By Leo Babauta
You’ve created the structure of your Procrastination Session, and all is going well … until you run up against one of your most difficult tasks.
For me, that’s usually a big task related to taxes!
Now what? Let’s talk about how to practice with the urge to procrastinate when things get mucky.
First, notice that you have a strong urge to procrastinate â€” it’s the urge to check your messages or email “real quick,” or to open your favorite distractions “just for a minute.” It’s the urge to go take care of a smaller task or clean your kitchen all of a sudden. It’s the urge to rationalize doing anything else except this difficult task.
Notice the urge, and pause instead of following it.
Pause, and just sit there. Give yourself a moment of breathing room, sitting and not letting yourself switch to something else. Breathe for a moment, and just notice.
What does it feel like, this urge? What sensations are in your body right now? Where are the sensations? What are they like? Get curious about them, and really investigate their qualities, as you might investigate a curious object in front of you.
Open your body, letting your shoulders and chest open, and see if you can fully feel this feeling in your body without needing to get away or close to it. Be open, curious, gentle.
Stay with it for a little longer, fully feeling it, dialing up its intensity so that you can fell it completely, letting it burn up in an intense flame, leaving no trace behind.
Let yourself relax into the feeling. Notice where there’s tension in your body, and release it, like you would release a tight grip around something. Your grip releases, you relax your muscles and your mind, and you are now just sitting there, relaxed into the feeling of insecurity.
What is this like, to sit there relaxed into the insecurity that normally causes you to procrastinate and switch away from difficult tasks?
Relax into it, and then see if you can turn toward the task and do the smallest first step. For my taxes, it might just be gathering a couple documents together. Just one document. The smallest step possible, letting yourself relax into the urge to procrastinate but still doing the smallest step.
It’s a beautiful moment, knowing that you can have this urge to procrastinate in your body but not need to get rid of it, not need to act on it. Not need to fear it.
And then, with that relaxation into the feeling, you can start to move towards its cause, with love.