If you are anything like me, there is more to do on your “to-do” list than you could possibly get done. That’s okay. I will move things to the next day and then it’s fine. Because surely by tomorrow I can get all this done, right? Wrong. Because tomorrow, I won’t get it done, so I will move it to the next day’s list:) That’s the art of procrastinating. I give myself a big window of time to get things done.
To be honest, the delay does not actually make me happy. In fact, when I can check things off my list, I feel pretty good! Putting things off can threaten my dreams and goals and actually make me feel pretty bad about my time-management skills. Some of the things I might do in order to avoid doing something on my list is look at social media, check my e-mail, or decide to start doing something that pops into my head right this moment instead of writing (I did not just finish researching something I might want to write about in the future…when I could have been writing this article).
Do you avoid doing things, make excuses, or are you truly not able to fit it all in? The reasons we might create sound really, really good! Even in business. I don’t feel like keeping this scheduled appointment because of x,y,z. I need the perfect time to do this. I am not sure this is the right time. Many many people do this even in their wellness goals! I can’t possibly start a new way of eating right now because I have a vacation, birthday, grandma’s visit, etc. Fill it in with your reason you are putting off eating right:) Yes, I have done all this too.
5 Tips to Start Doing Things (and stop avoiding things):
- Make a list of all the things that were on your to-do list from yesterday…or perhaps this week. Maybe even this month. Now, after that is finished number them in importance. Take the top three, and see if you can enlist in help to accomplish them. Could your kids, spouse, friend help or are these things you have to do alone? Decide if you can delegate, but don’t delegate if it’s not going to get done. Ask for help with a chunk of the item. For example, say it’s too much laundry. Could your children just fold theirs? Yes. Then get started!
- Visualize the task actually getting done and how you will feel. I do lots of this, I know. I do this because the brain undergoes a type of change called neuroplasticity, and while I am not a doctor or scientist, I find brain research really amazing. In the field of wellness, it has changed my life and the lives of many others who use this technique. I use this in the yoga classes I teach, my journal therapy, and my online course 4 Weeks to Wellness. Belief changes brain chemistry and brings about immune, hormonal, and physiological changes throughout the body, so believe you can accomplish your task.
- Give yourself a time-out or consequence if you don’t finish your task by the date you picked. If you prefer positive reinforcement, you can do that instead. If I clean the whole house before the kids come home, I can take a long bath in peace and quiet. If I don’t clean the house before the kids come home, I am going to be stressed out, and that doesn’t help the situation. It could be something like, I am going to remove the social media app X because I know it distracts me. I know lots of people who do this one. One girl who runs a business removed her entire personal account off social media…and only gets on through her husbands. I am not suggesting that, but some people know where the distractions are. You probably know too:)
- Declare your goals in a small group! You have to find the right group though…not a competitive one, or one where everybody says oh it’s okay. Just put it off until you feel ready. We are all looking for that assurance that we can put everything off until tomorrow Scarlett. Accountability partners are great to help you with not wasting time.
- WRITE it out on sticky notes, on a list, on the fridge, in your phone, etc. Have it visible and fresh in your mind what you need to get done each day. If it helps you, make monthly goals at the start of each month, then weekly. Then daily. I know this is crazy, but I actually do this. For the month of July, my goals are ____. I write them in my journal. On my planner I have weekly goals. On the day I have daily goals. I love to check things off!
Do you need even more support in a group? Read Head|Heart|Health tab on the top of the blog.