How to Kill Task Avoidance

2204059683_09eb09601b_zThere were some tasks  I just didn’t get done before we went away in December. Every time I looked at my to-do list, I’d see certain items, and then pretend they weren’t there. Invariably I would  choose  something else to do.

The resistance I experienced to doing those tasks was huge.

You can call this all sorts of names – lazy, procrastination, lack of priorities, demotivated...

I left for my holiday. Even though there were loads of family with us (19 to be exact) and we spent a LOT of time preparing and cooking meals, I still managed to  relax.

Our routine was something along the lines of:  up early, long walk on the beach, 9am breakfast, back to the beach to lie in the sun and swim, lunch, sleep and read, tea, sun downers somewhere, supper, early (ish) to bed.

Repeat – day in and day out for 2 weeks!

Back home early in Jan, I sat at my desk and wiped those tasks out in a matter of hours. Easily and effortlessly. Nill resistance.

I didn’t think too much of it until I met a friend for coffee. (New Year’s resolution – make time to see friends!)

She told me the exact same story – almost word for word. She literally couldn’t do some tasks before her leave, and then did them effortlessly after her leave.

Now I was interested. What made the difference?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences of this too.

Before December my friend and I were both in an unresourceful state.

In January we were both in a resourceful state.

The No 1 killer of resourceful states is stress. Think about how stressed we get before we go on leave. There is so much to do, not enough time. On top of work, you have to prep and plan for the holiday. The kids are home. The domestics are on leave……

In the last post I spoke about getting into a flow state. This is a resourceful space. This can ONLY happen when you are calm and relaxed.

So how do you shift from an unresourceful state to a resourceful state?

3 Steps to shift into a resourceful state.

  1. Awareness:  Notice when you  are procrastinating, avoiding and feeling overwhelmed. Acknowledge that this is an unresourceful state.
  2. Calm down: One of my clients has become so good at recognizing when she is panicking. She removes herself to a quiet space and breathes herself into calmness. She reflects for a few minutes. Now she is resourceful and goes back to work. It literally takes less than 5 minutes. The key thing is that SHE DOES IT!
  3. Practical arrangements: Arrange your world so that you can work in a flow state for a good period of time. Just like what I have done to write this post; turned the phone to silent, did two things that were urgent so they were away and done, close email, switch on some music, told people in my house that I needed to work quietly for a few hours. Now the writing is coming easily and effortlessly. I can focus. I can concentrate.

Practice this every day – it gets easier and easier.

All that is needed now is to remember this in December! I’ll put a reminder on my phone to read this post again in November!

Or perhaps you can hold me accountable? Ask me in December if I am following my own good advice 🙂


Stress is an important dragon to slay
or at least tame
in your life.

Marilu Henner

 Photo From Flickr


About Kirsten Long

Coach. Toastmaster. Prison-worker. Wife. Mother. Friend.
This entry was posted in awareness, Choices, Life Mastery, Managing Stress, Motivation. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How to Kill Task Avoidance

  1. Heather says:

    I think we all feel this way but dont actually realise what is happening to us until we read about it, like I did now, finally one can feel normal, wow!!!
    Its Amazing how calming it is when someone else reveals the feeling you had and you could not “explain” just what it is, thanks.
    With me I find that as soon as I take a few days Leave from work, I suddenly get sick and all that I planned to do goes right out the window,hope Im not alone on this one!!

    • Kirsten Long says:

      Hi Heather,

      Yes, it always helps us feel normal when we hear others are going through what we are going through.

      I have also experienced what you talk about as well 🙂

      I often get sick on holiday – especially when its an “expensive” one like a special overseas trip. A few days in and I get flu. The psychology behind that could be quite interesting!

      Thanks for sharing

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