Do you talk to yourself? I bet you do. Most of us listen. And what do you say about stuff that you need to get done? Does the voice in your head encourage you to do something else, ie procrastinate, or do it do worse and tell you how rubbish you are because you haven’t done the things that you set out to do?
Why is it important to address those inner voices? Because they constantly impact your life consciously and unconsciously.
Let’s start with the negative voice. I think in the long run that’s the most destructive because it plays into how you feel about yourself and what you do, not just ‘persuading’ you to do stuff other than what you have planned to do.
At the beginning of this series of blog posts, we talked about forgiving yourself in relation to procrastination. To remind you, it does you no good to beat yourself up over procrastinating. We all have good days and bad days. Those days that don’t work so well aren’t templates for all of your days. We all have good days and bad days. The important part is to show up and try your best.
When you’re intending doing that, the little negative voice in your head doesn’t help. Be aware of it and, when you hear it, work on strategies to stop it affecting you. You can respond to it out loud, or write it down in a journal, or change what you are doing to enable you to either drown out or silence that voice (I find singing works great!).
One option is to do something productive, to ‘prove it wrong’. As you keep being aware and taking these actions, your negative inner voice will have less and less impact. Don’t pay it any attention or let it ruin your day!
Now, let’s move on to the other inner voice that keeps telling you it’s much more fun to do just about anything other than what you should be doing. We all have that voice. It’s often where procrasticleaning and procrasticrafting come from (my favourite ‘essential’ job when I was studying was cleaning the oven!). We can innovate brilliantly when we are looking for things to do and reasons to do them that are nothing whatsoever to do with what we really need to be doing! That little voice keeps feeding us suggestions and cheering us on, doesn’t it!
The best way to approach this particular voice is with the phrase ‘yes, and…’, for example, “yes playing games on my phone is a lot of fun, and I’m going to do that for 15 mins once I’ve completed the next task”. If what your inner voice is suggesting sounds fun, use the suggestion as a bribe / incentive to get the important thing done first. If not, just ignore it!