How to stop procrastinating and do what you enjoy

Getting motivated by using your imagination

It’s not always about learning to meditate or starting a yoga class.There are many ways to relax.

One person’s relaxation might be another’s nightmare and vice versa. You might love to plonk away on the piano, do DIY, paint, write stories or read books. Cycling might be your thing or gardening.

Most of us have done something at some point which absorbed our attention, got us into that flow state and helped us relax. So why aren’t we doing it?

Isn’t it funny how when you’re about to get the paints out or tickle the ivories you remember the dishes need doing or you haven’t called your mum? Yes we procrastinate about the good stuff as well as the bad.

Sometimes there’s a bit of performance anxiety and sometimes there’s a bit of reluctance to change our state of mind, even if it’s to feeling better. So how can you convince yourself to do the things you know you will enjoy and relax you?

Mental rehearsal

Mental rehearsal is a great way to prepare yourself for doing something. It can reduce performance anxiety and increase your motivation. Because once you imagine doing it in your mind you’re half way there.

Your firing up the parts of your brain that you use to do the activity. By doing this you can begin to get into the flow before you even pick up a brush or piece of sheet music.

Which means in a way you’ve already started doing the activity. So you’ve gotten over that starting hump or blank page.

You’ve also activated the human desire to finish what you start. Which makes it much easier to get on and do it.

Try it for yourself

Take a few minutes to settle somewhere comfortable and close your eyes if it feels right.

  • Think about the activity you enjoy doing.
  • What is it you enjoy about it?
  • Where are you when you’re doing it?
  • What things do you have with you e.g. special equipment or clothing?
  • Are there any particular smells present?
  • Now get a sense of seeing yourself on a TV screen doing the activity.
  • Observe how you look. What is it about the you there that lets you know how absorbed you are in the activity?
  • Watch yourself in the flow and notice how you look.
  • Once you have a sense of seeing yourself there float into the TV screen and into that you there.
  • How does it feel now to be actually doing the activity?
  • What can you see, feel, hear, smell, even taste?
  • What’s it like to experience that wonderful state of flow when you’re absorbed in doing something you enjoy?
  • When you’re ready you can open your eyes and go and do it.