The Art of Procrastination

Obviously, this blog post is inspired by the fact that I have been procrastinating on writing this post today. It’s 11.10pm, and though I have seen a friend, run a few errands and done a few bits of work, I have been avoiding writing my blog. Not for a lack of topics (I still have so much to write about the tour, and a whole host of other random things lined up) but for the lack of flow.

What do I mean by that? I mean that when I write, I need to be in the flow, and allow the words to come through me. When I think too much about what to write or how to word something, it just doesn’t work. It feels like I’m fighting with the white page to put marks on it that make sense.

When I’m in the flow, I can knock out a blog post in less than 20 mins. When I’m in the flow I’ve even been known to write a novel in two weeks. But today, has been a no flow. In fact, this has taken me 20 minutes to write so far, because I have been watching the last but one Harry Potter movie instead of concentrating.

So is it better to force the creativity when it isn’t flowing freely? Or is it better to procrastinate and do something else? There are so many schools of thought on this. Some say that you have to be disciplined, and write, or create, or practice every day, regardless of whether you want to or feel inspired. And there are others that say to only create when you feel the urge, the pull the passionate inspiration to.

I’m more in the latter group, usually, but interestingly, even when I force myself to write something, or make myself stick to a schedule, then sometimes, magic does actually happen, even when I’m not in the mood. The only reason I am writing this, even though I don’t feel like it’s flowing, is because I accepted the challenge of writing a blog post a day for 30 days, and I don’t want to let down my friend, Tiffany, who is doing the challenge with me.

But perhaps, someone will read this ramble and realise that they too, only create when in the flow, and that it’s perfectly fine to be that way. But also, it’s good to push ourselves to do things we wouldn’t normally do, because something magical might become of it.

I’m going to stop there, just in case this really is boring. If it is, I apologise, but this is what happens when I’m not in the flow. Next time, I’ll post a recipe! I posted a few recipes during my last 30 day blog challenge, and madly enough, they were the most popular posts! It’s a funny old world…

I was trying to add words to this image, to illustrate the flowing words versus the forced words, and couldn’t come up with anything, so I have just posted the picture instead… apologies for the lack of inspiration today, hope to be back on form tomorrow!

Searching for Clarity

Have you seen her?

Astrid

My plan for the first week of 2015 was to plan 2015. To figure out where I want to be, what I want to do and what my long-term goal for the year, and even for the next five years. But aside from writing my Love List, as inspired by Dr John Demartini’s Breakthrough Experience, I’m not much closer to having the clarity I am searching for.

One of the biggest things I have been working through over the last few weeks, is why I find it so difficult to plan. Why I am afraid of starting something now that will come to fruition in more than six months or a years’ time. Why all of my projects are very short-term, and why the idea of planning the next five years of my life is so terrifying to me.

I think that part of it is the fear of making the wrong choice, choosing the wrong path, and ending up where I don’t want to be. But a bigger part of it is that I have a fear of leaving things unfinished. If I can see the end of a project, and I can see fast progress, then I am more likely to stick with it and complete it. If progress in very incremental and slow, and the end is not in sight, I am likely to lose focus and abandon the project.

Looking back at the last few years in particular, I can see that there are things I could have done, that had I stuck with them, would have benefited me greatly by now. Like starting a savings account. If I had started saving when I started working, which was 16 years ago, then I would be in the position to be able to fund my life now. If I had started saving even four years ago for a campervan, then I would be in the position to buy one by now.

The only things I have worked on consistently over the last five years has been my books, and this blog. They started out small, and have grown gradually, and I am very glad that I have stuck with them. I started this blog in December 2010, and in 2011, I had a total of just 251 views for the whole year. Each year, my views grew in number, and last year I had 15,497 views. With my books, I started publishing in 2011, and have published two books a year, and now I have eight books in print, a growing fan base and my sales are steadily increasing.

So I know that deciding to do something, and then sticking to it, does really work. And obviously I will continue with my blog and with my books, but what else to choose?

For me to stick to something, it takes conscious daily effort, and numerous reminders posted everywhere, alarms set, etc. My short-term memory means that if there is no visible progress, I tend to lose focus and interest and get sidetracked onto other things. I have got my new planner, Astrid, and I will be blogging monthly on my progress of using a planner properly for the first time ever. I have also been on Pinterest, searching for downloadable and printable planners for different aspects. I found a great blogging planner, which I might have a look at, and I definitely need a financial planner of some kind.

Whatever I choose to do, I need to find a fun way to do it, and it needs to be in line with who I am, and what I love. Whenever I have tried to build businesses or do work that is not in line with my mission and my purpose, they haven’t worked because I could not put my heart and soul into doing them.

Because I know that deadlines work very well for me, I am going to set myself a deadline now – by the time I turn 31, which is in just under two weeks, I, Michelle Gordon, will have an actionable plan for 2015 and I will be taking the necessary steps to put it into action and to go for it.

I’m counting on you to hold me accountable!

What are your plans for 2015?