Here we are in the last week of January already and I'm just now getting your newsletter off to you! It's funny that I'm struggling with various topics this month because I usually have these written in my head long before I sit down to the computer. This issue, though? Everything seems to be fighting me!
I wanted to come up with a funny story about myself or someone that allows me to do that to them - usually Jim! Today? Still nada! Then, this afternoon while wracking my brain, it hit me: I've just been procrastinating, attending to myriad little projects, catching up on some reading, doing household chores that certainly aren't even exciting. I have my To-Do list on the calendar, dutifully checking things off as they are accomplished or events have passed. So, what's going on here?! Do you recognize my quandary? Being busy is not being productive.
"Time pressure" has never worked for me. I never could cram for a test, always preferring to do the bits and pieces of studying each day so I could be 'ready' anytime a Pop Quiz appeared. I find it stifles creativity, focus and clear thinking to always be worried that Murphy's Law with arrive with some new axiom, because that's just what Life is all about - the unexpected, and I wouldn't have it any other way, would you?
I've always tried to follow the "Rocks and Sand" analogy, working diligently to get the most important things done first, and allowing the sand to fill in the extra air pockets. So, why the procrastination this month, hmmm?
Procrastination can pop up when you least expect it, but there are several basic reasons it does:
• You're just trying to avoid a task - paying the bills, tracking down a solution, dealing with something unpleasant;
• You just can't get motivated, get moving. There seems to be no energy or inertia to kick you softly in the derriere to get started;
• You're not sure how to do what you're supposed to do. You're feeling anxious because of a lack of confidence in your knowledge base of how to approach a given task.
So, what's the solution? Get started, even a 5-minute stint at the project can give you the energy you need to carry you forward. If you're feeling anxious, break the project down into smaller portions; work on what you're most comfortable with first to give you that boost for the next section. Celebrate your completion of small deadlines met and realize you are that much closer to full completion. Finally, remember that any unpleasant task is going to wait for you, and many times gets even more unpleasant as time goes on (the cats' litter boxes?).
Well ... while it was 'fun' to revisit procrastination, I think I've just been suffering from a case of the After Holiday Doldrums or the dreaded January Funk. I love my work, writing my newsletters and sharing ideas on organization and productivity with you. It truly is my passion and joy! So, if you've been experiencing the same sort of malaise, let it go; let the guilt go and befriend procrastination for the problem-solving and thinking it makes you do - and don't give it the power to become Enemy #1.
Here's to all your organizing dreams coming true in 2016!
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