Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The #1 Procrastination Pitfall Revealed

     I finally organized all my stand-up bits on Evernote ... and added tags for easy searching!
     I researched several articles on play structures.
     I set up  notecards and markers for several writing projects I have percolating.
     I'm finally getting this procrastination thing under control.  Getting stuff done!  .... Or so I thought, until an article by blogger James Clear  stopped me in my tracks.
        He suggests that many times people mistake "being in motion"  for actually "taking action"    ("The Mistake Smart People Make: Being In Motion vs. Taking Action" )
        Hold up!  There's a difference?
         He explains in the article:

       "Motion makes you feel like you're getting things done.
 But really, you're just preparing to get something done.  And 
when preparation becomes a form of procrastination,
 you need to change something. 
      This was hitting a little too close to home.
       But wait!  There's nothing wrong with planning!  Planning is a good thing.   I don't want to jump into every project blindly.  I closed the blog and started color-coordinating my notecards.   What does he know?!    I do get projects done.  Lots of them.  But my personal projects...
       The article kept nagging at me.  I found myself compelled to look it up again....
       This time I really thought about how he defines action and motion.  He says,

       "Motion is when you're busy doing something, but that task 
will never produce an outcome by itself.  Action on the other
 hand, is the type of behavior that will get a result". 

           Gulp again.
            So organizing my new jokes is good (motion) .... but it's nothing if I don't actually get on stage and test them. (action)
             Researching play structure is good (motion) ... as long as it results in starting to write a play. (action)
             It was sinking in.  Don't fool myself  into thinking the prep/busy work is actual "progress" toward a goal and stay stuck in it.  (He uses a great work-out analogy in the article).
            One question still remained:  Why do we do it?
           His answer hit me like a ton of bricks.

                    ..."we do it because motion allows us to feel like 
               we're making progress without running the risk of failure." 
          Uh ... triple gulp.
           It's hard to argue with that.
           But he offers hope.   Jump over to his article to see some very practical tips on how to TAKE ACTION!
        Now, if you'll excuse me.   I've got some stand-up to do.

No comments:

Post a Comment