Procrastination got you down?
Got a project deadline, a potentially unpleasant situation brewing?
How about an incredible brain child project that you want to explore, but are hesitant to tackle because you’re not exactly sure how long it will take and how much trouble it will be to get finished?
Then you’ve just got to
Look The Monster In The Eye!!!
I feel like I have just a little credibility in this area because a few years back I attended a major university, worked part time in Public Relations, and graduated with honors, (All this was got done while I brought up 3 accomplished kids, 2 of which were teens at the time – and cooked, cleaned, maintained a house and yard, worked out regularly and got into my dream jeans! You could say I was busy … )
I’d like to say that all of that got done because I love my kids, commit fiercely to my goals, and am very lucky, which is true, but it’s mostly because I trick myself.
Read on if you’d like to know how to trick yourself into getting stuff done that makes your brain itch!
Got something horrible to do that sends you internally screaming? (Like the times my cats thoughtfully leave a disemboweled chipmunk on the front porch for me to remove and then sanitize the porch.) Since the “Guts Fairy” definitely doesn’t pay house visits, you’ve got to either get somebody else to do it (yeah, right!) or just
Look The Monster In The Eye
and get the job done. Treat yourself with something that you really love and enjoy afterward, preferably not food or buying something, unless you want to bust a pant size or worse. Got to keep it simple, like getting to read something purely fun for 15 minutes afterward, brewing a cup of tea and actually sitting down and drinking it, going for a 15 minute stroll with the dogs are some of my favorites, but you’ve got to do what appeals to YOU.
This leads to my next lifesaving trick:
Grab Yourself A Timer!
I swear to you that this trick has saved my life, my kid’s lives, my credit rating and my GPA countless times! If you don’t think you have time to do something, odds are terrific that you DO have the time if you’ll trick yourself by using a timer for 15 minutes at a time.* Here’s how you do it: Picture a looming project deadline: You go a little pale and clammy thinking about how much you want it to shine and how little time you have to get it done, properly, without becoming a hermit for hours at a time, which is impossible. You sweat and break out into a case of hives almost, for fear of not getting it done. STOP!! Now take out your handy little timer. Nearly all computers and phones have them. I prefer my handy little egg timer because it’s cute and is a visual reminder that my (anticipated) misery will be over very soon.
So – take out your timer – set it for 15 minutes – and GO!!!! Just focus on that one task for 15 minutes and hit hard, without concern about what else needs to be done and how your hair looks. Just hit it hard!!!
Fifteen minutes later you will have sent that terrifying monster packing because you probably won’t want to stop, your ideas will be flowing, momentum going, and you’ll feel human again, maybe even a little super human because you’ve way exceeded the imaginary limitations we perfectionists tend to put on ourselves.
(Oops! Did I say that out loud?! Yes, I’m a recovering perfectionist … What about you?!!! Ever wrestle with the desire to do something absolutely so wonderfully that it doesn’t get done at all? Hmm?)
Photo credit to Pixar’s Monsters Inc.