doesn’t work, then follows freeze (going numb). Over time, you adapt. If the option ‘help’ gets disappointed too often, you skip it and sooner choose for fight or fight. If that mode fails you too often in creating what you want, then freeze becomes the preferred mechanism of your brain.

If I apply that knowledge to what just happened, I learn some things:
1) Hanging around of Facebook for too long can be a sign of wanting help, or a sign of being in flight mode. It’s nice when I learn to recognise which one it it, so I can work with it. If I long for help, I can decide to ask for it.

I’ve done that one time when I was feeling really, really, really low. I asked my Facebook friends to say something nice about me because I felt crap, and I got the most heart warming responses. And I could tell they meant them, which helped me open up to the feeling that I might be more okay than what my brain was telling me.

2) If I’m in flight mode, I can give in to it – or try to find a way to make it safe to check what’s going on inside me.

In this post, looking at it through the structures of inner critic and inner child, helped me to find the safety to look from a distance and try to understand which thoughts were going on. So I could take it from there.

Now I get it, and no I want to go back to work! The mistake that triggered all this, was calling someone 15 minutes late. I’m glad that I noticed that the stress it caused me was out of proportion, and that I concluded that something was going on. Thanks to my learnings this weekend, I realised I could choose to look at both my inner critic and my inner child from the perspective of compassion. Then I could stop fighting them, and had space for my inner adult to enter the stage.

I used to thing that fighting my inner critic was the adult thing to do. I used to think that being self critical was helpful to force me to get things done. This post helped me realise that my inner adult does not fight, criticise or hide. When it’s there, it listens to the ruckus going on, and responds. And helps to make choices.

I know I should work on the lay-out of this post, but I REALLY want to get my work done. And then I REALLY want to go outside. Priorities! Many thanks if you managed to read the text anyway. The brilliant place/space where I’ve been learning the new things is: http://psentraining.com/