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All work and no play - are you spinning your wheels or actually making progress?

Women make it happen!
Women make it happen!
Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

All work and no play...

"Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress." - Alfred A. Montapert

When I read this quote it reminded me of the term "busy work". Oh yes! Filling one's time with busy work, to avoid the difficult aspects of one's life, is not an uncommon phenomenon. Consider these questions to determine if you are caught up in busy work:

  1. Do you work from a list or is every movement spontaneous?
  2. Do you have a plan and priorities as to where you are going with your day, your week, and your life or are you just flowing along with the tide?
  3. Do you find reasons to postpone the important stuff because you have random, miscellaneous junk items to keep you occupied?

If you see where I am going with this, please know that you are not alone! Lots of us put off the difficult or complicated parts of our lives by justifying being busy with unimportant but time consuming tasks.

We give up dealing with truly important things because we're not sure how to start, much less how to complete something complicated or multi-faceted.

What I have found, from my own experience, is that we really have to give in to the fear, the lack of knowing the outcome, and START! Often, the first step is to take 15 minutes and THINK about your issue. Don't clutter your head and your body with other things. Just STOP what you are doing and START thinking, perhaps even writing down your thoughts. Write down random words or drawings or things related to what needs to be addressed. It might not make much sense but it will start your mind and body working together for a solution.

When your body is constantly in motion (like rocking, for instance) and your head is justifying not thinking because your body is busy, you know that you are procrastinating, not getting something important started.

Try the 15 minute trick a few times and you may well hit on something that feels tangible, palpable, and moving you in the direction of a solution. I have personally found this method to be liberating and, at some magical point, there is sense and even order to the chaos. I can proceed forward and, while still tentative, jump off my rocking horse and take some Big Girl Strides in a positive direction.

Stephanie Atwood, M.A. is an award winning author, speaker, and acclaimed nutrition and fitness coach who founded Go WOW Team and Go WOW LIving. Go WOW focuses on lifestyle issues and solutions for women.

Her books can be found on Amazon and on her website at Her ground breaking program Couch to Accomplished is revolutionizing the way women lose fat, eat real food, and learn to make movement a regular part of their lives.

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