Posts tagged ‘Procrastination’

31 Days of Finishing – Day 10: Procrastinate by Doing an Equally Important To-do

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Day 10:  I skipped car seat cover shopping and cleaned the refrigerator instead. For today that is NOT a bad trade off.

Today’s to-do was pretty straightforward: Buy bucket car seat covers and install.  I had already checked Amazon and found nothing I wanted to buy so this meant I had to go to the store and look around. But before I put on the car seat-covers, I really wanted to vacuum and shampoo the car seats. But that wasn’t working out as simply as I wanted. So I was at a stalemate.

I procrastinated another day. But I still had 31 minutes at my disposal.  So I did something else, something equally important. I cleaned out my fridge.

Moral of the story? Sometimes you just CAN’T get yourself it complete the main to-do on your list. Nothing drastic will happen if you don’t complete it today:

  • no late fees,
  • no cut off services,
  • no lost chance to make a cool million.

So it is easy to put this off. To get back my motivation, I sometimes trick myself.  I do something else equally important. Then tomorrow I do the original to-do. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t.

I will see tomorrow whether it worked or not.

During this month of October I am joining LOTS of bloggers hosted by The Nester who will be writing every day about a topic. My topic is about finishing. I will spend 31 minutes each day on a to-do item (from the secondary list).

I will write about it and share any productivity tips I find helpful to FINISHING things.

Go here for the Landing Page with all the posts (which go live as they are written). The list is towards the bottom of the page. Go to the following highlighted link for Day 11: Do the FUN thing When It’s Super Hectic.

Your Turn . . .

  • Do you ever do this kind of “creative” procrastination? If yes, what was the last trade-off you made?
  • How did you spend your 31 minutes?
  • What was the last thing you crossed off your secondary to-do list? How did you “convince” yourself to get it done?

Related Posts . . . 

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Done is Better Than Perfect

How good are you at finishing things? Does perfectionism ever break your cycle of start-to-finish? I confess, more times than I care to admit, perfectionism is my enemy to completion in some areas. I let this idea that I must do a perfect job overwhelm me to the point of paralysis.

Writing backwards is difficult! Isn’t it funny that I misspelled “perfect”?

Take this informal poll to see where you score on finishing well. Use these 3 answers as your guideline.

  1. On target 90% – 100% of the time. I am very self-motivated.
  2. I have a 70% – 90% completion rate. Lots of nagging and reminding keep me on task.
  3. Under 70% is what I can accomplish. Fear, perfectionism, and overwhelm keep me from finishing well and on-time.
  • How good are you at finishing home projects? I.e. repairs, home decor, gardening
  • How good are you at finishing personal projects? I.e. cards, finances, hobbies
  • How good are you at finishing work projects? I.e. reports, phone calls, follow-up

How did you do? Like me you probably found that it depends on the project as to how well you finished. Some things I rate myself as a 100% especially when it comes to work.

But with other things I am not so good. I.e.  Decluttering is still a top to-do. I have a lot of unsent birthday cards. I get overwhelmed by social media and so am behind in answering those multiple streams of inquiry.

After reading this article (Done is Better Than Perfect) and this article (The Done Manifesto Lays Out 13 Ground Rules for Getting to Done) from Lifehacker, I realized that “DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT.” This is true for most things that I am involved in.

  • You don’t have to do a perfect job when painting a living room wall or cleaning out the garage.
  • You don’t have to do a perfect job in paying bills or making costumes for the kiddo’s Halloween party.
  • You don’t have to do a perfect job writing a school paper/work report  or returning a phone call.

You don’t have to know all the answers and most likely NO LIVES will be harmed with your less-than-perfect accomplishment. That probably holds true for me too. 🙂

And you know what? We are smart enough to know when a “perfect” job is needed.

  • Doing surgery? Performing on The Voice? Perfection is needed.
  • Putting in a rose garden? Decorating a cake? Perfection is not needed.

So from today on, I am going to assess my to-do’s by this new motto, Done IS BETTER than perfect. “The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done” (#6). I am hoping this will snowball and before you know it my excess stuff, pile of cards, and half-written papers will be done!

Your Turn . . . How does this quote strike you? . . . What projects will you finish today (this week) because of applying the truth that Done is better than perfect? . . . Do you have some other way of dealing with perfectionism?

NOTE: This is the 4th photo in the series, A Fall of Self Portraits, from my Fall Bucket List.

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Grateful for 5 Things Done From Summer Bucket List

For the past 6 years or so, we’ve been having a “Make It” contest at our women’s retreats. We choose an item (for example flip-flops, pot-holder, wand) and ask the women to decorate it according to one of the three categories chosen. Click on the contest rules link “Contest_Rules_potholders – 2009” to see the instructions for the Pot-holder Make It Contest.

Last year’s (June 2011) contest item was a pail. Through a time of brainstorming, my friend Geri and I went from pail to bucket. This led me to creating a Summer Bucket List using a turquoise beach pail.

I picked 10 goals for my Summer Bucket list. These 10 things were not specifically summer oriented, just things that have been on my mental to-do list for a l-o-n-g time.

I am good at picking goals. I am good at writing out how to obtain them by mapping out a plan and a setting realistic deadline.  I am good at starting.

