I was sitting in lab meeting after lunch and my mind kept wandering to wanting something sweet- maybe a cupcake or banana bread or a cookie.
After lab meeting, I walked into the lunch room and there are a plate of leftover cakes and breads from a meeting.
I know I just spent a lot of mental energy dreaming up these treats but now that they are here, I had to ask myself – is this REALLY what I want?
Connecting with my future self, how am I going to feel after I eat these cakes?
You know my future self’s answer: awful. I know I will feel sick from the sugar and heavy from the post insulin spike crash.
It still so hard to say no sometimes but I managed to avoid the cakes by connecting with my future self and walking away from the tempting tray.
When you are presented with something that feels like what you thought you wanted, we can connect with our future selves to ask … is this really what I want right now?
We may feel like we want to relax at the end of the day and watch Netflix, but how will we actually feel afterwards? Is this really a reward?
And also be wary of those tasks that seem like they are in the “good for you” such as learning or exercise or things that we “need” to get done such as emails and small tasks. These ones are particularly sneaky as they are things that our brain can easily convince us that we “should” be doing, instead of what we really want to accomplish.
When your brain doesn’t want to do something because it’s going to require effort, it will find all sorts of ways to convince you that watching Netflix is the right thing to do. Just watch it – it is amazing.
If you are avoiding writing by doing these other types of tasks and you are starting to notice that your brain is finding really good reasons to do something else – first, you can say to yourself, “I’m onto you brain! What I am really going to feel good about is getting a few sentences of writing done. I am not going to feel good about watching Netflix.” Second, connecting in with your future self can be really supportive here to understand what is really going to make you feel how you want to feel. And, third to consciously create time for what you “need” to get done and what you enjoy doing. This will help support you to not overindulge because you have created time for it consciously.
If you or anyone you know is avoiding or procrastinating about writing by focusing on other sneaky tasks, please support them by asking them to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary Discovery Call where we will take a look at what’s happening for you and whether the work that I do will be a good fit for you.
Inspired by 1) Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman which taught me about our brains and efficiency vs. effort. 2) Brooke Castillo who taught me about how to witness my brain wanting to be efficient and low energy and 3) my coach and mentor Jennifer L Sherwood who taught me how creating time for what I crave (learning!) will bring it into the conscious space and will support me to not get lost in it unconsciously anymore.