Friday, June 24, 2011
Just Do It.
I'm having one of those moments... I'm sure you've had them too. The kind where you're supposed to be doing a particular something. It could be schoolwork, a house project, something work related or simply cleaning your room... but when that is what you're supposed to be doing, you want to do anything else. You find yourself checking your e-mail, or looking at facebook or doing laundry... pretty much anything instead of what you're supposed to be doing. I have cleaned my house before instead of dealing with a dreaded task. The funny thing is once you start that dreaded task you're almost always halfway there.
"Well begun is half done." Aristotle
The guy has a great point. So it's just that. Beginning. Starting.
Motivation. Whether it's lack of goal, lack of energy or just plain lack... you need motivation. Put on some fun music. Visualize finishing your accomplishment... or even visualize beginning the project. Set up something relaxing for after you finish. It helps me to think, "When I'm done with this then I will get to...." paint my toes. Take a bath. Enjoy a date out. Spend time with a friend. Etc.
Procrastination. It feels so much easier to put stuff off. Thomas Jefferson said, “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” So if it can be done today then DO IT!!!
Discipline. When you start to be disciplined in one area it tends to help you be disciplined in other areas. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true, when you slack off in one area it tends to leak into other areas as well. Eating well. Getting regular exercise. Adequate sleep. They tend to help you be disciplined and stay on track in your other areas of life: work, school, home, etc.
Internal- thoughts, anxiety, restlessness, hunger, thirst
*to combat these internal distractions- write a to-do list or things stressing you that is not to do with what you're supposed to be doing. I try to keep paper near me so I can write things I need to do, calls to make, etc. for later... when I'm done with the project. Clear your mind. Take a brief walk or do some jumping jacks if you're restless or agitated. Eat a small higher protein snack like apple with peanut butter or hummus with veggies and continue. Be sure to be hydrated... so many people are complaining of headaches and tension when they're not drinking enough water.
External- phone calls, text messages, e-mails, children, the weather, knock at the door, needing to use the facilities, etc.
Realistic. This is a biggie for me. I try to be superwoman, supermom, super something... and fail... because I expect myself to be able to accomplish too much, too soon. Make sure you are setting small,measurable, specific goals. Ask yourself would I expect someone else to be able to do all this on their own? Often I find I expect more from myself than I would of another person. Hm, that's weird.
Perfectionism: Also closely linked with realistic expectations or just plain reality. Sometimes if I can't do it the way I want I won't do it all. Don't let yourself hold YOU back. Be content with things not being perfect but being done well... and frankly getting done at all. A Project well done and finished on time is better than the masterpiece that is never finished and never turned in.
Some of my favorite tips and tricks:
*Work on a little bit at a time. Bite size chunks tend to be more manageable. We can all eat our "elephants" one bite at a time.
*Treat yourself to something after accomplishing a major goal.
*Ask a friend to help hold you accountable. A friend of mine noticed she had a habit of eating late at night. She asked a few of her friends if they would help her by asking if she ate after 8.
*Try if you can to be well fed and well rested. It's hard when you're exhausted or hungry to get much done.
*Take a power nap (15-20 min.) and then start.
*Set a timer. Whether it's that you will start your task at a certain time or finish it. I love racing against the clock & also having a signal for starting or finishing. I stock up on the Dollar Tree timers in the kitchen section. When I'm getting ready to leave a fun place with my kids such as the zoo or Chick-fil-A, etc. I set the timer letting them know when they have ten minutes or five minutes before we leave. It also helps them learn how to gage time.
*Take a break. Grab some coffee or hot tea. Walk around and stretch. Make a quick phone call. Enjoy a piece of gum. Then get back to it.
*Start with the hardest part first and work to the easiest. This is one of Libby's favorite things to tell me. "Hardest thing first, Mama!"
*Stimulate your senses. Light a candle especially with something energizing like citrus. Relax afterward with lavender. Even smelling a pure essential oil can help you shake off a drowsy state and become more alert.
*Check your timing. Are you trying to do something too late or too early in the morning. If you can, try to work during your most productive, alert time. I find trying to plan menus or the schedule for the week hard to do when it's late at night.
Now, with all that being said... the person I am writing this for the most is myself. I am trying to spend 3 hours writing. And writing this post has helped me get my creative juices going and flowing. I've been writing as well as reminding myself of what to do when I'm stuck or when I'm trying to avoid what I'm supposed to be doing... like avoiding writing... nothing like writing about avoiding writing, right?