Reflections: Procrastination and distractions – how do they impact your life?

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Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear – Norman Vincent Peale

A new month starts and can’t believe it’s already September – we start the last quarter of the year and I think… where did the rest of the year go? Time flies!

Do you sometimes have the feeling that time passes and you haven’t done much? Do you tend to procrastinate things? I’m not a huge procrastination myself, I’m more inclined to eat the frog first so I can move on and do things I enjoy. I have to admit though, that sometimes I do. And I also get distracted VERY easily – the phone rings, someone comes to talk to you, an email arrives into your inbox, text message, what’s app message, etc.

It’s hard to get things done and focus when you are a procrastinator or get distracted very easily. Something I’ve found that works for me in order to get better at it is the following (and remember, you need to find what works for YOU):

  • Understanding that when I eliminate procrastination from my life I get important benefits:
    • Sometimes we procrastinate because of fear, so if we take action and do that thing that makes us feel scared, the fear disappears and we gain confidence. Most times, it wasn’t that scary and hard!
    • When we take action, our creativity unleashes and our natural qualities / attributes shine.
    • Our self-esteem grows: we take action, gain confidence, realised we can do it (it wasn’t that hard after all), inspiration shines and we are aware of our real self and value. It can only get better!
    • We get a new level of experience or ability. We realised we can do it so we keep trying and getting better at it (and new things) – we keep learning and enriching ourselves.
  • Power sessions. Those work really well for me when I need to focus on something and get it done. It’s a very easy concept, it just requires discipline. How do I do it? I start my day by having a cup of tea and my moment of gratitude, then I stop to do my mindful breathing for few minutes (sometimes accompanied by couple of yoga exercises) and review my day’s schedule. Then I choose two or three tasks that need to be done (professional/personal) and decide which ones require my immediate attention so I book them in for my power session. How it works is:
    • Get rid of distractions: silence my phone, close my email, if at work I move to a quiet room, etc.
    • Spend few minutes visualising what I want to create and why. What value it is going to create.
    • I make myself fully present in the now and what I want to achieve.
    • I focus and do the task.

And you might thing that it’s easier said than done. You are right! Actually, I’ve been procrastinating for a month the refurbishment of my coming daughter changing table. When we moved into our new home a month and a half ago I decided to refurbish an old set of drawers instead of buying a new one. I got super excited and thought it’d be a great idea. The roadblock was (and is) that I have no idea how to do it. I’ve been procrastinating it with the excuse of having to sort other things in the house first, but reality is that now everything is organised and I can do it. So yesterday I decided to stop procrastinating! Let’s do it – I’ll need to book few different power sessions to do it (one to learn how, go to buy materials, and one or two more to get it done). I’m determined to do it this month – watch out for an accountability photo!

As I wrote in my previous post, this is just something that works for me and you need to find what works for YOU. I just hope that it might empower some of you. Would love to hear what works and doesn’t work for you, and if the above somehow supports what you are already doing.

With lots of love,

Laia x

Compassionate awareness

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“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” – Jim Rohn

Everyone has heard at some point the phrase “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” – haven’t you? Motivational speaker Jim Rohn, speaking about the law of averages, introduced this concept that now is noted everywhere.

Today I’d like to talk about this and how those people we choose to spend most of our time with impact our lives. It’s a reflection of what I’ve learned over the years – when I was young I used to choose quantity over quality. I used to be very social and know lots of people. But as I grew older, I leaned that it’s very important to pick well who we surround ourselves with, and started having difficulties finding real connections. Am I the only one?

Our relationships, financials, attitudes, professional success or anything else we want in our life, will tend to be close to the average of these conditions in the closest people we associate with. Why? Well, look around you. Do the conversations you have with those you surround yourself with focus on the present or past? Do they have a forward-looking, positive attitude or a blame and negative vibe? Ask yourself:

  • Are you surrounded by empowering people? Those who no matter what will find the positives and will find a way?
  • Are you surrounded by people that are draining you down? People that exhale negativity, blame and complain?

We should be asking ourselves the two questions above to measure if we are spending the right amount of time with the right people. And it’s not easy. It’s simple, but not easy. Why? Because most times, those people who are draining us down are close friends or family and it’s hard to drawn the line…

Actually, I used to be one of those people. I was disappointed with life and focused on the negatives instead of the positives which made me a “complainer”. That’s not good. It drains people down. I was lucky enough to gain awareness and see it, but hey, I do understand if I scared people off!

When I decided to include mindfulness and meditation into my daily life I was introduced to the two terms of compassion and awareness in order to practice it. It changed my life by giving me inner peace, something I can’t remember when was last time I experienced it.

It’s funny how very recently I came across the concept of compassionate awareness. Having compassion and having awareness and direction are not mutually exclusive. This concept allows me now to take care of myself, to careful think and discern who I surround myself with, even if that means to re-establish my whole circle. I don’t judge, I’m just honest with myself and ask the questions above. I ask myself whether or not the relationships I have in my life are empowering me, are the right support to my purpose and dreams (and even if I don’t have a clear purpose, they help me gain direction).

So next time you are spending time with a friend or family member and leave the catch up feeling exhausted, with low energy levels, try to reflect and answer the questions above. Then, there you have your answer.

I’m not saying you have to cut someone from your life, but draining relationships don’t deserve quality time – at least from my point of view, that doesn’t have to agree with everyone else of course. There are people with whom you can spend five minutes, but not three hours. There are people with whom you can spend three hours, but not two days.

Look after yourself and disassociate from those who drain you down. If you are working on your personal growth and development, focus on people who understand it and empower you.

The greatest gift you could ever give yourself, the wisest investment you could ever make is your own personal development – invest in yourself: improve, grow and be better every day. And choose well who are those people that walk along your side in your journey.

With lots of love,

Laia x