Life would be grand if we only did what our fleeting hearts wanted to do, each moment of the day.
So what should we do if we’re facing a task we don’t want to do? Well, we can run, and find a distraction. That usually works, until it causes problems. Or we can find a way to get crap done.
1. MEDITATE ON WHY YOU NEED TO DO THIS.
Instead of giving in to distraction, sit there for a minute. Why do you need to do this task you don’t want to do? Sure, because it’s on your todo list, or because someone else wants you to do it. Or you’re getting paid for it, or someone’s got to do it. But why? What will this task help accomplish? Who is it helping? Dig deeper and find the good that you’re creating in the world.
2. MEDITATE ON YOUR FEAR.
The thing that’s stopping you from doing the task, or wanting to do it, is fear. You fear failure or looking bad, you fear the discomfort or confusion of the task. So take a moment to look inward and see this fear. Feel it. Accept it as part of you, instead of running from it.
3. LET GO OF YOUR IDEAL.
If this fear were gone, you could just do the task easily. So what is causing the fear? Some ideal you have, some fantasy about life being free of discomfort, confusion, embarrassment, imperfection. That’s not reality, just fantasy, and it’s getting in your way by causing fear. So let go of the fantasy, the ideal, the expectation. And just embrace reality: this task before you, nothing else.
4. INTENTION, NOT RESULTS.
You are caught up with the results of the task–what will happen if you do it, what failure might result. So forget about the result–you can’t know what it will be anyway. That’s in the future. For now, focus on your intention: why are you doing it? If it’s to make the life of a loved one better, then that’s your intention. That intention is true no matter what the result is. Focus on this, not what bad things might or might not happen.
5. GIVE YOURSELF CONSTRAINTS.
We tend to rebel against restraints: “I don’t want to do this! I want freedom!” Well, unfortunately, having unlimited freedom means unlimited choices, unlimited distractions, and nothing gets done. Simplify by putting restraints on yourself: do only one task at a time. Do just this one task for now. Do it for 10 minutes. Forbid yourself from going to any other websites or checking anything on your phone or doing anything else that you like to do for distraction until you do those 10 minutes.
6. DO A LITTLE, THEN GET UP.
If you have to write something, just write a sentence. Then get up, get some water, stretch. Pat yourself on the back for getting started! Now do a little more: write a few more sentences. Get up, take a mental break (don’t go to another website), do a few pushups. Go back, do a bit more. Pretty soon, you’re in the flow of it.
7. DON’T LET YOUR MIND RUN.
Your mind will want to run. That’s okay, that’s the nature of minds. They are scared, and they will rationalize going to distraction, going to what’s easy. Watch this happen, don’t try to stop the phenomena, but don’t give it anywhere to run to. Watch the mind want to run, but don’t act. Just watch. It will eventually calm down.
8. LEARN AND GROW.
By meditating on your intentions and fear, by letting go of ideals and embracing the suck, by giving yourself constraints and finding gratitude … you’re learning about yourself. This task, as mundane or scary as it might seem, is teaching you about your mind. That’s a wonderful thing. So this task is a huge learning opportunity. What a wonderful way to spend your time!