Its because I don’t know how to do the task.
I’ve struggled with this over the years. I’m realized the key is to identify you’re avoiding the task.
Realizing, in the moment, that you are procrastinating because you are unsure of what to do.
Once you do that the solutions are simple. Do the following:
1. Is there something other than the task at hand that is distracting you? If there is some other task or issue that is distracting you deal with that first. Even if its unpleasant get it out of the way so that you can have a clear head.
2. Ask yourself, what is the goal of the task? Am I clear on what I am trying to do? If not, write it out. Figure out the goal. This will help you to figure out what you actually need to do. This problem of not having a concrete definition of what you are trying to do is paralyzing.
3. Ask yourself, what is the definition of success for this task? and work backwards from there. This will often break the task into smaller more manageable pieces.
4. What is the smallest first action that I can take to get started? Usually, if you get started with something simple, you will build momentum until you finish.
5. Find comparables. There is a low chance that what you are doing has never been done before in some form. Find something like what you are trying to do. Steal as much as you can. Build by adding the small changed that you need. “good artists borrow, great artists steal.” – Picasso
6. Ask for help. Ask anyone who is willing to listen. Sometimes all you need is to be able to talk through the task at hand aloud with another person. Other times you will need in depth expertise. Go get it.
Now, its easy to say that is the list of things to do once you recognize that you’re avoiding a hard task.
But, how do you identify that you’re avoiding a hard task?
Its not easy.
There are two ways to build this skill over time:
1. Practice mindfulness. Whether its through meditation or some other form, practice paying attention to your surroundings.
2. Track it. Make a tracker where you put either a “yes” or “no” for every day. Yes meaning that you avoided hard tasks. Every time you mark “yes” try to figure out the root cause. Try to see how you could reminder yourself next time. Alternatively, use a tool like Evolution 2 (evolution2.co) .
^Day 68/90 449 words