It has been very long time since my last writing. It doesn’t mean I do not have topics to write about. Vice versa, there are already too many topics which I want to share with you. I just have so many other things in my life and no time to focus on writing. I know this is just a stupid excuse “I do not have time” 🙂 We all have the same amount of time, it is just up to our own priorities and choices how we use it. This is also one facet of today’s topic “Falling back to my comfort zone”.
The idea to write this post came already 2 months ago when I was breaking down under the pressure which I created myself. I had too many tasks to fill (my own creation) and it started to overwhelm me. Until finally I faced a total collapse.
In Estonia we have very good saying which does not have exact translation in other languages: “Ma ei viitsi” (Estonians know what I’m talking about 🙂 ). When someone asks, can you please do that, you give the short answer: “Ma ei viitsi!”
The best match to explain this would be something like: “I don’t feel like doing it” or “I’m not in the mood of doing it”.
This was my main thought in the head whenever I had to do something. Every time I had to do certain thing, I just said to myself: “Ma ei viitsi”. And usually I gave an excuse I will do it tomorrow or day after tomorrow and so on. I was just starting to procrastinate and couldn’t get anything done. Days were passing by by just watching pointless Youtube videos and surfing on my friends Facebook feed. In the evening I felt miserable that another day has passed and I hadn’t got almost anything done …. again.I
I also stole from myself a possibility for internal growth. How? In my daily “20 Commandments” I have a following point: “I leave my comfort zone to seize opportunities that are presented to me.”
We are growing the most when we leave our comfort zone and this has been one of my goals, to accept challenges which are presented to me. All the situations which you don’t like or where you feel uncomfortable are the signs that this is exactly the place where you have room to grow.
Plus there is one key rule to have an extraordinary life. When facing an emotional choice, always choose the hardest one. If you can apply that rule to your life, your life will change completely. Trust me 🙂
But during that low period I run away from all the situations which would have pushed me out from my cosy and warm bubble. Whenever a situation rose where I felt even a little uncomfortable, I just moved as far as I could from it or simply ignored it if there was no way to run away.
This feeling that I cannot get things done and there were more and more tasks building up wasn’t a pleasant feeling. I knew I had to change something. Yes I wanted to get things done ASAP but it was no use to adding new tasks to my “To do” list everyday and trying to finish as many as possible. They were just piling up and I felt even more overwhelmed than day before.
So one day I said to myself: “Fuck it, I will take a full week off and will not finish a single task in my “to do” list. It does not make a big difference if I get some thing done next week and not tomorrow. I didn’t have anything so important that it would be a question of life or death. Better I take a week off, get my things back together and start from fresh beginning.
It was a good choice … the best choice actually 🙂 I felt much more energized after the week off, plus I stumbled across few videos which made a huge difference in the way how we should move through our day.
3 Takeaways From A “Free Week”
Here are 3 main key elements which I got during the week off:
1. Never look at how many things you have to do, instead celebrate every task you have already finished. It can be even as simple as making your bed after you wake up 🙂 This gets you on the good mood plus will give you nice momentum to proceed with other tasks. Then you start to tackle every single task separately by concentrating only on the task at hand and once you finish it you reward yourself with the feeling of proudness and gratitude.
Following this simple rule makes a huge difference. All the things which you have already finished will give you big motivational boost but long list of things which you “have to” do will demotivate you big time. So it is your choice which side of the coin you look.
2. Do tasks which have the biggest impact or tasks which are most important first thing in the morning, before you open your social media, start reading news or get into any other action of distraction. It is so hard to get away from those distractions once they have succumbed you into them. At least I feel it is very hard 🙂
3. Get onto things as soon as possible. When situations arise, do them immediately if it is possible. Don’t let things pile up. It is much harder afterwards when you have already many things to do.
Those 3 things have helped me a lot. Especially the first one. I’m not counting how many things I have left to do. I’m keeping track on how many things I have already finished and tap myself on the shoulder after each task has been completed. And when the time runs out without me finishing all the tasks for that day, I’m still happy and thankful for how many tasks I was able to cross out. This makes me much more happy compared to when I would think how many things I couldn’t finish.
