We all know that distractions are huge obstacles to getting done whatever it is we need or want to get done — whether that’s writing a book or doing the laundry. After all, I’m writing this and you’re reading this on the Internet.
But when it comes to procrastination distractions, I can’t offer you a lot of help. It’s a demon I wrestle with because I love deadlines and eventually I get done what I need to do by the moment I need to do it. It’s stressful and weird and another challenge for another day.
Because there’s another type of distraction out there, the one that comes in the form of self-doubt and criticism. Now, it would be easy for me to just tell you that you are awesome and to get over that right now. I have before, and I will again. But let’s get real, sometimes we have long-standing worries and we need regular infusions of pep-talks and reassurances to get past them.
The problem is those aren’t always available to us. So, for me, labeling as a distraction self-doubt or negative obsession with stuff that isn’t really for me (i.e., reviews, which can be useful to me as a writer whether negative or positive, but are geared to the needs of readers), let’s me figure out a way to get past the problem quickly while I do the long-term work of self-confidence bit by slower bit.
Because a distraction, I can dismiss. I can say, it’s unimportant and not worth my time. I can give myself permission to indulge it or five minutes, take a walk to get it out of my system, and then I can declare it beneath my notice to get done what I need to get done.
Is this a solution that will bring you or me one step closer to healthy living? Maybe, maybe not. There’s certainly something to be said for at least sometimes deprioritizing self-hate, impostor syndrome, or just plain over-reacting to legitimate but not-for-you criticism, even when you should probably spend some time examining the origin of those feelings.
So while lots of time here we focus on a sort of Go Go Gadget Go that can be a little brutal, this one is sort of the opposite. This about handwaving and saying that doesn’t matter at all so you can get the work done versus chewing on your literal or virtual nails.
Got some stuff you want us to tell you to blow off? You know what to do. Got some tools to help with that other form of distraction, procrastination? Let’s face it, we probably need those too and they are more than welcome in the comments.