What do you do to get back to work you’re avoiding?

resistant-clientI am so good at avoiding my work.  Not the people part of my work.  If I need to get on the phone or have a meeting, I’m good.  Completely reliable to show up.  I don’t even think twice about those.  I’m talking about the work without people.  I’ve been needing to set aside time to write for weeks.  Years if I’m honest, but at least weeks ago I declared that I would write a case study from this fantastically successful client experience, write more blogs like this one AND the big mumbo jumbo commitment I’m avoiding is writing my books.  Yes, plural; just to make the mountain a little steeper.

I spend much of my time talking with clients about where they stop in the process of getting what they want and uncovering what’s in the way of them doing what they say they’re going to do.  A LOT of time.  I know so many tricks and strategies and other ways of moving through the resistance to get back in action.  I teach them, I could give you a list that would change your life… and yet here I am.  Writing this.  Writing this instead of the case study… here’s what the resistance looked like today.

  • Update the out of date picture on the Group FB page I manage.
  • Close all internet programs so I don’t get distracted.
  • Open Word. Decide to go get the mail from the mailbox all the way outside away from the blank word page just opened.
  • Notice the blackberries are encroaching on the driveway
  • Get the hedge shears and hack away at blackberry stems the size of a garden hose (which be an indicator of how long ago said hedge shears were used.)
  • Job complete I’m back at my computer, new document opened and ready write my case study.
  • Realizing I shouldn’t use the name of my client I Google “most popular men’s names (by the way the top seven are James, John, Robert, Michael, William, David and Richard.)
  • While online I notice I have a new e-mail but I FIGHT THE URGE TO CHECK IT OUT.
  • While there I’m inspired to write a blog post about resistance. And here we are.

I could give up.  That’s worked for me for weeks (years.)  Or I can stay the course.  Continue to fight the urge of distraction.  I am really good at jumping to something else. I believe my ability to move between tasks with ease and focus serves me very well at times.  And other times, it’s a really, really big challenge.

Perhaps you struggle too, so I’m going to share a couple of my tactics.  Then I’m going to go back to my case study, which is now about David, if you’re interested.  If you’re really curious, PM me and I’ll tell you why David…

  1. interestedI make sure I’m really inspired and committed. There are many, many activities that I’ve tried and set down because I really didn’t care to stick with it.  Author Barbara Stanny calls this distinction being “interested vs. committed.”  I get inspired and excited very easily.  I see a beautiful scarf and I want to make one.  I’m interested in learning to knit.  I’m really not committed to stick with it.  If a fairy godmother came around with unlimited wishes, I might wish to learn to knit.  But at this writing it’s unlikely I will ever commit to learning.
  2. I make sure somebody else can’t do it. It is so worth it to pay someone to do the books for my company, do my taxes (though don’t get me started on getting me to attend to the tax organizer) and do my filing.  If I’m committed and somebody else can do it, somebody does.
  3. I schedule it. I put it in my calendar.  And I do it in big enough chunks to handle the resistance games.  For instance today I’m committed to doing an hour of writing… and I’ve booked out three hours.  I’m told that over time I will resist less and get more done, but until that time, I’m honest with myself about what it will take.
  4. I get a reward. When the clock hits 4PM today I get to go for a nice long walk in the beautiful sunshine.  Yes there will be e-mails to respond to and other work to do AND I get a reward for doing what I said I would do.

So, I’m posting this and then I’m off to my case study.  And maybe I’ll even have time for a chapter of a book.  But ya know what just happened?  I wrote this blog post.  Take THAT resistance.  BOOM!