Today I'm planning to write this perfect article on something very high on my list of priorities ...
Sorry, gimme a sec, I need to close the window.
So, the topic is ...
Excuse me, I just have to ...
Right. Back now.
So how's that Christmas shopping going for you?
"Ah," you say. "I've written a long list but haven't quite made it to the Mall or ordered those personalised chocs, socks and jocks online."
We often put off Christmas shopping - and plenty more tasks. We procrastinate, write lists and expand them, seeking every distraction to avoid just getting stuff done.
Why? Because we tend to set ourselves unforgiving rules about what makes a task successful. The pressies we give have to be memorable ... or we're worthless. They have to be thoughtful, unique and wrapped just right with a fancy ribbon ... or we'll be rejected.
We beat ourselves up so much about being perfect at what we do that eventually the pressure scares us off even starting a task. We withdraw into procrastination for fear of failure. What can you do?
Try changing your strict rules into something kinder to yourself: "I will try my best, given how I am feeling and given my circumstances." Then feel the freedom to be you, no ribbons attached.
- Alan Stokes is a counsellor and 30-year northern beaches veteran
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