How many times have you heard this statement?
Used as a motivational boost, this statement has been used, and abused, on so many levels. Yet, truth be told, it is indeed 100% valid!
I tend to procrastinate. And with a little reading and further digging into the topic of procrastination, I realized that it isn’t really an act, rather a delay in action attributed to lack of interest in a specific task, and possibly lack of understanding to how the task will contribute to the bigger picture. Topping my list of items that I made a habit of ‘delaying’ them a bit longer than needed were: laundry, dishes, and washing my hair (yes, curls are tedious to care for as other fellow curly-haired ladies would know ). And, of course, the further I pushed these tasks, the more they accumulated, and the more tedious and energy-sucking they’d become.
So, I started decomposing each act into smaller, more structured efforts. Laundry became a weekly chore on my calendar. Yes, I do have it on my calendar! I embraced the McDonald’s slogan of “clean as you go” to handle the dishes. And, I wash my hair once a week, whether I want/need to or not to avoid it getting all tangled up and taking longer (and becoming more stressful) to de-tangle in the shower.
I came to realize that structuring and decomposing these tedious tasks resulted in a few key learnings:
1. They don’t actually take up much more of my time, nor energy trying to avoid them, as I kept convincing myself originally. It was all in my head, as are other things we keep telling ourselves.
2. When I procrastinated with these tasks, I used up a lot of energy trying to avoid them, which meant that other (consequent) tasks got pushed further down my list resulting in me wasting time and energy attending to other bits and pieces that just didn’t add up to any whole, i.e. no single item on my list got completely ticked off.
3. I also stopped guilt-tripping myself like I used to when I finally got around to these tasks as I kept repeating to myself the “you should have done this earlier” inner dialogue!
Further, by applying these small shifts to tedious, and possibly non-substantial, tasks, I was able to address other bigger tasks in the same manner. I started putting the most burdening tasks on the top of my daily to-do list rather than pushing them down when I am strained for time or low on energy. That led to me being to getting more done, in an efficient manner, on a daily/weekly basis rather than my to-do list becoming an avoid-at-all-costs list
From that perspective, my aspirational business vision, my diffusing-the-intimidating-layers-of-fat-enveloping-my-body quest, and my read-a-book-a-week hopes, started getting more attention and energy from me as I decided that the right time to start is NOW and the most appropriate way to go is ONE SMALL SHIFT AT A TIME!
What will you start addressing right now?