However, I am not too good at finishing. That’s why I look for creative ways like this to get things done. That’s why I put the retreat verse (Philippians 4:13) on the pail with puffy paint. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (I love using puffy paint even though it did come off in places.)

That’s why I wrote the following explanation on the required index card:Because of God’s available strength, I am able to do many “impossible” things. I.e. Lose 10 pounds, declutter, and add new healthy recipes to my cooking repertoire.

I started working on the Bucket List in Mid June. My finish date is September 30th. It is still Summer HOT here then.

I read this quote on FB the other day (thanks Anza):When you have a desire, back it up with action or let it go. To believe you want something you’re not doing anything to achieve is actually deceptive” (Buster Carter). Ouch! It made me think about my Bucket List. I decided to see how far I had come.

To my amazement, I’ve completed 5 of the 10 items. And I still have 5 weeks left! I am grateful that God indeed has helped me with these items. I am grateful that I persevered in accomplishing these 5 things.

  1. Decluttered 3 boxes. I also went through my closet and gave away some clothing that no longer fit.
  2. Finished 3 homework assignments for consecration. One of the assignments took FIVE minutes to finish. I had procrastinated MONTHS and MONTHS in doing that final work.
  3. Bought new tops that look good on me and I like to wear. Last Spring I lost some weight and have been in need of new clothing. I am still looking for trousers that fit and look good. (Shopping is such a trauma for me.)
  4. Exercised 4-6 times a week doing something I loved. Since late April I have been exercising this consistently in order to get my (formerly) broken shoulder back into shape. However, I cannot say that I have found the exercise I love to do.
  5. Had a family outing. I was able to attend a dinner party my daughter had and both my son and I were able to attend along with some of her friends. I was hoping to spend the next day with both of them, but my son became ill. Had another great time with my daughter though.

This is good progress for me. Wahoo!

The other items on the list still to do are as follows:

  • Write an e-book.
  • Finish reading the Bible and then get a new one.
  • Compile 7-10 new recipes that are healthy, tasty and become favourites.
  • Read two books for fun.
  • Lose 10 pounds.

Your Turn . . .

Where have you made good progress? For what are you grateful that you’ve finished and/or that God has helped you accomplish? Go here to read what other’s put on their Friday’s Fave Five Gratitude List.

Related Posts . . .

  1. Motivating Myself in 5 Areas
  2. Bingo Helps Me Get Things Done

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Twitter Helps me Organize, Blog Helps me Strategize

On Twitter you have 140 characters to answer “What you are doing.” Because so few words areto do list available, I am forced to succinctly organize my thoughts.

I just posted the following:

Housework, school, body aches & Retreat details need addressing. Wondering how to organize my week for maximum effectiveness, joy & peace.

Now that I have succinctly written my thoughts, I can now blog about a solution in as many words as it takes.

Overwhelmed. That is the major feeling from the tweet I just posted. Since I am feeling overwhelmed, I jotted down on my white board what needs doing in the 4 categories of . . .

  • Housework
  • School
  • Body aches
  • Retreat details

I then chose the #1 item in each category.

  • Housework – Clean up from trips this week (Living room and kitchen)
  • School – Research for Premillennialsim paper
  • Body aches – Make chiropractor appointment & walk (Okay so this is 2 things, but I will read while I walk on roommate’s treadmill – unless I trip and add to my body aches.)
  • Retreat details – Gather/print out all information and put in one place for meeting with Reggie

Looking at this list, I realize that there are many steps involved in each category. So I wrote what needs to be done for each category – one item per slip of paper.

For example, Housework slips include . . . .

  • Put away sweaters
  • Put away suitcase
  • Clear off desk
  • Clear off table
  • Put Goodwill items into car
  • Sort out sand dollars (put in bleach water to soak, wash towels)
  • Put away dishes
  • Wash dishes
  • Take trash out
  • Wash beach blanket

I put these many slips of paper in a orange-colored gift bag. This time I chose to keep the categories separate. Sometimes I mix the category slips of paper all together into the same bag.

orange bagAfter I am finished with this post, I will set the timer for 30 minutes. Then I will pull out one piece of paper: read it and DO what it says until the timer goes off.

Then I will “reward” myself for about 20 minutes. Unfortunately, I hardly ever reward myself. I think this lack is one reason why I have a hard time accomplishing things on some days.

I am too hard of a task master on myself. When I add the “rewards” to my day, I find that I have more joy.

Here are a few rewards I could get used to . . . .

  • Eat a nutritious meal.
  • Chat with a friend.
  • Read a chapter in a “fun” book.
  • Take a shower.
  • Rest on an ice pack.
  • Write a note.
  • Water my garden.
  • Say out loud, “Job well done, Susan.” ( I probably wouldn’t do this for 20 minutes. I think that then borders on megalomania.)
  • Pray.

Then I’ll start the cycle over again with the timer and the orange bag of “job” slips of paper. Every finished slip of paper, brings me closer to peace. I’m trying to learn to live in peace even amidst the unfinished tasks of my lie.

So what do you do to help yourself when you are feeling overwhelmed and in a procrastinating mode? How do you organize your week for maximum effectiveness, joy & peace?

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