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How To Get Started, Whatever The Challenge!

Do you suffer from either last-minuteitus and avoidancitus?

It’s a little known fact that Jane Austen’s house was never cleaner than when she was faced with how to get Mr Darcy and Elizabeth together.

I too used to get a rare urge for housework when there was a less than attractive bit of work waiting in the wings.

I know others whose shelves get built, gardens trimmed just at the mention of blog writing.

It is known as avoidance by activity and it’s a great way of procrastinating whilst feeling productive!

There’s a saying I love,

‘If it weren’t for the last minute,
nothing would get done’

How many of us do our best work when we are really under pressure to meet a deadline?

“Last-minuteitus” seems to galvanise the little grey cells; but is it sustainable or even healthy?

As our business grows, there are more and more demands on our time and more deadlines to be met.

Eventually we realise that there is just not enough time in the last minute yet we continue to avoid.

And as we do does the task get any easier? No.

Do we know that we have to do it eventually? Yes.

So the only thing we do by avoiding it is to waste time and increase our worry levels.

I read recently that it is not the task we are avoiding but rather the stress it causes which we run away from.

Yet we cannot escape the stress since the task will not get done by itself; so if anything our avoidance tactics only serve to increase the pressure.

We need to address the cause of our stress.

Say, for example, you are putting off writing a blog. 

Ask yourself, ’Why am I stressing over this?

What is it about the task that is making me avoid it?

Maybe it is just that first sentence, writer’s block or you haven’t got a clear picture of what you’re going to say.

Instead of avoiding, I suggest you stop thinking about the detail of what you’re going to write and just start exploring the overview.

Somehow exploring our ideas has a much gentler, do-able sound to it than sitting down and getting out 1000 words!

I like to explore using mind-maps;
they take the pressure off.

On one level you are getting on with the task but there is no first sentence, no first idea, no paragraph order; there is just ideas leading to other ideas.

The process itself always gets my creative juices flowing and wakes up my brain.

By the time I am finished, my brain is engaged, I am focussed on my topic and the outline of my blog is ready.

I have used blog writing as an example but you can mind-map most things.

I find them a great first step when faced with challenges whether you are developing a blog or a marketing strategy.

They help me get started, get straight on with the task and I no longer suffer from “last-minuteitus” or avoidance.

Not so good for my house-cleaning but brilliant for my business and my health!

Imagine every day - you take your most difficult task first and get it DONE without the drama.

Do one thing: Move away from the lawn mower, put the duster down and give mind-maps a go.

I like to use pen and paper, it’s quicker and keeps my energy high.

Thanks for reading.

Marianne Page

Marianne Page

Senior ManagementInspirer, Motivator, Simplifier, Creator, High performing Team Builder…and Hugger

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