I am one of the worst culprits at procrastination.
I know what you're thinking: If I am a horrible procrastinator, what can I possibly share about STOPPING the procrastination?
I feel you. BUT, hear me out.
I know all the ways that suck me in & make procrastination feel like it is inevitable. I succumb to the comfy couch or the thrilling TV series that I am binge-watching, now into the fifth season (it's “Arrow” right now, if you must know!). In a way, I am procrastinating NOW by writing this post. (Yet, I have procrastinated in writing here for a LONG time, so maybe I am not? LOL.)
So, it stands to reason, if I know what sucks me INTO procrastination, I ALSO know ways to avoid it. All that it takes is some perseverance & intention to actually STOP procrastination. This list is as much for me as it is for you — & that is okay.
ONE: SET CLEAR GOALS!
What is it you no longer want to push to the back burner? What is it that you NEED to accomplish — to get out of debt, to lose some weight, to buy a home, to pass a class, to clean your house every day, to take a shower & put on real clothes most days of the week?
What are your GOALS?
It doesn't matter how big or how small. It doesn't matter how long it will take to accomplish them. The idea is to actually set goals.
Write down every little thing.
Are some smaller goals attached to larger goals?
Just do it. Write them down & let your mind wander to all the ways you can do something daily or weekly or monthly to get a step closer to actually accomplishing those goals. Write all those things down too.
TWO: SET A SCHEDULE.
What does a typical day look like for you? Is it conducive to accomplishing the goals you wrote down? If not, what needs to change to accommodate activities that will get you closer to accomplishing those goals?
For me, it was getting up earlier.
I know, I know. “EARLIER, Reta Jayne? What on EARTH?! I am already tired!”
It is true, though. I get up earlier & have a couple of hours to myself to think, uninterrupted. It is during this time that I am composing this post! It WAS my intention to use this time to study & get schoolwork done, but I am learning I might need to modify my schedule a touch to accommodate THIS goal too.
So, learn from me: Make sure your schedule accommodates ALL your goals in some way. If EVERYTHING cannot fit into your DAILY schedule, look to your WEEK. How can you make a WEEKLY schedule to include everything? For instance, perhaps, Wednesday mornings, I will let schoolwork go & focus on Calculated Chaos for at least part of my “quiet” time.
Take it a step or two further if you need to & look to your MONTH or YEAR as well.
Your goal is not a goal without a plan to get there. Without the schedule — a PLAN — your goal is only a dream — & dreams don't come true without action.
THREE: TELL THE WORLD!
Okay, it doesn't HAVE to be the WORLD… BUT, it should be SOMEONE.
Tell someone about your goals & at least part of your plan to accomplish them. This is key. It can be anyone or several someones.
The whole point is that, when you tell someone, you are setting things into action. You are more likely to NOT make a fool of yourself by NOT making steps towards your goals.
When these people you share with come to you & ask how you're doing, what are you going to tell them? You want it to be positive. You want it to be honest. SO, you are more likely to actually DO what you planned to do.
SO, tell someone. Tell many someones. It IS in your best interest — PLUS, as a side bonus, perhaps you'll inspire someone else through YOUR progress.
FOUR: BE CONSISTENT!
Now you have your goals defined, a plan to get there, & a support system in the people with whom you've shared. It is time to actually DO THE WORK.
So, do it. Be consistent & stick to your plan — but be fluid enough to change the plan if something isn't working for you. Keep sight of your GOALS & not necessarily your plan. If you discover something in your plan isn't getting you closer to your goals for some reason, don't be afraid to change things up!
Your commitment is to your GOALS — the things you wish to accomplish — NOT to the plan to get there. Don't let roadbumps become obstacles. Find your way around them by creating a new plan when necessary.
Baby steps are still steps, so be consistent in making that progress, y'know?
FIVE: BE KIND TO YOURSELF.
This is a tough one for me. It can be a Catch 22.
Be kind to yourself. Allow mistakes, but LEARN from them. PUSH yourself to do more than you think you can do, but be forgiving if you don't always reach that higher bar.
As long as you are making progress, you are succeeding! So, you slipped up today? That is okay! Tomorrow is a new day!
The catch is that you cannot be so “kind” to yourself that you “forgive” yourself for slipping into old habits completely. THAT is NOT okay. That is NOT being kind to yourself; that is giving yourself EXCUSES & it is the exact opposite of being kind. It is enabling.
See what I mean about feeling like a Catch 22? The key is to allow yourself some grace from time to time, but to keep sight of overall CONSISTENCY & your end goals.
You can do it! (And, so can I!)
Stay tuned for an update on MY goals in regard to this… I have A LOT going on in my world that I am excited to start sharing here again… & I sincerely hope that, in sharing, I can help, inspire, & motivate even ONE other person… We shall see. 😉
So, tell me, what are some of YOUR goals? What have YOU been procrastinating? What is sucking you into that procrastination? Do tell. Lets learn from each other.
Until next time…
<3 Reta Jayne