The problem with the “head in the sand” approach to problem resolution is that, even for the most expert protagonists, the problem generally tends to still be there when normal business resumes.
Ignoring problems may seem like an attractive way of avoiding having to deal with them but at best it’s only effective as a delaying tactic. Often the delay achieves little more than to magnify the problem and increase the potential consequences.
However much we’d like to be able to wave a magic wand and make problems disappear, the only effective way of dealing with them is by dealing with them… worth remembering the next time you are tempted to look around for somewhere to hide.
Sometimes deciding not to start something is the best option. Rather than feeling guilty, you can rest assured that you’ve made the right choice…
There isn’t time to do the job right, you don’t have the energy, you’re not in the right frame of mind, you don’t have the right tools…
Each of these can be a valid reason to delay, you will do a much better job when the deficit has been addressed. However, once you’ve made the decision there’s another important question to ask yourself… if not now then when?
If you don’t have a satisfactory alternative then the preferable option isn’t an option at all. Unfortunately you’re just going to have to knuckle down and get on with it!
Difficult conversations rarely get easier with time. Avoiding the situation, postponing the discomfort, hoping that it’ll go away is not a good strategy.
If anything the difficulty is likely to grow over time, fed by paranoia; the chance of a successful resolution undermined by anxiety, the ebb and flow of conversation disrupted by awkwardness.
Difficult conversations are better in the past, as history, experiences. Take control the timing by initiating the discussion. Think it through in advance but be prepared for a dialog; listen and respond.
A difficult conversation that still has to happen is a distraction, an energy drain, a potential disaster. Get it out of the way and move forward.
Sometimes it’s difficult to get in gear, to get moving and get things done. Stuck in neutral, there’s always something to distract you from the task in hand, to divert your attention from the real work that will move you towards your goal.
It can be frustrating, both for you and for others that are dependent on you. Bizarrely, it tends to happen most often when you’re not particularly busy, when you have plenty of time, when the pressure’s not on. The lack of urgency feeds your procrastination, you get into a habit of being busy doing nothing, filling your days. Eventually it’s too late, you’re racing against a deadline and spinning your wheels.
Often all that’s required is to achieve something, anything, to get yourself back on track. It really doesn’t matter how insignificant the task is, just completing it is sufficient to get you moving again. You can score something off your “To Do” list and move on to the next item. Taking on the biggest, most difficult task first is unlikely to succeed, it’s just too big a step.
Start small, take a step forward and get yourself on a roll.