Procrastination: My Evil Twin
You are Not Alone Mama: I Put the ‘Pro’ in Procrastination.
From as far back as I can remember, I have painfully struggled with procrastination. Good intentions are always present, but whenever I come to a roadblock in any given circumstance, I lose momentum and distract myself with something else. If you’re reading this and can relate, then you know how much it sucks! Nobody wants to be a failure. I sure don’t. Yet more times than not, I find myself having a really hard time completing anything in a timely manner.
In high school, it was papers, math assignments, what have you. College had its own slew of obstacles but of course budgeting, homework, and time management were all giving me hell. I have many friends who seem to have been born with the ‘diligence gene’. My envy has been nothing but subtle. Why can’t I focus? Why do I create lists but hardly ever check anything off of them? Inaction, no longer. Bad habits, be gone!
Habits + How Long it Takes to Change Them:
Discovering the ‘Success Mindset’
The past few years of my life, I have come across several different influencers online that have truly reshaped my way of thinking. It goes something like this: I get all amped up and excited about life and goals but somewhere between the rush of inspiration and actually accomplishing something, I get lost. The first person that changed my mindset was Tai Lopez. If you haven’t heard of him I’m sure you’ve seen his face on facebook ads or youtube because he is everywhere and for good reason. Now before you roll your eyes and think this is a sales pitch, I assure you it is not. I have nothing to do with Tai or his sales but I do know that I have learned a lot from his teachings.
His ’67 Steps Program’ got its name because a 2009 study found that it takes approximately 66 days to change or start a habit, (a much different number than the previously believed 21 days). So, you’re probably wondering what does all of this have to do with procrastinating? I’m assuming if you’re like me, procrastination isn’t a new thing. I’ve been doing it for years and if I’m right, you have too, yes? We have formed this habit and now we don’t know how to get out of it. It doesn’t have to be that way!
Crawl, Walk, Run:
If you’re a parent, then you have had the pleasure of watching your baby figure out how to crawl, all on their own! Babies have incredible determination. Why does it diminish as we get older? They learn to crawl then they learn to walk, not the other way around. Certainly, they learn to run after their balance and confidence has been mastered in walking, not before! My point is this: don’t expect yourself to make all of the right turns and all of the correct decisions. Crawl before you run.
I am a list lover. I like organization, but often fail to achieve the plans I set out for myself. Creativity block is the worst and it frustrates me to my core! We’ve all felt it, whether we’re writers, makers, doers, we’ve all experienced some kind of mental block in our life. Some people are just better than others at pushing past it. What I’m here to tell you is that you can just as easily be one of those people.
Take These Steps Towards Your Future
10 Tips For Moms to End Procrastination
- Buy yourself a new notebook and dedicate it to your goals. Find one that is special not just a composition book. I may be crazy and collect beautiful notebooks, but I find that it helps to have something you treasure; a notebook you will want to open and write in.
- Meditate. (I know, you’re probably thinking “WHAT?”) But this recently has been a part of my daily routine and I have seen amazing benefits. If you’ve never meditated before, do a little digging around to find a led meditation so you can get the feel for it. There is also a great app called ‘Headspace’ that I’ve used among others. Meditation really grounds you. If you woke up feeling anxious or stressed out, you can truly find your center and reboot your day by meditating.
- Self-Care: This one may seem rather obvious but I believe it is necessary to acknowledge. As mothers, we often forget about ourselves and what we need. Write down what you want for you. It could be something as simple as drinking your coffee in peace! Or maybe you want to get your hair done. Whatever it is, write it down and read it out loud to yourself. Affirm to yourself that you will indeed make these things happen. Feeling good about yourself and about life will put you in a good mood which will motivate you to check things off your list.
- Make a plan. Now, this is usually where I get stuck. I write out a list, check it twice, and then go off starting another list! Don’t get caught in this trap. Instead, focus in and make a detailed plan from start to finish on how you are going to accomplish this goal. Doing this breaks down the big picture and allows you to focus on thing at a time. You are your biggest obstacle. Don’t be! Grind through the struggle and difficulties and frustration. Realize you can and will finish what you need to.
- Use Nap Time: Depending on how old your kiddos are, you may be able to use their nap times as your crunch time. Sometimes the dishes and laundry need to wait so you can work! Maybe you’re finishing up your degree and you need to cram out a research paper. Maybe you’re a stay at home mom who is working online (like me!) and need to create a better content schedule. Sit down the second that little one is asleep and make some progress. The longer you wait, the further and further the end product will seem. Pushing it away only discourages you more so start NOW.
- Recognize Frustration: Things get hard and frustration happens. Remember, I’m the pro at putting things off! Don’t pretend like you aren’t having difficulties with the task at hand. Don’t dwell on them either. Recognize the challenge, then tell yourself that you will, in fact, accomplish this goal. Telling yourself things like this sends out positive vibes and will reshape your negative feelings into positive ones.
- Focus On One Thing: If you have a long list of to-dos, don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to multi-task. Multi-tasking is a myth in my mind. You can’t switch your focus constantly and expect to get anything done. Zone in and pull out that muse of yours. It’s there, I promise!
- Soothing Music: Some people can work just fine with their everyday playlist. I am not one of those people! Spotify has some great playlists that are meant for studying and focusing. If you get distracted easily by the sounds around you, (cars driving by, other people talking, dogs barking) then get some headphones and put on some soothing tracks. I would recommend choosing music without lyrics but that’s just me.
- Time Limit: Give yourself a deadline. I’ve noticed as I’ve begun my blogging journey, I easily allow my work to slip through the cracks. This is because nobody is telling me when I need to turn things in! If this sounds like you, then take notice that you are the boss of your own life. Nobody is going to tell you when or what to do because that’s your job! Make realistic deadlines and work every day, chipping away at it. I promise you it gets easier each time you do it.
- Don’t skip a Day: This is a BIG one! Success comes with momentum. If you are crushing it and making progress and then you skip a day or two, it becomes really easy to fall off the wagon! I get that things come up, soccer games, dance recitals, family dinners– but I guarantee if you plan your day right, you will always find at least 15 minutes to spare. Sure, it may be at night when all the kids are (finally) asleep, but if you want to be successful, you have to put in the time and effort. On the flip side of this, whatever you do, DON’T punish yourself if you do happen to skip a day. Just promise me you will do your best not to skip 2! Make a commitment to yourself. Achieve your goals!
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston S. Churchill