The Path of Least Resistance
It has been said that procrastination isn’t about being lazy and may not even be about lacking discipline but instead it may bear some roots in low self-esteem. Whatever its cause may be, conventional wisdom stipulates that procrastination is counter-productive and we should do all that we can to overcome resistance when it arises.
I have recently however, discovered a new way of working that has yielded much more productivity and greater creative output. For the first time in my life, I have given in to the distraction of the moment and have channeled whatever urge strikes me. When an idea sparks, I have allowed it to ignite. Instead of rigidly following my “to do list” and forcing myself to overcome feelings of resistance through discipline, I am simply choosing the path of least resistance. By pursuing the urge that dominates the moment, I have found that I am able to harness enthusiasm for the task which then allows me to complete it at a much quicker rate than when I’ve scheduled the time for its completion. At the end of the day, everything is getting done, but better.
In my own example, for years, I have reserved Sundays for writing. I treated the task like it was a job and one for which I’ve never called in sick. Often times, it would take me a full day to complete a post from start to finish. But one day, just a day a few weeks ago, I awoke an hour before my alarm was due to go off and I got out of bed with an inspirational idea. As I headed downstairs, I repeated the idea in my head over and over so as not to forget it and before my morning routine swallowed it up. I diverted my path to my home office where I sat down to develop the thought.
I wrote the first sentence. Then I wrote the second sentence, and then the third and the fourth and the rest seemed to write itself. Within 58 minutes I had written close to 1000 words with very little editing required. I glanced at the clock and it wasn’t even 7am yet. I was amazed and realized that I may be onto something; so I began explore this further.
Days later, I was getting ready to go to the gym when I decided to organize my closet instead; a task that I had wanted to complete all year but procrastinated it to the bottom of my list, every week all year. Finally, the impulse struck me and hours later, my closet was tidy and rid of clothes that I never wear. I didn’t go to the gym that day, but I did the very next morning. Now when I open my closet, I feel a sense of accomplishment.
I have come to realize that if I tap into my intuition it will steer my focus which yields much better results. I still continue to create a “to do” list, which is more of a guideline and I allow myself to complete it with whimsy instead of rigidity. Operating this way also allows me to be kinder to myself because it doesn’t yield disappointment or guilt because there isn’t an established expectation. It has eliminated the struggle that was created by forcing me to complete a task at a specific time. My mood has improved and so has my attitude. After all these years of creating lists upon lists, I am now doing what I want to do, when I want to do it. Everyone should try it.