If your To Do list multiplies faster than you can check them off,
If you find yourself saying “Darn, I really wanted to get that done, why didn’t I get it done? I wish I completed it”
Chances are you’re dealing with some procrastination issues not because you want to but because there are other factors lurking.
You may be afraid of not doing a good enough job, you may be overwhelmed.
The worries that are holding you back are endless.
What’s important to remember is Just Start.
1. However small. Take the first step. and force yourself to do the first action to initiate your task/goal.
2. Break the task up into multiple smaller tasks and tell yourself you just need to get 1/5 done.
Not so scary right?
3. Commit to doing it for at least 15 minutes.
Chances are by the time you’ve picked up your pen or started typing on your computer, worked on it for 15 minutes, and gotten 1/5 done, you’ll be in the zone to keep on going to complete 1/2 or the entire task.
If you haven’t, it’s perfectly fine.
You’ve made progress. You’ve started on it.
Keep going and You’ll get it done!
Action gets things done. Waiting for the right mood does not.
(I should absolutely follow my own advice and insights….) =P
Other tips to getting things done
4. Schedule time to get that evasive goal completed. Set aside chunks of time to do the same/similar things. For example, block out an hour for email rather than interrupting your other tasks to reply to 1 email. Conversely, this ensures you do not spend your entire day answering emails. (unless that’s your job or goal)
5. Get a (very good) friend to keep track of your progress. There are professional coaches and therapists who can play this role but not everyone has the health coverage or finances to use professionals.
I’ve found that having a very good and committed friend works just as well if not better because you do not have to wait for that weekly meeting.
Tell your friend your goal and create a plan that breaks it up into smaller steps and the deadline for each step.
Get your friend to check in on you frequently. Daily is great!
If you don’t do it or have issues like procrastination, tell your friend s/he should put pressure, motivate and yell at you and keep tabs on you. Sometimes you just need tough love. =)
If you can, find a licensed psychologist who can help you with what you’re dealing and struggling with.
Whatever it is, KEEP DOING, Keep Trying, Don’t Give Up!
Love Yourself, Don’t Blame Yourself. Tell yourself you will do better next hour or tomorrow.
You will get there!
Recently, I’ve had days where I was nervous, jumpy, stressed and altogether, not exactly a ball of happy or healthy.
The sleep deprivation from working on multiple projects having to stay up late (as in really late, such as 4am late) and waking up early hasn’t helped I’m sure. With a crazy schedule, I haven’t been able to eat well and have had dinner at 11pm on a few nights this week which consisted of salad, canned soup or sandwich. 11pm is somewhat late for dinner in my opinion. There are some potential changes on the horizon and thus decisions have to be made which has caused minor stress and nervously about what to do and how it’s going to work out. So, all of these things have probably caused me to feel nervous, jumpy, stressed out for those days.
Tell me what your automatic reflex is when you are in that state? (Assuming you have these days as well as I’m not the only one…). For me, my automatic comfort is to curl up in a corner or in bed and wish it all away.
Yeah. As you can imagine that doesn’t work out very well because things don’t get done or settled on their own. And it’s not an option when I have a whole long to do list to get done.
I know I can’t curl up under my duvet and let the magic broomsticks do the work. But sometimes in the midst of nerves and stress, I can get caught in bad habits. Examples? I reach out for Sour Cream and Onion chips or chocolate or ice cream for comfort. And I project my determination to get things one on my snack. I keep reach in and eating till it’s all gone. Project accomplished!
Well, maybe not the original project…. but the temporary feeling of polishing off an entire bag of chips or chocolate bar on your own does create a sense of accomplishment.
Then there’s the dread and guilt that sets in.
No this is not going to turn into a bulimic story.
Here’s a baby step to stop whatever bad habit you’re trying to change.
#1 The moment you catch yourself doing whatever your habit is, break it immediately by standing up, walking away and just changing your position. Distract yourself, go to the bathroom, get a glass of water, take a shower. Just get out of that position.
Don’t tell yourself “Just 1 more chip, just 1 min more of nail biting, just 1 more sanitizing wipe…”
If you let yourself have 1 more, there will be 2, 3 ,4 and many more.
If you keep doing the same action or harboring the same thought for more than 30 secs, you’ll likely get sucked into a repetitive loop and keep engaging in the habit or have the same unhelpful thoughts circling in your head. It’ll get increasingly comforting because you are used to doing the habit or telling yourself the same thoughts and the cycle continues and you’ll keep on doing it.
