Ever wasted an entire practice session scrolling insta or chatting with your pole buds, knowing that time is ticking away and the likelihood of you actually getting on the pole is diminishing by the minute? Feels terrible, right? And even worse if that’s a bad habit that’s consistently getting in the way of you doing the thing you love. Procrastination, or “POLE-crastination” can be the frustrating bane of a poler’s life, and it’s something we all experience at some point.
Pole-crastination may present itself in different ways- for example spending 45 minutes choosing a song to freestyle to, scrolling aimlessly through instagram looking for “inspiration” or reading blog posts about how to defeat pole-crastination instead of choreographing for that upcoming competition. 😉
We’re here to help! According to Dr. Ellen Hendriksen, clinical psychologist at Boston University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, there are three main types of procrastinators, and the first step to defeating this frustrating habit is to identify which type of procrastinator you are so you can learn how to get productive in a way that suits your style. So buckle up and get ready to learn about your personal pole-crastination style and what you can do to kick the habit and get on the pole!
You put things off when they make you feel anxious, bored or overwhelmed. This is probably the most common form of procrastination among pole dancers- especially those who experience imposter syndrome or who are perfectionists. A great example of this is when you are training for a competition or performance. The anxiety of the upcoming event, being judged and the potential for things to go wrong can be very overwhelming and as a result you may avoid preparing for the competition all together. It doesn’t necessarily have to relate to preparing for a competition either, it could be simply that you hate the feeling of stretching your hamstrings so you constantly put it off.
You think things won’t take as long as they actually will or you constantly tell yourself “it will be fine” or “I’ll just wing it on the night”. This type of procrastination can come across as overconfidence or cockiness which can rub others up the wrong way especially when you constantly make promises to do something by a certain time and never follow through. This is a common trait with people who always run late. An example of this would be when you leave all of your class preparation to the very last minute because you thought you could do it in 20 minutes but it’s actually a 2 hour job.
The Pleasure Seeker
You do the things you like doing before the things you HAVE to do or don’t like doing as much. It is understandable to want to do the things you find enjoyable, however it is not a productive trait to have and sometimes can result in others having to pick up your slack or you simply not progressing. For example, you find conditioning boring and unenjoyable but you love to freestyle so you spend extra time freestyling and very little to no time on your conditioning.
Which one are you? You may identify strongly with one, or you may be a combination of multiple types.
So, what do we do about it? Following are 4 helpful tips to kick pole-crastination in the butt.
#1 Write a training plan
This is a great exercise for all the procrastinator types but particularly for ‘The Avoider’, as pre-planning can help to take some of the anxiety out of a task. Jot down how you want to structure your training along with how much time you want to spend on each task. It’s good to do this the night before you plan on training so that you’re already prepared when you arrive at the studio. It might look something like this:
10:00am – Warm up and freestyle
10:20am – Shoulder mount conditioning
10:30am – Work on overhead V and tabletop grip
10:50am – Work on Gargoyle
11:00am – Front splits stretch and cool down
#2 Get an accountability-buddy
Having someone holding you accountable is a great motivator. Whether it’s a friend from pole class or a virtual friend from an online community such as the PoleSphere Members Lounge. Sharing your progress with another person or group can help keep you inspired as well as giving you a different set of eyes to give you feedback and help you progress. Another benefit of training with a buddy is that it can make the things you find boring much more fun, which is beneficial if you are a ‘Pleasure Seeker’.
#3 Set clear goals
What do you want to achieve in the next month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months? Setting clear goals is a fantastic way to stay on track. Here’s a little activity to try. Write down these headings:
Short-term goal (1-3 months)
Mid-term goal (3-6 months)
Long-term goal (6-18 months)
Underneath those headings, write the steps you need to take to reach your goals for each timeframe. For example, if your long-term goal is to get your flat middle splits, the steps might be to take a yoga class once a week, add in a light stretch after every training session and do Lisa D’s Middle Split and Pancake stretch tutorial twice a week.
By setting goals and a timeline, you can track your progress as you work through the steps and gauge how much time you need to spend on certain tasks in order to achieve your goals. This method may be particularly helpful for ‘The Optimist’.
#4 Do the things you don’t like first
Sure, all you Pleasure Seekers might want to jump straight into the things you find the most fun such as stretching or dancing, but you still need to do your prehab and conditioning exercises! One great solution is to make a promise to yourself to get the stuff you don’t like doing out of the way before doing the things you love. It can help to write this promise down. For example: “Today I will do 15 minutes of conditioning to start my training session”. Keep the written promise with you as you go to training, and stick to it. This promise will be different from person to person, but the idea is to reward yourself with the fun activities after you complete the not-so-fun ones! You’ll be amazed at how much more productive you are when you commit to getting the less-fun stuff out of the way first.
So which pole-crastination type are you, and which ideas are you going to try? If you’re a PoleSphere member, come and have a chat with us about it in the Lounge! Understanding why you procrastinate and having a clear plan of attack can literally transform your ability to train more efficiently and help you achieve your pole goals. You can do it! It’s time to kick that pole-crastination to the curb and get on the pole!