It’s all too easy to have so much “stuff” going on when we are busy with the little things and procrastinate on the “big things”.
Often these “big things” are the ones that are going to make the real difference to our lives. They needn’t be big in and off themselves. But they are big in terms of the mental space they are taking up. They are the nagging, constantly present “I know I should but …” thoughts. Familiar?
There are many reasons WHY we procrastinate. Often we are worried about a reaction from someone else, or it’s not a particularly pleasant job, or we want it to be perfect so never actually get around to doing it?
I was all too familiar with procrastination – writing a blog has been in my mind for years – one day I realised that sometimes we just have to start.
Top Tips for Avoiding Procrastination:
Tell someone! Find an accountability partner and motivate each other to get things done. Having accountability to someone other than ourselves often gives us that extra bit of motivation we have been waiting for!
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2. Set a Deadline
By framing the job / challenge with an end date it will move up your priority list. Just be disciplined to not move the date!
3. Adopt Essentialism and Fight the Overwhelm
I know, I know, I am evangelical about this – BUT – it was a huge lightbulb moment for me. We have a tendency to pull ourselves in a million directions and never, as a consequence, actually move anywhere!
Essentialists focus on one thing at a time – and are fully committed to that task. This isn’t to say we can’t multi-task – hell as Mum’s that’s our middle names right?!
What essentialism teaches us is that we can multi-task but we can’t multi-focus.
So if you have a head full of a myriad of things – stop! Breathe, grab a pad and brain dump everything onto the list.
Now categorise what you can and can’t control yourself.
Those you can’t directly control yourself park.
Those you are waiting for someone else to do something first plan to remind them and park.
Now you are left with a list of what you can control and do – now identify what is the most important thing to do RIGHT NOW.
By focussing on what is the most urgent and important in the moment we relieve the stress of decision making.
When the people i manage at work are feeling overwhelmed I ask them to run through their to do list with me in this format:
Super simple but effective – hopefully once the system is up and running nothing ends up in the top right!
4. Timer Challenge
Sometimes when something is boring or unpleasant we give it way too much mental time. Silly little things then become niggles that you can’t get out of your head – so turn it into a game – set a timer and tell yourself you will do as much as you can in 5/10/15 minutes and then stop. I just bought this little beauty so I have no excuses not to do a 15 minute evening blitz!
5. Simplify Life
Life is busy enough. By adopting a simpler way of living and organising we can implement systems to become more efficient. Like this hack for never having to sort your laundry basket out again!
Be inspired by other people’s routines and systems and devise some of your own … it can actually be fun!
I became so passionate about this I wrote a post of my top 5 Mum hacks – read it here
6. Adopt the 1 touch rule
Hands up who has mail in a “filing pile” ? Don’t overcomplicate by accumulating stuff in piles waiting to be put away.
Not only will this increase the clutter in your home but you will always feel like you are drowning.
Once you have picked something up take it to where it needs to go straight away. If it needs to go upstairs / downstairs buy a basket that gets filled up through the day and travels with you as you go (or just get the extra steps in!).
If it’s post is it rubbish or for filing – if it’s filing … file it!
7. Understand Why
Is it fear that is preventing you from moving forwards? identify what is holding you back and address it … if it is recognise there are different types of fear and each requires a different solution to move past it. Are you afraid of letting someone else down? Of it not being perfect? Or are you afraid of what others think? Each of these has a solution trust me!
I was genuinely stuck in a huge rut, here is how I moved past that and started taking action.
8. Stop being a Perfectionist and JDI!
Just Do It! Start! Go!
I overthought and overanalysed everything I needed to do to be able to write a blog for years. Im my head it was beyond me to even know where to start and the few times I did start investigating I get overwhelmed and gave up.
Realising that any progress is still progress is key – realising that to fail is a First Attempt In Learning rather than a reason to not start!
Maya Angelou once said:
Or maybe Karim Sediki resonates more for you?…
For more inspiration to get started pop over to my Pinterest Quotes Board and immerse yourself (you’re welcome!).
We are all human – and we all love validation in some way – plus you deserve this! So reward yourself when you have accomplished your list or the one thing you have been putting off. The relief of crossing it off might be enough reward in itself – you have your head space back … if not hot chocolate all the way!
What are your top reasons for procrastinating? Would love to hear in the comments below if this post has helped you get a “big thing” crossed off!
Love Ali x
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