Last week I checked in with a friend of mine who is currently writing his dissertation. It seems my text arrived at the right time as one of the first things he said that he needed a bit of my good vibes.
Please don’t think that I’m the ‘good vibe machine’ but on a good day I’m willing to share and on a bad day I don’t mind tapping into my reserve where needed.
He was feeling drained, not motivated, thinking about what toll this has had on his year already. I could almost hear him making sounds like Ugggghhhrrr, bluhhhh …but as this was through whatsapp I likely let my imagination go a bit.
I believe we can all recognise the feeling when we ‘have to’ start something important and POOF, there goes our creativity or our energy levels. Thoughts might arise like
“I don’t think that I can do this?” “Will I be able to make it on time?” “I don’t know where to start?” “I really don’t have the energy to do all this shizzles.”
Oooh how we wished someone else would come along to take it out of our hands or at least to make a start so we can take over when the easy part begins.
We came all this way and suddenly, we go from a Yay to Nay and start thinking why the bleep we started this in the first place.
Procrastination is a funny thing…By funny I mean we likely will have a laugh when it’s all over. Thinking of how silly we were and how we’ve been playing mind games.
So, if you recognise yourself let’s have a moment and stand still with this draining feeling. Who is sucking up all the energy while you’re on this mission? For the fun of it let’s turn on our inner game show host.
(Game show host voice) Is it contestant….:
Number 1? The procrastinator: “Ooo let’s do this very unimportant thing right now as I can’t start without having done that first!”
Number 2? The inner critic: “I’m utterly shit at this (full stop)”
Number 3? The victim: “Can’t believe I’m here again. Boohoo…”
Number 4? Blank - Feel free to add any other potential parts of your character.
If it’s stopping you in your tracks they are likely getting a little too much airtime. So now that you realise this let’s put the spotlight on them and ask:
Contestant number X: What’s the name of the game that we’re playing?
(Is there a title – e.g Would I lie to you? Patience? Risk? Jeopardy?)
What do you want for me?
(Is there anything that needs to be addressed? E.g: are you hungry, tired, afraid or avoiding anything etc?)
Is there any way you will help me towards the finish line?
(Are you open for bargaining? Do you need an accountability buddy? What do you need?)
What else do you have lined up for me?
(Spot the patterns; have you been here before? Are you going to pull an all-nighter? Calculate it in)
Now that you roughly know the game let’s turn the spotlight on you; the one who made it this far; the one who likely came up with this idea; the one who knows the gain of this game… Yes YOU!
What was your initial plan?
(What was your goal? What was your interest in doing this? What were you excited about?)
And the final question is:
Umming and Awing aside – Will you do it…eventually? (Regardless of the game, will you see this through? Or at least give it a try?)
If the answer is Yes: what’s the use to keep on playing mind games? As you’re going to do it anyway! So keep going and create a game plan.
If the answer is No – what’s the use to keep on playing mind games? As you’re not going to do it anyway! (If you’re keep on going anyway you might want to ask yourself the question again)
When I asked my buddy where he was, he said he was on his way to the library. I secretly had a quiet giggle as hey – even while feeling drained he didn’t completely believe his victim voice as otherwise he would have stayed in bed, and turned on Netflix.
I know… I know… it’s easier said than done….but now that you know the game you’re playing it's GAME ON!
Thank you for reading (or procrastinating?) and don’t hesitate to get in touch where stuck.