The longer you let yourself engage in the behavior, the more set you’ll be and harder to stop it after you’ve devoured an entire bag of chips *guilty look*!
You’re not going to succeed every time and it’s ok. But TRY every time and ;let’s try to break out bad habits together very soon!
When I’m nervous, jumpy and stressed, I sometimes also feel slightly shell shocked and feel stressed and overwhelmed by the mountain of things I need to complete.
#2 Here’s a baby step to hitting your goal.
If you are procrastinating or not in the mood to do it, take that first step (it’s always the hardest) and just tell yourself “I will just write 1 sentence, I will just wash the dishes for 2 minutes, I will just send out 2 resumes.”
You might find it easier to get started as it seems like a more reasonable task, less daunting, and you’ll feel less pressured to get a mountain load done.
Once you start doing what ever it is for 2 minutes, you’ll likely have gotten into the mood and realize it is not that defying. After 2 minutes, people are prone to continue working on it so they can finish the project. That way you’ll have been hit your goal!
The hardest part is getting start. Give yourself a small easy goal. Once you get there, you’ll likely be motivated to finish it even if you didn’t feel like it in the first place.
#3 Errands and little things such as paying bills or clearing up your email often can be taken care of very quickly in under 2 minutes. Do it immediately. Don’t put it off till later because later always causes stress and traffic jams and can result in fines and even more stress.
That call you put off returning, you’ll feel bad the next day, worse the following day and by the end of the week you’ll be avoid your friend just because you didn’t simply call your friend immediately when you could have.
Remember Nike’s Slogan…
So those are the 3 baby steps. I give good advice. If only I could implement it immediately.
Well I’m working on it…. Trying to break the habits, and reach the goals!
How is everyone’s weekend going? Tell me the fun things you’re doing or the crazy things that happened.
I want to hear it! Every now and then, I’m afraid of stupid, absurd, silly things…
I can’t get things done because I have IFPBM. (pronounced as if-pam). Haven’t heard of it? Keep reading. I’ll fill you in. It’s a fairly common condition among the general population and usually not life threatening but can be very serious in certain cases where it disrupts simple life tasks. In the most serious cases, it renders a person unable to do certain undesirable tasks. It may cause the person to freeze in the midst of attempting to do simple acts like taking out the trash, cleaning the bathroom, or reading emails. IFPBM can be stressful for the person and people around them and unfortunately there is no cure. It can result in difficulty in sleeping, increased stress levels, anxiety. I’ll tell you later on what helps relieve my IFPBM condition.
The condition hits sufferers like myself every now and then. It is out of the blue and can’t be predicted, very much like an asthma attach. As it so happens, I was checking my email yesterday when IFPBM hit me. Sometimes, I suddenly got afraid of opening certain emails from actual humans (vs newsletters I subscribe to or Sephora promo emails because they can’t be telling me anything special). I’m afraid of what the email will say. I have no idea why I get scared of emails. What is it going to do? Eat me up?
This has happened often enough that I knew it was my IFPBM condition hitting me. So I spent yesterday staring at a few emails in my preview pane for an hour or so. Afraid to open the emails. not that I was expecting someone to say something mean or that it was some major life altering result in the email. I have no idea why I have this fear. Today, I opened my email and stared at it again. I didn’t want to engage in a confrontational staring match with the emails so I decided to write this post.
So I’m kind of (actually, I AM), procrastinating opening the emails and replying to them. As you can see, I have trouble getting things done sometimes…. *blushes* Sometimes it’s because I have irrational fears. Sometimes it’s because of procrastination. (yeah, did you check out my other post about procrastination? It all seems to be linked to the same vague issue of #cantgetthingsdone)
All in all, it’s all *waves hand around* seems to be a bunch of problems.
I can’t get things done, I get stressed out, It keeps me from sleeping, and I get anxious about all the things that are piling up undone. Not Fun. As I mentioned earlier, there is no cure. The best way to deal with IFPBM is to engage in relaxing activities or things that make you happy and decrease your stress/anxiety. For me, that can range from having a cup of green tea, eating ice cream, eating chocolates, going out for a nice dinner.
