I was kneeling in the garden earlier, congratulating myself for being ‘a woman of action’.
The action was grabbing a brush and painting my garden chairs. Then I realised: I was doing it to avoid doing the other things I should have been doing.
You see, I am guilty of being the queen of procrastination, a far and glittery land of inactivity. My kitchen cupboards where never so clean as when I should have been studying for my accounting exams.
There are times when I procrastinate out fear; fear that I won’t be able to do it as well as I think it should be done. Then, I have to counter it with the logic that it being done at all is better than not.
Often though it is just that my to-do list is too long or task feels WAY too big. Then I actually think I am more overwhelmed than simply procrastinating – does that happen to you too? Especially when you know the task is REALLY important?
Prioritise: Your list may be a mile long or just a half page long. Either way, the best way to get into action is to sort out what your return on investment for each item on your list is going to be (financially, time-wise, family-wise) and then sort them by the one that will reap the most benefits from the littlest output on your part. Start with that one.
How long will it REALLY take: I’ve found that often, I delay on a task because I anticipate it taking a lot longer than it really will. (Often when i do get around to it I realise I have spent way more time fretting about it than it would take to DO it.) To get past this, look at a task and ask yourself how long it will realistically take to get done. Then, take out the to-do list and write down the time it will take you to accomplish it next to each item (15 minutes, 2 hours, etc.).
Another solution to break down an onerous job is to tell yourself you’ll just do 20 minutes of it and see how you go. I used to do this with going to the gym and I often found myself there for an hour getting through a bloomin’ good workout. At home, doing just 20 minutes means I get started and if it is something I have to write it gets my brain engaged so it will carry on working on it after the 20 minutes are up and I am off doing something more pleasurable.
Or, you can just grasp the bull by the horns and say f*ck it and get on with it.