Hi! I moved to a new place. I would love for you to visit me there.

inspiration and procrastination – how to keep one and get rid of another

I’ve been procrastinating lately. Again. And finding excuses of why I can’t do certain things on this blog and for my business.

And I gotta tell you, some of my excuses are really good.  I have a baby who is still waking up several times a night and I have lots of days when I feel overwhelmed with the everyday real life things –  like laundry and cooking healthy meals 3 times a day and keeping kids entertained and keeping up with their activities and all the things I want to do with them.

And I am mostly overwhelmed with not being able to figure out my schedule because right now my schedule depends on baby naps and whether she’ll go to sleep on time in the evening and not wake up every hour or so at night.  All of those things won’t go away in the near future. So I have to learn to work with them instead of using them as excuses to not do what I want to do. And I know I can.

So I felt the lack of inspiration to write or do anything on this blog last week. And it was a kind of feeling I had before. Anxious/overwhelmed kind of feeling.

And then, of course, real life with its demands chimed in and not only didn’t I feel like writing but I also didn’t have a minute to do so. Real life likes to do that. You feel certain way – life brings you more things to feel that way. Works like a charm usually.

I had this pattern before.

Now that I think about it, my on and off cycle with my business and my writing was never truly caused by my personal life events. Even though I did have a roller coaster in the past 2 years with getting divorced, getting married, having a baby and those did take me off the course. But really, they were not the main reasons why I stopped writing and working on my business. They were rather excuses. There are lots of people who create in much more challenging circumstances than I had.

So what was the true reason of why I stopped writing and keeping up with my business?

I was not inspired. Simple as that.  And I was not desperate enough to keep going despite being uninspired. You know, you can create out of inspiration or out of desperation. I didn’t have either.

I could have used my will power, of course. I always thought my will power was good. I guess I was wrong.

So I started feeling the same pattern again. The feeling of “I have to do this and that and the other to take my blog and business off the ground.” And then the feeling – “I don’t feel like doing it. Let me find an excuse why I can’t.” And of course life throws me a very good excuse. The real life with all of its demands kind of excuse But, really, the problem is – I am not inspired and I have a huge resistance toward doing what I am not inspired to do. I start procrastinating.  I start questioning myself. I see it all, but I keep doing it.

So I stopped and asked myself – “Why? Why do I feel anxious and overwhelmed? Why do I feel not inspired?”

I heard the answer.

I love it how answers come, as soon as I ask the questions. Really. It is all the matter of asking the right question.  Deep inside you always know the answer. So simple. Why don’t we just do it all the time?

So what was the answer?

The box.

Interesting how that particular word came to mind. But I knew right away what it meant.

I was feeling overwhelmed because I felt that I needed to do certain things within the certain limits. Get active on social media. Start guest posting. Connect. Comment. Hustle. You know the drill. Every business needs to be promoted.

I put limits on myself.  I had an idea in my head of what I thought I should be doing on this website and what I thought I couldn’t do.  In a way the message that I thought I had was my box also. Because it limited me from going anywhere that didn’t fit that message. And even though the message was broad and I did go outside often, I still felt boxed in. Maybe I need to rethink the message. Or at least rethink my perception of what my message means.

Actually now that I think about it, the very fact of having a business is a box in a way. Because once you say you have a business, you have to define it. You have to describe what your business is all about. What you do. How you do it. Who you serve. How you serve. You have to find the right words. You have to put it in a cage of definitions and descriptions. You are not open anymore.

What is the solution you ask? To not have a business or a message? I am trying to figure it out as I go.

But we are talking about inspiration, remember?

As of right now I see two main things that drain my inspiration.

– The limits I put myself in when deciding what I can do in my business and what my business is all about.

– And all the hustle that I felt needs to be done on a daily basis to get it off the ground again. I don’t like the hustle. Even though Gary Vaynerchuk swears by it. I hate it. And I believe. I do believe it can be easier. It can be minimized. I just need to let go of the belief that I need to hustle and find ways to do less and accomplish more.

My spirit resists the box – the limits, the cage. It resists the hustle because it is also a box. A very unpleasant one. Of course, I can use will power. I’ve done it before. But I know where that will take me. I’ve been there before too. I’ll crash. I will find a good excuse and crash.

I need to get outside the box.

I need to rethink  how this website and what I thought I should be doing here is limiting me from who I am and from doing what I truly want to do.

I need to get outside the box with all the things I feel I should be doing. I need to minimize hustle. And ask new questions.

How can I accomplish my goals doing less?

And last but not least. My new workflow.

I should start every day anew.

Leo Babauta wrote it perfectly in his last post – start empty-handed and full-hearted. I should make it a point to focus majority of my time and attention on what truly inspires me.

Of course, there will be tasks that I dread and that suck my energy out, they are not going anywhere. What I can do about them is set limits. Clear limits. For example, 45 minutes a day I am going to do things that just need to get done. The hustle kinda things. The things that are on my to-do list.

After 45 minutes I can be done. I will allow myself to be done. If I am inspired to keep going, I will, if not, I won’t.

And don’t underestimate the power of focused 45 minutes. I know I can move mountains in 45 minutes, if I really focus.

The rest of the time I will focus on what I am inspired to work on. It might be writing. It might be a new project, even though it might look like now is not a good time to start it. If I am inspired, it means it is a good time. Even if tomorrow I’ll decide to set it aside and start something new.

I will start empty-handed. No to do lists allowed outside of the allotted 45 minutes. The only thing that is allowed is the question – What am I inspired to do now?

I will let you know how it will go.

In the meantime, I am taking off my coaching page. This website and me need to spend some time together to think how we can get rid of the box we put ourselves in.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Genia March 21, 2012 at 6:44 pm
Daniel Brown March 22, 2012 at 3:12 am

Lana! I came across your material way before your divorce. And yes, you do come and go. But really… divorce, marriage, kids… they will shape your perceptions beyond what was hoped for- Require time when the allotted amount has already been used. I hope after purging that energy above you can find value exercising a bit more self compassion. I was hooked from the very beginning reading as if the words were unlocking my own personal treasure chest. The insights released are golden coins for us all. You tied it up soo nicely with that last line, “This website and me need to spend some time together to think how we can get rid of the box we put ourselves in”. be well, ~dlb


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