Still on the subject of procrastination which I blogged about here. As I’ve had a some success (I pray it lasts a lifetime), I’m unpicking what worked.
I’ll take the simple task of defrosting my fridge which I would ordinarily do at the weekend simply because of time. To accomplish this, I needed to get it cleaned by Thursday as I was away at the weekend.
I must point out that I had been putting it off for months because I just got it into my head that it would take at least half a day. Mind you, we are only talking about a little fridge. Hmmmm do you think procrastination is another word for laziness?
Here’s how it worked out:
- I decided when I would start: It was not going to work if I didn’t commit to day to commence the task. That would have just been the same old spiral I’d been going though.
- I wrote it down: It made it on to the to-do-list.
- It aided a larger goal of decluttering: So it felt purposeful. Only I could make defrosting a fridge have purpose. 😂😂😂
- I broke it down into smaller chunks: 1- Switch off the fridge 2: Clean fridge compartments 3: When fully defrosted clean freezer out. 4: One quick wipe over.
- I overcame the obstacles: If you thought my task list above was a bit odd, here’s why. After I switched of the fridge, two days later the freezer had not defrosted. I was puzzled and then discovered that I had inadvertently turned off the dishwasher plug not the fridge. Doh! I contemplated giving up and doing it another time (the definition of procrastination) but then I thought I could just clean the fridge out first and wash all the trays. And then when the freezer defrosted I would wash that out. Unconventional but it worked.
- I kept it simple: Sometimes, when you get a burst of energy you are tempted to do too much at once and then you get leftover tasks to put off to another day. I avoided overcrowding my to do list with tasks for each day. This way, I was rewarded with the satisfaction of crossing off the completed task at the end of the day.
When I looked back at how long it took me to get my fridge defrosted, it took about an hour spread over three days. How many hours did I spend rationalising the number of hours it would take? Needless to say, I learned my lesson.
Procrastination plagues us all. We’d rather not do stuff when we need to do it. The next thing you know, you have twenty other stuff that still need doing. Contrary to what we think, organised people also struggle with procrastination. They have simply learnt how to silence it’s tempting and deceptive lure. For it gives the false impression that you’ll always have time to do a, b or c. Well if you’ve been round this block a few times you’ll know that time lost can never be claimed back.
I’m challenging myself this week to start one particular activity that is going to be time consuming. Ouch! Today I’ll be breaking it down into smaller chunks so there is clarity on what I can tackle this week.
Why don’t you join me and do the same? If only for the moral support.