What are you putting off today?!

Is there anything that you can think of that you wish you had gotten done already?  Is it bugging you?  I’m assuming the answer is ‘yes’!

You may think when you leave your office you leave the unfinished tasks in the office but you are wrong.  Everything that is uncompleted comes home with you in your mind and can weigh heavy on your shoulders. As you’re playing catch with your daughter that ‘little’ voice in your head is saying “You shouldn’t be out here. You should be back at the office finishing _____.”  When you’re out on your date night with your spouse you may be thinking about the report sitting on your desk and not fully ‘be’ on your date.  This does not feel good and can cause real problems.

What’s happening is procrastination and it is very common – you are not alone.

Procrastination is living life with the brakes on as you tell yourself “I don’t have time for this,” or “I don’t know how to do this so I’ll put it here for now.”  You constantly stop yourself.  But whenever you put ‘something here for now’ you are simply postponing  and when you do that your ‘little’ voice will go into overtime reminding you of what you haven’t gotten done.  It’s interesting that it rarely reminds you of all the great things you’ve done!

There are a lot of great books about procrastination but I’ve discovered as a ‘recovering procrastinator’ a simple cure if you do it!

The next time you pick up a piece of paper that is a reminder of an action you need to do and you are SO tempted to put it back on your desk for later – STOP – put it back up to your face where you can see it and ask yourself “What is the next one thing I can do?”  Just one thing. Figure that out and do it.  Yes, right away! When that is done ask yourself “What is the next one thing I can do?”  Do that and keep going.  Sound simple?  Yes, but it works. You will be amazed at how quickly the task gets done (much faster than you think) and how wonderful you will feel about yourself.  No more little voice!

Another tip that helps me is to set a timer for 30 minutes.  You can do anything for 30 minutes! If you focus on just one task there’s a great chance that when the timer goes off the task is done or very close to being done.

Action Step:
Pick one thing right now that you’ve been putting off. Figure out what is one thing that you can do toward this task and do it.  Then keep going by doing the next and then the next.  Let me know how great you feel!

8 Responses to What are you putting off today?!

  1. I was just thinking about this very topic! Yesterday I finally took care of something that I have been putting off for about 4 or 5 years!!! I closed an old bank account. I was in the area so it only took 4 minutes of my time! Now, what’s next?

  2. Sue Cutler says:

    I enjoy reading your newsletters. I don’t always take time to reply. But, I do enjoy getting them and they inspire me to dig in and do something that needed to be done. I always feel better afterwards but I’ll admit I’ve become a real procrastinator in my retirement. I think there is always tomorrow. Thanks for your e-mail updates. I was at a Burgess Hospital Luncheon in Feb and you were a speaker. I did get my craft room organized and my dining room found. Just need to keep going. Thanks for your suggestions. Sue Cutler

  3. Stacy Kock says:

    Thanks for the inspiration. I also picked one thing up that has been sitting in my closet for 6 years! It was something I had been planning to scrapbook and present to someone. Normally I would set it aside and deliver it “when it was convenient”….which might take a long time, so I just wrote a nice note and mailed it! People love mail, especially when it isn’t a bill!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Way to go on the craft room, Sue! Stacy, I love hearing about when someone just ‘takes action’!

  5. Candace says:

    You always provide some excellent ideas and advice Elizabeth.

    Keep sharing and all your visitors will be organized!


  6. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks, Candace!

  7. Gail says:

    i’ve just read the newsletter part about what I’m learning in january and Elizabeth said she wanted to know. What a line up I have:
    1. read, digest, and answer questions on 1000 pages / wk for my Master’s course in January in preparation for the degree completion in Feb with a master’s quality thesis each week
    2. get my daughter off to a better start with her second semester of high school — 8 classes this term!
    3. search for my next full time job as I just left a good job because I lost child care for child (see #2) when I was working out of state
    4. keep reading all those books I have in stacks and pass them along to others who would enjoy them — keeping less than 10% — and buying only those i’ll use forever (like Elizabeth’s!)
    5. organize 3 houses into one as I just sold 2 houses and have to figure out what will fit in our primary home if we don’t move immediately, and what won’t fit if we do move to a different home.
    6. work on one of my scrapbooking projects (it took me a week to finish jackie’s birth & 1st birthday so perhaps her 2nd birthday – she’s only going to be 15 in feb)
    7. finally get that halloween photo of jackie before she completely outgrows her Twister game costume (the spin board was a hat, the “mat” was the dress) so i can do that scrapbook layout by next halloween and download that camera card onto CDs, printing only the photos I want for the scrapbooks (eventually i’ll learn to do it digitally but not yet)
    8, work my temporary jobs on weekends when available so family can travel with me.
    9. be deposed for my ADA case against former employer
    10. Get the information about being a foster parent. If we’re going to remain in Sioux Falls, we have plenty of space to help children that have had a rough time. Besides, what better way to be truly powerful than to help others?!

    it’s going to be a great and busy year if we keep this up! Thanks, elizabeth

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Wow, Gail! You take my breath away! I would like to tell you to take one thing at a time but I think in your case it’s 3 things at a time!

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