Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Procrastination

If and When were planted, and Nothing grew. Proverb

This morning I looked around my house at all the stuff I've been meaning to do but haven't done. I've become a procrastinator. I didn't used to be one of those, but now that I'm dealing with a health challenge and have little energy, I only get done what I need to do, like cooking meals, paying bills, getting my toilet fixed, correcting errors the pharmacy makes, preparing short presentations for church and my writing group's yearly celebration, putting gas in the car, etc. You know, stuff like that. But my house is a mess, my yard has almost died, I'm rationing my socks until I can get to the laundry, and most important, I haven't been doing my soul growth activities, like soul-searching, meditation, music, laughter, spreading love around, etc. You know, stuff I recommend for others to do. Well, I told myself to get cracking and stop procrastinating. But that's not easy, is it.

Knowing that millions of other people also procrastinate is not much consolation, because I know we're each responsible for our own life. But I can share what I'm now saying to myself about this malady.

When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that in itself is a choice. William James

1. First, will power probably won't change anything. I use will power every day, and nothing happens.
2. Close your eyes, look inside with an honest heart and identify what is holding you back. Is it fear, fatigue, illness, boredom, unclear goals, perfectionism, distractions? What?
3. If you find limiting beliefs about yourself and/or your world, confront them and gently let them go, replacing those beliefs with truth.
4. Find ways to correct and/or work around any other limiting situations. Rest when you're tired. Clarify goals. Accept your imperfection (we're all imperfect), etc. Put some laughter in your life. People are not bored when they're laughing.
5. Make a list of things you've been putting off. Then break them down into smaller tasks. (When things pile up, we become overwhelmed and immobilized) List-making gives you a sense of power, control and motivation, because you no longer have all that stuff running around in your head.
6. Take one task at a time from your list, ignore everything else, and time yourself. Work for 10 minutes, 20 minutes, you name it. Then leave it for a while and do something pleasant. Walk outside, sing, take a nap, whatever. You may have to address a need to stay with something until it's done. But unless it's a requirement on your job, you have a choice. Use your power of choice.

Accept yourself as you are now. There's nothing wrong with you. We're all a work in progress. Give yourself time, and be patient with you. And find someone to give you a hug and reassurance. If you can't find anyone, Spirit within will give you a hug. Just ask.

I wish you lots of hugs.

Marilyn

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