If only it were that easy! If you could just flick a switch and suddenly you had the motivation and energy required to blitz an entire space from cluttered mess to blissful peace!
Some might say, “you need the mess to appreciate the tidy!” But I think I would still appreciate the tidy. It’s all relative anyway. What some would say is a disaster, is actually just a couple plates left on the counter after dinner. What some might say is not that bad, is perhaps what most might consider a real disaster – think a bit of mold on the toilet, or crumbs on the floor. Everyone has their level of mess that they tolerate.
I think almost everyone would agree that there is never enough time in the day to truly get everything done that we would like to get done. There may be some moments where you choose between tidying and cleaning to doing nothing.
Sometimes I still choose to procrastinate!
Despite the mess, or despite the really, any number of tidying tasks I could be doing. I know I would feel better about myself if I just spent even 10 minutes on each area. I also feel sometimes like I am walking around cleaning and tidying while the rest of the household is spinning a tornado behind me as I go.
So, sometimes, I still choose to procrastinate!
When I take a night and choose to procrastinate, I feel like the mess changes over night! It multiplies – even though no one added anything to the mess over night! I feel somehow, even more overwhelmed by it all the following day. Even though I was able to tolerate the mess the night before.
So, why choose to procrastinate?
It’s what fuels the clutter! It’s what feeds the mess! So, how does it get to the point of overwhelm?
I blame it on time stress! Everyone deals with time differently. Some may see the day with an entire day of work, so there’s no time to do anything. “I have to wake up, go to work, come home, cook dinner, go to bed, and do it all again”. Or “I have to wake up, take the kids to school, pick them up from school, take them to extra-curriculars, cook dinner, put the kids to bed, go to bed, and do it all again”. Not saying that work and kids are the only suckers of time in this life, but this is where my example will stem from.
So, what about all the in between time?
Sure, there are times where the instant gratification of procrastination wins! But there really needs to be a balance of the desire not to do work, and the satisfaction of doing the work and finishing it.
I mean, if we break down the work scenario from above, there’s no reason why you can’t find even 10-30 minutes in a day to do some minimal amount of chores and still get some time to chill out in front of the TV, or hang out with friends. Whether you are waking up a bit earlier to get it done before work, or whether you can fit it in before or after dinner.
For the kids’ example, there’s time by waking up earlier, or doing some of the work during the day while the kids are at school, or even getting the kids on board and assigning them stuff to do!
BUT, sometimes I still procrastinate!
So why? Often, I procrastinate the most when I am overwhelmed. I don’t even need to be THAT overwhelmed. Just, if I look around the room and can’t decide what to do first, that can be enough to make me say to myself “I will not make a huge difference here, so I may as well not do it yet!” How on earth does that make sense??
I have recently started to work really hard on noticing when I am procrastinating on something. I am trying to write down what it is I am choosing not to do – then I get to spend some time pondering why.
It’s very mind opening to question yourself as to why you are actively choosing not to do something. It doesn’t matter what it is or what it is about, if it causes that gut reaction to choose not to do it, think about it. Think about the why (after you pinpoint what it is). It’s like self therapy!
After you write down why you are choosing not to do something, you can now take some time to question yourself deeper. Let’s say, I decide after dinner that I am not going to do the dishes. I note to myself that I actively am choosing not to do it – so then I ask myself why? Why not do it? The main reason is usually the lame “I just don’t want to!” Sometimes it’s “I have to take a kid somewhere to something”, or “I have to take the dog for a walk so she goes to bed without eating every random thing in the house!” But, if you dig deeper, and really analyze why, you may be able to start finding solutions. It might just be that the pot is too messy and you know it’s going to take a lot of scrubbing – so then why not let it sit with soap and water. It may be that your hands are dry, or react to doing all of the rest of the dishes throughout the day – see if someone else could do it tonight. You may discover that you actually have not sat down yet throughout the day, if you were running errands etc throughout the day – you may need to set a timer, give yourself 10 minutes of resting time, then get to the dishes!
Procrastination can generally be solved with some hard self analyzing and strong self awareness.
I find that generally, the magical fix to when I am really stuck with procrastination is a timer! Just 10 minutes on the clock gives me just the push I need to get over that “c’mon, I don’t wanna!” attitude, and forces my butt in gear!
How do you get through when you’re finding yourself procrastinating? What tricks do you have to get yourself over the hump from not wanting to do it, to just getting it done?
Definitely, the feeling of overwhelm breeds procrastination. If you can break down tasks, goals, you can begin this make that critical first step that makes all others after that feel easier
Thank you for sharing! I could not agree more! Sometimes I need to just look around at a mess to come up with the first step! Then suddenly it all seems more manageable. Do you have a go to system for those days where you just can’t break the job down small enough to get going?
I recently wrote a post on overcoming overwhelm. Number one thing for me is writing all the tasks down. It gives me a sense of the true scale of the job and I can see my progress as I tick them off. http://businessrulesforlife.com/2021/10/12/overcoming-workload-paralysis/
Thanks for sharing your post! I especially LOVE the section about not comforting yourself with time wasting activities. It is sooo true! I know so many people that say “I’ve worked hard, now I’m just going to take a short break while I watch this video…”, hours later they are still glued to the phone! It definitely helps to set a timer for those “short” breaks! Cheers!
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I sometimes plan little rewards for getting a job done. Clean the bathroom – then take 10 minutes to read a few pages of a book I’m enjoying. Work and Reward.
It doesn’t work all the time but generally boosts my motivation.
That’s a great way to manage it! Thanks for sharing! It goes back to that old saying “work hard, play harder”! Sometimes I struggle with what kind of reward to pick – reading is a good idea!