Have you ever wondered why it is that just when you have the most to do that is when you want to do the least?
Why when you’re most overwhelmed that’s when you procrastinate?
Well, the answer is not in the logical brain because let’s face it, it’s not logical. The answer lies in a little-known secret of our psyche called ‘the animal nature’.
You see as human beings we are an unusual animal because we are both Pray and Predatory.
The Pray part of our mind wants us to run away from danger, like a horse being chased.
And the Predatory part wants to set goals and go after them like a lioness hunting.
So what does this have to do with procrastination?
Well, when we procrastinate we are behaving as if all our tasks are lions surrounding us and we don’t do anything because we are stuck in fright.
We are afraid that if we do one task then another task will attack us from behind, so we keep all the tasks in sight. That’s why when you ask someone what they are overwhelmed about they say ‘EVERYTHING’!!!
Then when we see an escape route between the tasks or lions we run off and find ourselves watching a rerun of Game of Thrones or even the washing up looks attractive.
So what do we do instead? Well, we need to switch over to our predatory mind. This part of the mind plans and strategises because that’s what a lioness does when she hunts. A lioness doesn’t go ‘Oh my gosh – there are too many zebras. . . I am overwhelmed’. No, she goes ‘Yay – there are so many zebras, let me see which is the best one to go after right now’. So instead of seeing tasks as attacking you, we want to see tasks as opportunities to eat.
So, if you are overwhelmed by everything then pick the most important task, like writing your book. Everything else can wait for the next half an hour.
Then switch on your lioness by breaking the task down into bite-size pieces. Set a task to do 300 words in the next half an hour and don’t do anything else until it is done.
This is like a lioness hunting – she decides on her target and focuses on it without distraction. Then she keeps going until she has brought it down.
Once you have finished you will feel nourished and have more energy for everything else you need to do in the day.
I would love to see your comments so write down what is your favourite way of overcoming overwhelm.