No problem I will do that thing tomorrow. I’m much more productive when I feel positive 🙂
Second point is still work in progress. Usually I still check my phone after I wake up and sometimes it can take up to 30 minutes before I can get to action. At least I’m not opening my PC 🙂 We always have to find a positive side too as this gives us much better starting platform for future things. And from new year the morning phone problem will be tackled heavily as I’m planning to make another challenge again. It will be named “Getting Shit Done” More about that soon 🙂
With third point I feel big improvement too. This is the point I made myself 🙂 That point came from the idea: “Fake it till you make it”. Our mind is like a software which you can reprogram with enough repetitions.
Whatever task is rising up, if there is a possibility to complete it immediately, I would do it. As soon as I feel the thought “Ma ei viitsi” floating to the surface, I’m forcing myself to do it in that very moment. Especially the smallest tasks which are very easy to skip and finish later.
For example. After preparing a meal, I would wash the dishes which I used to to cook immediately before I start to eat. When I see the garbage can full and I have a thought: “I will take it out in the evening when I go out myself”, I would grab the bag and take it out immediately. When I’m eating some snacks or drinking tea behind my PC, I will clean the table immediately after I have finished eating/drinking.
During the day there are many cases where I feel like I don’t want to finish the task now and want to postpone it for a little or maybe I want to choose easier road, I would kick my ass and do it despite of not wanting to do it.
As soon as the task is done, I feel much better. Another little goal has been achieved 🙂
Emotional Comfort Zone
Third point also applies to emotional choices but which is the hardest of them all. It is easy to push yourself to do things which do not trigger any emotions in you or in someone else and especially in someone else. But when you face emotional choices…. man, it is so hard to choose the hardest option. It is so easy to let things be as they are and not face any emotional discomfort. But to grow the most and to have an amazing life experience we have to face our fears.
When situations arise where I feel uncomfortable of doing something or saying something which I know will trigger emotional response from other people, it would be so easy not to act as authentic or not to share the actual truth. If I would do or say what is in my mind, my self agenda will be jeopardized and it would be very uncomfortable to face the consequences. If something is bothering you and you want to express your feelings, have you done something wrong and you want to apologize or what ever emotional situation you face, it is always easier to go with the flow and not express the real feelings, thoughts and actions.
Whenever I have this kind of situation, there is weird inner battle going on in my mind. In one hand I have the option of staying in my comfort zone and not saying anything which means I’m actually lying to myself. In other hand is the option to push myself out from the comfort zone by sharing the truth and dealing with the consequences.
First option is far more easier to do but this kind of behaviour will eventually bite you in the ass. The second option is much harder at that given moment but it has much greater benefit in the long run. And after you have already chosen the second option and dealt with emotional labor it won’t feel so hard and bad anymore when you look back into it 🙂
But how to actually get things done when you really don’t feel the mood to do it. This is the “Big” question 🙂 I’m using three ways or techniques to get myself into doing mode.
3 Techniques To Get Yourself In “Doing” Mode
Here they are:
1. “Do not seek for excuse why not to do, find the reason why to do” The quote says it all. Don’t seek for an excuse why you shouldn’t do it, instead find the reason why you should do it. With every situation or task at hand you can always find many reasons why you should do it and why you should do it now, at that given moment.
2. Technique called: “5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Go!” If the need or a thought arises to do something, there is approximately a five second “window” when your mind starts to talk you “out” of it. After five seconds you will already have so many excuses why you shouldn’t do it. So whenever you face a need to do certain thing, count in your head: “5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and then go for it 🙂
3. Just a simple kick in the butt. Whenever I start to have the feeling or an excuse of not doing certain thing I will be like a stubborn kid and do the opposite. I just go for it despite the feeling of not wanting do. This is actually working the best for me 🙂
It is like a promise to myself: “As soon as a thought of an excuse will arise, I will do the opposite and get things done immediately.”
Those three steps are good techniques to get things done when you don’t feel like doing them. At least for me they are working great.
Reprogramming Subconscious Mind
“Acting as if” (reprogramming my subconscious mind with new habits and behaviours) is starting to show some results. It is easier and easier to get things done and because of that my overall mood is also getting better and better 🙂 With some things I don’t even have to push myself any more, they feel so natural already.
Of course it doesn’t mean I’m not procrastinating anymore and I’m like someone perfect who gets all the things done immediately. Not at all. I’m still facing issues of getting things done when needed and emotional choices are of course the hardest challenges. I still have very long way to go. But the seed has been planted and step by step I’m moving on my road.
I would like to hear back from you if you too are facing the same issue and if those techniques have helped you a little.
The growth and extraordinary life happens only outside of your comfort zone. Happy “doing” and growing! 😀
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