In 2010 I performed with a dance company, volunteered twice a week with a local adult literacy group, performed with a folk singing company and lent my time to a local organization responsible for the planning of the Taste of the Caribbean. I did all of this while holding down a full time job, maintaining a relationship and managing my home. I gave up most of the community stuff last January so that I could focus on my own personal goals. However, for some reason, I was beginning to feel like I just didn’t have enough time to get everything done that I needed to. I finally identified the problem last week, procrastination.
It is an undoubted truth, that the less one has to do, the less time one finds to do it in. ~Earl of Chesterfield
Procrastination is a real heffer! It plays mind tricks and convinces you that if you start whatever it is you are supposed to do in the next [insert: hour, day, month or year here] that you can still accomplish it, and with the same quality. However, procrastination doesn’t give you the heads up of life’s distractions such as phone calls from the guy who thinks you aren’t paying him enough attention; that your cat will be ready to cuddle now that you don’t have her attention; breaking news stories or interesting shows that mysteriously appear on your television seconds after you decide to shut it off; neighbors who just want to chat because they need someone to chat with; or that your father’s car will break down and that you will need to drop the project that you just found the motivation and mental inertia to start working on to go help him.
Procrastination is the thief of time. ~Edward Young
I accepted that procrastination was affecting me negatively so on Friday, I dug my heels in, and in an unprecedented move I launched my attack by hauling my laundry to a laundromat. I was there, there weren’t 2 flights of stairs to complain about, it wasn’t in a dark, musty basement, I had quarters, available machines, soap and fabric softener and little excuse not to finish it. On my way home I stopped at my local supermarket just as the store managers were shutting off the lights and making the “Attention Stop ‘N Shop customers…” Because I knew my time was limited, I stuck with my list and made it to the register just as they made the last call to bring our purchases to the registers. At home, I knew I was supposed to call someone to let them know I was home, but I fought the urge and the distraction and busied myself packing away clothes and groceries before dusting and vacuuming my house. I also kept the television off and unplugged myself from my social network hangouts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
With laundry and other household chores out of the way, my entire Saturday was freed up which allowed me to go to the gym, organize other projects that fell to my back burner and I even had enough time to use one of my spa credits after meeting up with Ossie at Bushnell Park.
Overall this turned out to be one of the most productive weekends that I have had in a long time. I just hope I can get through this week with this same motivation because, heffer, I really have a lot to do!
In summary I did and you can also fight procrastination by following these five suggestions:
- Recovery starts with acceptance and with procrastination, you have to accept the negative impact that it causes in your life (robs time; stifles success and accomplishment, stunts growth).
- Just start! Dig your heels in like I did and get moving. There’s no next year, month, week, day, hour or even minute. Start now!!!
- Stay focused by fighting or even dismissing your distractions!
- Stop coming up with excuses or remove yourself from the environment so you can stop coming up with excuses.
- Add something else to your schedule like group exercise or a volunteer project (where you are on somebody elses time or you are depending on someone else’s time) which will help you to limit all the free time that you think that you have in the world.
I am wearing:
Blouse: Yellow knitted top from Forever21 (about 2 years old).
Pants: Royal blue stretch denim from Dots
Shoes: Steve Madden tong heels (have had them forever)
Ossie took these photos of me at the kids play ground near the carousel in Bushnell Park in Hartford.
I would love to hear your stories about how you are fighting procrastination or how you juggle, home, relationships, kids and personal projects outside of work.