This post is just another distraction.
Maybe you’re sick and tired of everything you need to do, wanted a break, and here you are.
But, maybe this post offers another way out?…
Mindlessly scrolling through social media, a background exhaustion tagging along…
> “I’m just taking a break”
It’s hard to fault ourselves for wanting a break. The days are both too long and too short. Too much to do, and not nearly the time to get to what you want to do.
But then, when some important upcoming project drifts across the mind’s eye, a rapid calculation may take place, …
> “The due date is three weeks away, I don’t need to do it now. I’m fine. I’ll do it later.”
Tapping the next link on the social feed, we barely realize that we’ve just made a decision. Its thoughts evaporate as the balm of distractibility returns us to a steady-state of unease.
It seems kind to give ourselves a break. But this was not a kindness, neither for Present nor Future You.
The current unease saps the energy from Present You. It is harder to be focused when under unclear deadlines loom in the distance. Play thrives in windows of challenge, but can readily be choked by a pervasive sense of doom.
Meanwhile, Future You almost anticipates a despair. There is no sense of what to do next, what the worry is, or what the scope of engaging will be. There is only knowledge that *something* must be done before a certain date. The trigger to act rests on some unknown threshold for anxiety to cross, an unconscious transition from “I’m fine” to “I’m not fine!”
While it may seem kind to set the project aside for now, the entire system is built on anxiety, poisoned from the start.
You could force yourself to begin working, but that is hardly kind either. There may well be reasons against doing the work in the moment, be that because of exhaustion, the need for resources, and more.
To begin a real kindness:
1. Acknowledge the worry, *giving it the time* to come to rest in conscious awareness
2. Consider a real next step, some tiny concrete motion forward
3. Gently take that single step, preferably as soon as possible
4. You can always set it aside for a return, perhaps by way of a daily rhythm.
But the earlier you visit the project, the earlier you dispel the anxiety of the unknown. The scope becomes real. Its ideas become real. Your unconscious mind begins its play, even if afterwards you set it aside.
There are many projects I have finished well ahead of a deadline by this simple process. (the next problem is to not tell that I’m done for fear of being given more)
It quickly becomes apparent that social media often used as an unconscious tactic of evasion, the tool to tamper anxiety.
This is in no way easy. In fact, the process converts anxiety into fear. But, unlike anxiety, fear offers you an object. And when you have an object, you have something against which you can mount *courage*.
PS Consider the following exercise:
1. Get out a pen and paper
2. Consider, what is concerning me this moment?
3. What is a concrete thing I can do to move it forward?
4. When is the earliest I can take that small action?