Okay, I know we’re all guilty of it. I’m perhaps one of the biggest procrastinators out there. As I type, I have a big pile of my 2 year old’s clothes to bag up for donation. I did promise myself I would get to it later today though:)
I had been procrastinating about cleaning my fridge for a long time, but my mission today from Fly Lady was to set the timer for 15 minutes and go to work on it. Well, I set the timer for 20 minutes and finished with 3 minutes to spare – woo hoo! So later today I’ll set my timer for 15-20 minutes and tackle that pile of old clothes.
I’ve often thought that procrastination had to be good for some things though. Its kept me from spending money on stuff I didn’t really need. But there is still a big down side to putting everything off. Like when it comes to doing something you know really needs to be done, such as de-cluttering, cleaning, exercising, eating right, paying bills…
What happens is every time you put it off, it just seems harder and harder to do it. In our quest for perfection, we tend to set our expectations too high. For instance, some feel they can’t exercise until they lose weight. I had someone tell me they weren’t going to the doctor for a physical until they lost weight (WHAT?). Or we put off eating right until after the holidays. After a while we get so used to making the excuses that we never start what we said we would do and we turn a mole-hill into a mountain.
So what is it that you keep putting off? How do we stop the excuses and just do it? What’s worked for me is letting go of things having to be perfect and taking baby steps. For example, I could have taken an hour to clean my fridge, taking everything out, getting every nook and cranny clean, but that would have been horrible for me and I would never do it. So I took the advice from the Fly Lady and set my timer for a short amount of time, which I felt I could handle. And guess what? My fridge looks great and I was really proud of myself, plus it was fast!
So what about exercise or eating better? Well you could incorporate the same baby-steps philosophy. Instead of vowing to run for an hour, but never doing it, try 10 minutes, see what happens. Could you handle just 10 minutes? 10 minutes is better than 0 minutes. Or instead of trying to go full force into better eating, try eating just one good meal per day. Could you handle that, or maybe even just one healthy snack?
It doesn’t have to be as my husband would say a “full balls” effort. That could be very intimidating for a lot of people. You could just dip your pinky toe in:)
I’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org