Avoidance. We all know the word and what it looks like in negative form. However, are you aware of the “normal” things we do that fall into the avoidance category? I am the owner of Profit Matters, since I experience this personally, I felt it important that I write this specific blog. Before I share my avoidance tactic, let me say that I am always met with “but it’s productive” or a look of disbelief. I am certain many of you will do the same.
So, what do I do? I organize and declutter… I know, I know. It sounds crazy, but I assure you, it is avoidance in every sense of the word. When my to-do list is long or I have pending tasks that make me feel overwhelmed and semi-defeated, I project those feelings into my house and space. It all feels chaotic. It all feels a mess. I cannot focus on anything else until it is all cleared out. I purge and I clean, and I organize. Did I mention this can happen many times a year? I have purged and reorganized the garage – 3 times this year alone. Clothes, shoes, closets, blankets, kids’ items (not the kids)… Nothing is off limits… Out with the old, in with the new I suppose?? No, the ugly truth is, it is avoidance and my go-to distraction when I cannot take on life or that dang list.
How do I combat it? That is tricky. The truth is most of the times I do not because my brain will hyperfocus on how overwhelming everything feels, which I have learned affects my overall demeanor. However, I do recognize it and the triggers, so I have taken these steps to reduce it:
Smaller daily lists
Asking the kids for help
Ideas, future topics, wants, desires, etc are written in a separate list for future reference
Screenshots (and photos) are uploaded to the appropriate folders once a week, then deleted
Videos and/or articles that piqued my interest are saved on Facebook, then again, once a week I skim them over and delete
Email folders and flags are a lifesaver to keep my inbox cleaned up
Finally, the most important thing for me is to speak this every day “done is better than perfect”. Not to be confused with sloppy or time wasted work because that is not my jam. My version of done is tackling the tasks that generally take a lot of time and focus (hence avoidance), but also can be reworked at a later time. For example, custom spreadsheet formats for financials, social media posts, or new marketing campaign I would like to roll out. For these tasks, I can start the process and format, then go back when I need to. It clears it off my mind, my to-do list and allows me to focus on the smaller tasks.
Do you have an avoidance tactic? Can you recognize the triggers? How can you combat it?