I self-sabotage in many ways.
But one of my stupidest ways is checking email all. day. long.
Here’s how it goes:
I use email as my “to-do” list. It provides a constant hit of dopamine and concrete tasks to tick off my list.
Concrete tasks are nice for entrepreneurs: way easier than, “Come up with idea for blog” or “Update website” or “Create new coaching program”.
Email is a perfectly acceptable distraction. Better than Instagram. Or wine.
Sometimes I even use it to panic about how much work there is.
And – because entrepreneurship can be isolating & lonely, it keeps me company.
It’s a lovely distraction.
This year, I promised I’d become more productive and started with becoming aware of my habits.
I got really curious about m’self.
Guess what? I found that when I feel stressed about a task…
Or the next step of a project seems unclear or difficult…
Or I’m working and get a little bored…
I check email. I use it as a “break”.
What fresh hell is that!? Email is not a fricken’ break! Email is a place to find more tasks to do!
ANYWAY! This post (for once) is not about what an ass I am. Instead, I wanted to encourage you to try a tool I’m experimenting with.
The tool is, as usual, simple but not easy.
Something distracts you, right? Maybe your drug of choice is far more fun than email. (I’m not surprised. You’re way funner than me.)
Ok, so you’ve got a distraction. Something you do when a task feels hard, makes you anxious, or has a next step that is annoying or unclear.
Do you know what yours is?
Start with Step 1: Figure that shit out. Maybe you don’t want to admit it.
Just admit it so we can move on, ok?
Now…you’ve got your distraction: it keeps you from bringing an idea to life or following through on a promise you made to yourself.
Step 2: Ask how mean you are to yourself about this distraction.
Do you beat yourself up about it?
I bet you beat yourself up in other parts of your life, too.
Today, I’m asking, “How has beating yourself up gotten you closer to that thing you really want?”
That’s right! It HAS NOT! (1000 points to you if you got that one right!)
Beating the shit out of ourselves is not useful. Doesn’t move us forward. Doesn’t stop the habit.
We don’t move through blocks by judging ourselves, being mean to ourselves, or beating ourselves up.
What does? Go to Step 3 to find out.
Step 3: See it. Notice the block. Notice the habit.
AND!! MOST IMPORTANTLY!!!
Do not judge it.
When I recognized my email habit – though fairly benign – I got fascinated with why I did this. When I used it.
How it kept me from moving forward.
How I avoided stuff I didn’t want to do.
I got curious. And realized, “Oh!! When shit feels hard, (or boring), I leave the project to check email.”
Maybe you get coffee. Or a Snickers bar. Or Snapchat.
Want to move beyond this? Be kind to your habit by noticing it. Thank it for serving you for all these years: it’s been trying to keep you safe from discomfort.
When you accept that you do it, and can be kind about it, THAT’S WHEN you start to move past it.
Want to get to the next level? Give these 3 steps a try!
Changed my life! Ready to change yours?
If you are ready to change your habits – maybe you find it’s hard. I’ve got support ready for you in my new Group-Coaching Program The Idea Space: Helping Creative Women Go from Idea to Reality!
- Affordable support.
- Realistic strategies.
- Live coaching.
Let’s bring your idea to life – and you don’t have to do it alone, in overwhelm, or with confusion! Reach out to chat about this as a possibility for you!