So, I can’t get things done because I have IFPBM. (pronounced as if-pam). Haven’t heard of it? Don’t bother googling it. It stands for Irrational Fears, Procrastination, Blobbly Mess. I suspect many of you will recognize this in yourself. Can’t get your feet to take the trash out in Winter? IFPBM. Can’t get out of the couch to clean the bathroom? IFPBM.
So, the next time you can’t get yourself to do something, say “I have IFPBM. I need your support and understanding. It would help relieve my symptom if we _________ (went out for dinner/had sex/went for ice cream/whatever you enjoy doing).” There is no shame in acknowledging you are IFPBM.
BTW, before you ask your doctor about this condition and suspect you have it, please know that I just created this diagnosis. It’ll probably make its way into the 8th edition of the DSM. If you know what DSM is, you deserve a prize. Here’s a pat on the back! (If you don’t, it’s the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It’s published by the American Psychiatric Association and lists conditions and the criteria a patient must exhibit to be classified as suffering from a certain psychiatric condition. They are suppose to release the 5th edition mid 2013. It’s also a sub-text subtle pun at how long they take to update the manual and factor in new conditions and symptoms.)
Remember, There is no shame in acknowledging you are IFPBM.
Band together IFPBMers!!! I hope this cracked up at least 1 person…. =)
ps: and now I need to get to reading those emails and replying to them and overcoming my IFPBM…
30 mins later, I have still not confronted those scary emails. I’ve been surfing through blogs reading what other people are doing. Must. muster up courage. and read emails. and reply. NOW.
2 hrs later, I finally faced the scary emails, read them, and replied to them. But it sure took alot longer than it should have. I’m not sure if I should yell at myself or pat myself on my back. That’s another condition I could add on to….
Hello all. Happy May!
WOW. Is it really May? I can’t believe it’s May. (that sounds trite)
I don’t want it to be May. That means 5/12th of the year is gone and I don’t feel i’ve gotten enough, or rather anything, done.
I know I’ve been terrible at blogging regularly. THere were so many times I had a great idea, something witty to post. But I’d say “I’m going to get ABC done and write that blog post as a reward.” or “I don’t want to boot up the laptop and I can’t write on the app…” Of course, ABC never got done because if it was easy to do, I wouldn’t have to bait myself with a reward of writing a blog post.
I REALLY wanted to write and update my blog. I do. So, why the procrastination? What kept me from doing something I really wanted to do? What kept me from doing the things I *planned* to do?
Perfectly reasonable. Except that when this goes on, it leads to a lot of possibly valid reasons for why nothing got done. As I’m writing this, I’m not sure where this is coming from because this is NOT the post I was intending to write! Maybe it’s my inner self sharing my own faults, or my inner self screaming freaking screaming for help (from you all) to save me from my faults.
The harsh reality is the world, life, and people don’t care about all those reasons, even if they are valid, if they are heartbreaking.
Most of the times we don’t get something done because we are avoiding it — consciously or subconsciously.
And, we are avoiding the item at hand because we are scared. Scared for whatever reason that you know very well deep in you. It may not be pleasant to admit, maybe you don’t want to admit you’re scared.
I know i’m scared. I don’t have someone I can admit this to. But I’m scared of more rejection, scared of how much worse things can become, scared of what i’ve become. Scared of so many things.
I know I need to help myself. I’m working on it. It isn’t smooth sailing, it isn’t easy. I fall and stumble and land in ditches, the abyss, fracture my soul, and a million more injuries. But I’m trying.
A thought came to my head today — I need to do something and help myself for God or anyone else to be able to help me. No one can help me if I hide in a corner and do nothing.
We procrastinate. We find reasons we can’t do ABC. We find other ways to make the time go by so we can say “Oh I couldn’t do ABC because ….”
Guy left the internet for a year. Yes, there are a gazillion ways, apps, sites and silly videos that will distract you for a whole day if you wanted to. There are also plenty of ways to while that time away in the physical world.
The fact is you don’t have to leave the internet for a year to get the things you want done.
We just need to face our fears and what we are scared of. Leave the safe, comfort zone that we’ve buried ourselves in and recognize staying there is getting us nowhere.
Slowly. take a step out, towards the things we want to achieve. It isn’t a straight line. It isn’t fast. But we just got to keep trying and working on it.
So let’s do this together. set out 1 thing we want to get done. And let’s make that our goal for May.
Here we go… =)