#11 Solutions for procrastination
Helpful podcasts and zines
I hope everyone is doing well and you've been getting my newsletter. I haven't heard from many of you, so I'm unsure if you've been reading along. So just let me know, hit the like button below or comment. I see the comments, so I can be reassured that you are at least getting everything okay.
Today in Sicily, it's nice and sunny, with lovely blue skies but chilly, so Spring is still far away. Sorry to be talking about the weather, but I needed to get this letter started.
I've been struggling with procrastination still this week. It's my biggest problem, but I still manage to do the work at the very last minute. This is okay; that means the procrastination is not chronic.
I've been listening to a helpful podcast this week that helped me understand why we put things off. We all do it at one time or another, so I thought I'd mention it.
The Mel Robins podcast is a beautiful resource for motivation, change, mental health and productivity. I try to listen to her every week because she sounds like a kind of wise big sister who is very reassuring and motivating. There is an episode where she explores procrastination and how to stop it.
Robins looks at the behavioural science behind why people avoid even basic tasks, from micro procrastination scrolling through social media, or ignoring deadlines. She says that the cause of it all isn't laziness or self-consciousness; instead, it's a stress response.
The actual reason for delaying your actions is that you feel worried about something, which is triggering the desire to avoid work in a kind of protection mode.
So she goes through and pulls apart the procrastination cycle. How to realise your actions, identify the real reason why you may feel stressed, which usually has nothing to do with the tasks you are avoiding and acknowledge your fears and worries before giving yourself a chance to do better.
It is amazing how complex our minds are, how we feel all these emotions, and our body goes into survival mode if it feels we need to be protected. Procrastination is a stress response.
Yeah, that makes sense; the anxious thinking part of me creates a lot of stress. It was beautiful to hear that my actions aren't something I do to self-sabotage or out of laziness; instead, it's about feeling overwhelmed.
The resolution to procrastination, then, is to realise the emotions blocking you, then in acknowledging them, you ultimately need to forgive yourself and then permit yourself to try again. To take small steps to do better every day. Because once you get started, it will all begin to flow again.
Here I am, writing this newsletter this week even though I've been putting it off all week and feeling like I am writing nonsense and giving myself credit for showing up. So yeah, I will talk about the weather to get myself started.
Are you a procrastinator? If you are, I suggest Mel Robbin's podcast; it is a real help.
This is one of my favourite photographs that I have taken in Sicily. It was taken many summers ago when my son was still small, and we had gone to the beach at Testa di Monaco near Capo d'Orlando.
I was swimming in the shallows, looked back at the coastline, and had one of those moments.
You know when you see something stunningly beautiful that you want to pinch yourself. I ran out of the water, grabbed my battered Olympus digital camera, and took this photo. I think it shows off the nature of the Sicilian coastline, how the mountains taper down to the beach and the crystal clear sea.
How the houses seem scattered through the landscape, toppling down upon one another in haphazard randomness. How people can walk out of their front doors and onto the beach. Something so typical of Sicily, the sea is always nearby.
The landscape seems unstable as if the houses might come tumbling down any minute. Yet the fertility of the province of Messina is evident with many olive groves, lush vegetation and a sprinkling of fichi d'india cactus.
This image is in my zine titled A Sicilian Mosaic. A zine is a self-published book or magazine dedicated to a personal interest or specific theme designed to share with a small audience.
I loved making something small, personal and well-crafted for those already reading along with me on my blogs. It was an enthralling process, which I hope to continue regularly.
So Sicilian Mosaic is a collection of my favourite images from the Sicilian villages, towns and cities I have visited. Each place has its personality; like characters on a stage, they proudly act out their daily dramas as faithfully as any well-rehearsed actor.
After nearly twenty years of living and photographing Sicily, it felt good to physically go through my archive and pick out the most shining examples of my images to create a personal journey through Sicily.
If you are interested, A Sicilian Mosaic can be purchased on Amazon.
Also, if you become a paid subscriber, I plan to give away some of my zines and unique printed postcards of some of my photos. So why not subscribe?
I hate to be long-winded, so I will stop here now.
I'll keep trying to write something worthwhile, well thought out and new here every week, perhaps more often if I get in some karmic writing zone.
Thanks for subscribing, and be sure to send this to a friend or someone you think might enjoy it.
Speak again soon.
With love and light from RDB
P.S: If you are enjoying these free posts, why not consider subscribing to my paid newsletter too, which is currently dedicated to my travel memoir, Sicilian Descent. You will get a weekly serialised version of my book exclusively for you.
And I am also planning a little giveaway exclusively for my first paid subscribers.
If you enjoy the newsletter, I hope you consider becoming a supporter for only 5 euros a month (the price of a weekly catch-up over coffee!)
If you have already become a paid subscriber, then thanks a million! I'll get back to work and stop reminding you about updating your subscription.
No worries if you can't chip in or don't feel like doing so, but please consider forwarding this to a friend or two. It's a big help.