The ladies dazzled in their speeches (including yours truly!) and I have a refreshed outlook.
My favorite speaker was Marguerite. Marguerite is witty, polished, and full of passion when she delivers. When she is on the agenda, you KNOW you’re going to hear a word that’s inspired.
For her speech, Marguerite revealed her big secret: she procrastinates. As a procrastinator she has every excuse under the sun about WHY she can’t do things when she needs to get them done. According to Psychology Today, procrastination in “large part reflects our perennial struggle with self-control as well as our inability to accurately predict how we’ll feel tomorrow, or the next day.”
Marguerite presented the most well known reasons procrastinators use and ways to combat them.
- Most procrastinators claim they work well under pressure. While we do get the job done, sometimes it’s shoddy, not well thought out, not researched, and feels rushed. When I wait until the last minute, say for a speech or blog post, I dash something off then kick myself later because I think of things I wanted to include. I find errors and then use the reasoning that I rushed. Well of course I rushed. I waited until the last minute!
To combat this, Marguerite says get an accountability partner. With an accountability partner, you find a person who can help you keep your commitments. For my partner, I would need someone who would ride my behind like a rodeo. Not quite a drill sergeant, but a notch below.
- Another excuse is that procrastinators have to be in the right mood. When I sit to write on my blog my inner critic is high, but somehow I manage to blunder through. Same with working out. It takes forever to lace up my Nike’s and hit the track. At a half a mile, something kicks in and I power through. DMX blasting in my ears is a big help. The right mood won’t ever be there. Inspiration is only gotten through getting it done.
- The biggest excuse that resonated with me is the “if I only” excuse. If I only lost twenty pounds. If I only had more money. If I only had more time. For example. I look around my home and I think: if I only had a chunk of time to clean this place! Who am I kidding? With all my obligations, where am I ever going to find time? Between the kids, work, scouts, blogging (to name a few) I’ll be dead before I ever find time. Rather than wait until the time is right, follow the advice of Hugh Grant’s character in the movie “About a Boy“.
|Get the hankies ready|
I find the key is to think of a day as units of time, each unit consisting of no more than thirty minutes. Full hours can be a little bit intimidating and most activities take about half an hour. Taking a bath: one unit, watching Countdown: one unit, web-based based research: two units, exercising: three units, having my hair carefully disheveled: four units. It’s amazing how the day fills up, and I often wonder, to be absolutely honest, if I’d ever have time for a job; how do people cram them in?
I used to follow the advice of Flylady. In fifteen minutes I could tidy almost any area of my house. Somewhere I lost this habit, trying to snatch time here and there. I tried to balance out things differently: I wash dishes while I wait for my morning coffee to brew. I sweep the floor during the commercials. This method is more of a band aid then an actual solution. If I set a dedicated time (I’m thinking of my Facebook and Twitter habits for a start) I’ll feel less guilty about ‘”wasting time” and really be more productive.
- Last, the Scarlett O’Hara syndrome. In Gone With The Wind, Scarlett O’Hara puts off any unpleasant task by declaring
I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.
This way works when it’s an issue that’s keeping me from sleeping, or something I need to really reflect on, but this head in the sand method is detrimental when it comes to getting things done. Why wait for tomorrow? Why not get it done today? Putting off leads to rushing which leads to a host of other challenges. When I put off today in hopes of tomorrow, the costs adds up. First there is the physical and mental costs. My spirit gets out of sorts and my body reflects the changes either through headaches, panic attacks, or breakouts. Financially, my wallet suffers. I make duplicate purchases, run to Wawa more frequently then I care to admit, and wonder why I have more money than month!
Changing my procrastination habit is going to be difficult. It’s so easy to pick up bad habits than it is to lose them. I’m confident that my procrastination can be changed with more mindful living and awareness of this challenge.
Are you a procrastinator? What has worked for you? Share your tips below.