Navigating the Intersection of Work and Mental Health

Working Better and Stressing Less

Ideas on work and mental health

How do I get moving? Part two: Experiments to run on yourself

In my last post about how to get moving on important projects and tasks, I talked about being mindful of how you avoid these things and compassionate with yourself about why you avoid them. Sometimes knowing those two things is enough to get folks out of avoidance cycles and other times, we have to get a little more granular. So if those exercises didn't help, perhaps give these a try...

Last time you had to get a really important thing done, how did you move from inaction to action? Common answers include:

  • I didn't and I missed the deadline. That's the problem. 
    • Who did you hurt or what did you lose?
  • I finished it right at the deadline because I had to. 
    • How can we get you third party accountability around some of the things you want to get done so that you have a deadline someone is counting on you to meet?
  • It was such an interesting or important thing that it was special so I got it done because I prioritized it easily. 
    • List some ways that the things currently on your list are interesting and important and then make these reasons very visible. 
  • It was such a simple or easy task that it simply didn't take much to finish it. 
    • Make subtasks to the big things on your list that don't take much to finish and perhaps give yourself checks, stickers, or prizes for finishing these little tasks. 

These are only a few examples of how I might help a client better understand how avoidance works for them so that they can find workarounds to get important things done. The key is to treat yourself as a puzzle to be solved and not something to be fixed. Everybody can learn to get important work done in their lives!

Katie Playfair