“Splinters: Tiny things commanding way too much attention ~ …Pull them out and be done with it!” ~Mark Oakes
We all get splinters from time to time. And they’re nasty little buggers, aren’t they? Burrowing in under the skin — too small to simply pluck out with our fingers, yet big enough to cause a significant distraction to us. You may try to tell yourself that you will deal with them later when you have time, but that doesn’t stop them from smarting. And, of course, if ignored long enough, you’ll have one heck of an infection going on.
Not that getting them out is a picnic. It’s painful to have to squeeze and prod the skin, all the while hoping that a tiny end of the errant piece of wood will pop out so you can snag it with a pair of tweezers.
The reaction we have to something we have to do (but don’t want to) is quite similar. Maybe it’s something that goes part and parcel with the activity at hand. Or perhaps it’s related to something completely different, but still needs to be done.
Try as we might to ignore the dreaded task, it still is there at the forefront of our minds, keeping us from being able to fully focus on what we’d rather do to achieve our goals. And so it sits and festers. It becomes bigger and bigger as the deadline for the particular job gets ever nearer, or as the guilt of missed opportunities weighs on us. We know that putting it off doesn’t help the situation (and may be counterproductive), but we do it anyway.
What tool can end this cycle? A plan that allows you to cross these tasks off your list. STOP procrastinating and do what needs to be done. Most of the time, the dread we build up in our minds is far bigger than the pain that is actually associated with it. Once you do it, you’re done with it. You may even think, “That wasn’t so bad. Why did I put it off for so long?”
What “splinters” are you allowing to fester and take you away from what you need to do to further your goals?
Image courtesy of Joel Penner
Does this article resonate with you? Imagine what could happen if I was working for you and your career!