Guest Author - Kathie LoMonaco
Are you guilty of procrastinating your way through life? You start out with all good intentions - you've even given yourself a 'pep' talk at some point beforehand. You get up with good intentions and momentum, then somewhere along the way you start to use other issues as distractions for the things you know you need to get done for the day.
Energy begets more energy. We need to be in motion in order to get things accomplished. Even when all systems are go, for some strange reason, I, for one, just don't want to do the one thing that has been bugging me and subsequently eluding me all week, whether it's a bill to be paid, a return phone call to be made, or whatever the case may be - I get stuck in quicksand. I know that I'll feel so much better if I just take care of business, but I stay in a holding pattern. I'm resisting, and I know it, but I don't know why. It can be so frustrating!
More often than not, when I do things like this, I blame it on menopause; but with procrastination I don't think I have a valid excuse. I talk to my friends about this all the time. They say the same thing. They are on their way to - let's say, get the scissors that they left downstairs. They get downstairs, see that there is a load of wash to be done - put the load in the washing machine, turn around and notice it's garbage day and the garbage needs to be taken out; after accomplishing a multitude of (unplanned) tasks, they go back upstairs and try to remember what they went downstairs for to begin with. Naturally, the reason they went downstairs - is still downstairs, the scissors.
I hear this a lot from 'midlifers'. They will start doing five things around the one thing they were trying to focus on, and that one item subsequently winds up falling by the wayside, and doesn't get done. Go figure. Instead of patting ourselves on the back for the five items we've taken care of, we beat ourselves up over forgetting to do the one thing we wanted to get done. The mind works in mysterious ways - and sometimes we just have to accept our limitations, or, distractions that we impose on ourself for whatever the reason. Go with the flow. Just tell yourself you will get to it eventually. Maybe we resist because we are putting too much pressure on ourselves - food for thought.
Is it a midlife 'thing'? Well, all I can say is, I don't remember losing focus when it came to getting just one item accomplished when I was younger. But, then, when we were younger, we didn't have the milieu and responsibilities that we do after being on this planet for half a century.
I know we only use something like 6% of our brain; so, imagine what we've crammed into that 6%. It's a wonder we remember how to walk and talk. To help yourself out, start your day off by making a list, and, as you go about accomplishing each task, take your paper out of your pocket and cross it off the list - you'll start feeling less and less pressured as you go along.
Try to stay focused - this is, I think, the most important step in accomplishing your goals for the day. Don't let your mind wander - stay on target; if you want, you can write down whatever else you might want to accomplish AFTER your first set of tasks are done - add them onto the BOTTOM of the list; Don't let distractions block you from accomplishing what you need to do for the day. If you see something that needs to be done, just put it on your ever-expanding list.
You might want to start putting down certain days in which you want or wish to get each item done. For example, if you want to shampoo your carpets - this is Monday - but you want to do it Wednesday. Next to 'shampoo the carpets' - put down Wednesday; Or, better still - on your refrigerator door, have "To Do" lists - separate pieces of paper for each day; "Monday - To Do", and so on....But - do not overwhelm yourself by getting too far ahead of yourself - maybe list three days at a time;
What a good feeling when you start crossing things off the lists and get to the last item on the list! -- a feeling like no other - a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Above All - stay on course and this will greatly help you with your 'Action Plan'. Once you start creating new habits like this for yourself, it will become second nature to you - and you will be amazed at how things will fall into place for you as you stick with your plan/goals.
Drop me a line and let me know your thoughts. I love hearing from you - I thrive on your feedback!