Recently I have been thinking about “to do” apps, lists, methods, priorities. We all, at some stage have done so. We have a lot on our “to do” list and feel that we just need that magic solution for our “to do” list to disappear with the result that we will be productive and efficient.
Either that or we procrastinate – a difficult word to say but far easier thing to do.
Pro·cras·ti·nate – to put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness (from the Latin prōcrāstināre “to postpone until tomorrow”).
Popular suggestions include creating a “to don’t” list or a “done list” – at the end of the day they are all lists, they all take time and energy to complete.
Or, if we procrastinate then our energy goes nowhere.
Even when you look at your “to do” list, subconsciously you see the whole list, it gets buried in your unconscious mind and you are carrying it around with you – you see it or hear it or feel it –my point is that it uses a lot of energy.
Thinking about what you have not done hurts as frankly, some of the things on the list you simply do not want to do or are frightened to do. It is time to face up and be honest with yourself.
To face your fear, your fear of failure.
So how to change your thinking? How do you lighten your load? How do you overcome the fear? – well, chunk the list up, what are the 3 things that your heart is telling you to do, the things that you want to do – they are generally buried in your “to do” list anyway – so listen to your heart for a change and take those 3 things, just for today and do just them – these are the 3 things you can immediately name, just like that, off the top of your head.
Do them Now! Immediately! Pronto!
Stop and think of a reason not to and you will be in the world of the procrastinator and this is where we find ourselves all too often.
It is easy to continue doing nothing of any particular use or value; as there is another dependency of course, and that is the amount of energy you have.
Typically we find the more we are fearful of our tasks and failure, the less we want to do, the less we want to do, the more we procrastinate. It is a downward spiral we find ourselves in.
At this point, it is time to do one of the following:
- Just move! – Do something to break the state of mind, get up, juggle some juggling balls, walk away somewhere, anywhere – get away from what you are procrastinating on. Moving improves your breathing, which increases the level of oxygen coming into your body and more importantly, into your brain. You begin to think better, faster, clearer and your state of mind changes.
- Put a timer on, now, immediately! There are a lot available free online (Focusbooster or Timeout) or simply set one on an alarm clock, the cooker or even your phone, set it for a time agreed with your inner voice, the one that says “aw just a few more minutes “ and set it for a maximum of 40 minutes – the less the better. Then you have reached a compromise, a rationale that your heart and head has agreed with. Once the timer goes off – move away and start something new.
- Call for help – sometimes we get so wrapped up in what we are doing that we cannot see the wood for the trees. Even when we have tried the above suggestions, getting a coffee, going for a walk, juggling. It is then time to call in the support team – pick up the phone and call a friendly voice, you need help and you need it now.
If we consider how we used to think, how we survived before paper, before lists and before apps – it was by what we felt we needed to do and yes we got it wrong (to do: find a cave, hunt for food and chase the opposite sex) so we got wet and hungry sometimes. Thankfully most of the time we got it right.
So trust yourself, keep it simple and trust your heart; lighten your load and your apps.
Do you agree with the subject discussed in this article? Do you have additional thoughts or comments? Please feel free to share these in the section below.
This article is contributed by Priya Nagrale who is running SureJob, a blog that provides online jobs & government jobs.