A common cause of procrastination is the way we align our lives with the man made calendar.
At this time of year, its easy to put off plans and projects until the new year comes. On January 1st, millions of people will embark with 100% enthusiasm on a new year and new plans for the future.
Unfortunately by January 2nd, progress on many of these plans will be lagging and the snowballing effect of even small spells of procrastination on a daily basis after that will make the achievement of these goals most unlikely.
We get too easily tied up in the man made modern anomalies of time, production and consumption. We are indoctrinated at an early age into the idea that work must be done between 9 and 5 and from Monday to Friday for a start, but the most serious problem is that we are brainwashed into thinking that work is bad and must be done under duress. When you suddenly find yourself in a situation where you are free to do your own thing its difficult to be disciplined enough to manage your own productivity. When you are first involved in trying to get a freedom business off the ground all of this history provides a perfect seedbed for procrastination to take root.
A big part of the problem is that we have been moulded into creatures that no longer respond very well to the cycles of nature. We eat the same foods all year round and follow the same daily routines regardless of the season. We’ve tried to bend nature to fit our relentless game of capitalist consumerism, so much so that we are no longer linked physically to natural rhythms and cycles.
We carry all of this baggage with us through our entire life if we are not careful and it is this that drives resistance and procrastination at the very time when you need to get your head down and produce your art.
One idea that has helped me to break out of this cycle has been to start living in a more natural way and to recognise the older cycles of work driven by nature and the seasons. Based on that thinking I no longer feel the need to work at any particular time of day or of the week, although I do follow a writing routine which works well for me.
This Friday is the Winter Solstice here in the northern hemisphere, the shortest day (light wise). After that the days will stretch, imperceptibly at first, but by the end of January the lengthening day light will be quite noticeable, until at Summer Solstice in 6 months from now we will be enjoying nearly 19 hours of daylight here in my part of Scotland.
I think as freedom seekers we need to take much more notice of these natural cycles if we are to feel good about ourselves and be as productive as we want to be. We must try to recognise when its time to work and when its time to rest and/or play based on our own interaction and interconnectedness with nature.
I’ve deliberately lined up my plans for next year to begin on Saturday, the real new year if you like. This is not some nod to the sun gods of yore or because I’ve become a druid or anything far out like that, but simply a technique to further detach myself from the constraints of having to conform to the norm.
If you are struggling to get traction with your ideas for a freedom business or art, try breaking down some of your invisible barriers. These will have been lodged firmly in place from your childhood onwards and anything you can do to dismantle them even a little bit will help you to move on and start creating the art and life you want
There’s some detailed and sound advice on beating resistance here and a great example of someone getting down to their art every day here…both inspirational for me this week.
Happy Solstice when it comes.
Photo thanks to Cheng I via Compfight
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