Changing Habits

Avoiding Avoidance Creatively

Avoiding Avoidance Creatively
wrote this on September 4, 2012

Human creativity is credited with the advancement of the human race.  Of course, some are more creative than others; it’s the combination of creativity, drive, and ability that separates the great ones from mediocrity.

That’s all fine and dandy but let’s talk brass tacks.  We are all creative in our own way.  The problem arises when our creativity turns against us.  When we are in the zone, our creativity leads to great personal achievement.  But, it’s the same creativity that we use to avoid tasks, responsibilities, and ultimately our goals & objectives.  I call this avoiding avoidance creatively or the “art of avoidance”.

We are so good at the art of avoidance that it can sabotage our progress by bending our will; helping us excuse our way out anything.  We are so creative that we become complacent, repeating the same mistakes again and again.

So how can you pit your wits and creativity against your…wits and creativity?

The root cause of the “art of avoidance” is of course “avoidance”.  So, it’s time to use the same weapon to fight back and stop avoiding once and for all…Let’s see how it’s done.

Avoidance and Sleep

The Pain

@#%&^*, its 2:00 am again, you’re in front of Facebook or your TV, you’re dead tired and you need to wake up in 4 hours.  The next day will be productively rotten no matter what you’ll do.   You end up crawling into bed full of remorse asking yourself “couldn’t I just stop at 11? What have I gained from sleeping late again?

The solution

To battle sleep avoidance, go “black-ops” on it.  Use blackout, radio silence and misdirection.

1# Do you have a TV in your room? Now you don’t…get rid of it. A TV screen in your room can steal a good 2-3 hours from any good night sleep.   That’s over 30% of your recommended daily sleep.

2# Have an internet connection? Not after 11:00 PM you don’t.  Turn off your internet router, mobile phones, iPad, etc…you get the point.  The only things open should be a book beside your bed.

Avoidance and Tasks

The Pain

Do you enjoy Doodling, Googling and Noodling before working on a task only to find out you’ve got 10 minutes left to finish it? Worry not! Help is on its way…

The Solution

1# Doing your work is all about preparation.  If you invest a few minutes each night to plan the day ahead, and a few more minutes during the morning when you wake up, you’ll doodle less, and do more. You see, it’s one of those Jedi mind tricks sales people used to pull back in the day. The more you say yes to what the sales person’s saying (no matter on which subject btw)…the more likely you’ll be willing to say yes and commit once he lays the offer down.  Each time you plan or prepare, you are saying “yes” to doing and completing the task.

2# Don’t go cold-turkey on doodling.  As it turns out, some doodling can actually help you concentrate on the task at hand, research show that doodling helps you to remember and process on average 29% more information.  Doodling prevents daydreaming, and daydreaming contrary to common belief is actually quite taxing on the brain.  PS. As far as Googling, no research on that, but I can tell you from personal experience, eject!

Avoiding Avoidance Creatively on IQTELL's productivity blog

Avoidance and the Doctor

The Pain

When the topic of doctor visits come up, the first thing you do is immediately change the subject, put it off until later, or simply avoid bringing it up in the first place (when you can). The truth is that avoiding the doctor is a form of procrastination that actually can pose a direct threat to your well being…and that’s not a laughing matter.

The Solutions

1# If you’re not mature enough to commit to regular health inspections, leave it to someone whom you can’t avoid…it’s better than the alternative and eventually you’ll man up (yes, you heard me… men are 20% less likely than women to visit the doctor).

2# Overcome your fear with a simple hack.  Whether it’s fear of bad news, tests or white robes it doesn’t matter – procrastinate by exercising! Sounds far-fetched? Exercising increases your brain power, fights depression and according to Richard Branson it’s the hack that helps him get everything done. Once you’ll start exercising you’ll pay more attention to your health, and visit the doctor more often.

So there you go, thank you for reading avoiding avoidance creativity…From now on the art of avoidance will be another tool in your arsenal against procrastination.


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