Tuesday, February 17, 2015

What's Next, And Are You Up To It?

With my first morning coffee in hand, I look around through sleepy eyes at the monumental job I've decided to tackle--go through my whole house, and sort out everything I own. It's time to release some of it, and make room for the new to come into my life. So why don't I grit my teeth and get to it?

The scary thing is, the more I slack off, the more it piles up, and the more it piles up, the more I slack off.  Amelia Mysko

I'm caught in that 'put it off' cycle where nothing gets done. Yes, this is a big job, but sometimes I put off the little jobs too, like doing laundry before the clothes hamper is so full it won't close, or throwing out spoiled food sitting in the frig too long. I'm not lazy, and I do know some causes of procrastination and ways to prevent it, so I better get with it on this job.

Don't ask for directions if you're not going to start the car.  Rob Liano

Everyone procrastinates sometimes, but has putting things off become a way of life for you? If so, you know that maintaining this habit requires a set of excuses, so you don't suffer 'procrastination guilt'. After all, you work hard, and you're a good person, so it's not your fault you can't get to everything. Of course, you can't. But be honest with yourself. Would it help to take a second look? I think it would for me.

Procrastination can stem from physical, mental, and/or emotional causes. Some may be the following:
1. Illness can sap your energy, and you no longer have enough stamina to keep up with everything. Maybe there's a handicap that limits necessary skills and abilities.
2. Your brain may be on overload with noise and distractions in our techy world, and you lack focus for those unmet tasks. So you put them on your 'later list'.
3. You may put something off if there's no consequence in letting it wait. So why hurry?
4. Maybe you're afraid of what might happen in a particular situation if you act. So you keep putting it off.
5. You may be depressed and too weak emotionally to handle everything.
6. You may be fed up, or feel like it all falls on you. Others aren't carrying their share. And you're just plain worn out

I'm fascinated with butterflies. They struggle in their protective cocoon growing and becoming what they're meant to be. Then they mature, and spread their wings doing what they're meant to do. I can't imagine one procrastinating. How great to fly with a sense of purpose and spend each day fulfilling that purpose. I wonder if they smile.

Life happens one step at a time, so plan your steps wisely.  Unknown

1. Ask questions. Why do I put things off instead of getting them done? Make a list of reasons, and clarify reasons vs excuses. The more you know about yourself, the better you can promote change.
2. Take steps to deal with any physical, mental, or emotional issues, and schedule some rest time every day.
3. Work on procrastination every time you're confronted with it.
     a. Clarify the task. Is it necessary and/or important to you, or can you just let it go altogether?
     b. Clarify why you're resisting it.
     c. List the benefits in completing it and the consequences if you don't.

     d. Organize time to do it, and go a little at a time if needed.
     e. Be determined, make a start, and do it.
     f. Forgive any goof-ups, and keep going.

Now you've got a formula for change. Every night make a to-do list for the next day, and check it off as you go along. You may slip up sometimes, but that's okay. And plan rewards for yourself. You deserve them. You're now a beautiful butterfly.

I wish you smiles every time you complete a task.


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