Just days after I reorganized my school room, my glass book shelf broke. (I know…glass shelves, heavy books…not practical.) I quickly started unloading the books onto the floor, surrounding chairs, and the dining/ school room table. Some how a day passed, then two, and what resulted was more books, more piles and procrastination.
I’d glance at the dining room table, think of the huge chunk of time needed to tackle the project, and then push it off for “another day.”
Anything that requires work tempts us to embrace the “another day” mentality. Why start today, what we can put off until tomorrow, right? The problem with that mentality is nothing gets done. Procrastination is the thief of time. Whether it’s establishing a budget, working on a meal plan, tracking food expenses, losing weight, or even decluttering, the bottom line is that it’s work, and the more one procrastinates, the harder it becomes. Even a simple thirty minute task can begin to feel like a mountain.
I’m embarrassed to admit it, but my broken shelf sat like this for weeks. Finally, just today, I purposely set the timer for only thirty minutes to at least begin the job. I always want to get jobs done from start to finish, but the problem with that desire is I don’t have enough large chunks of time available, or if I have time available, I begin five jobs at once. What follows is procrastination.
Well, no longer. With the timer set, I vowed I would not get side tracked. I wouldn’t answer the phone or turn on the computer. I wouldn’t start browsing through the books as I cleared them off (I know myself.) I just needed to start and do the next thing. My goal was to get the table cleared off – nothing more.
Thirty minutes later, the table was not only cleared off , but dusted. The summer table cloth whirred in the washer, and excitement brewed about my fall tablescape – all because I STARTED!
Why did I wait so long?
It’s the weekend. What project have you been putting off for another day? Is it setting a budget, creating a meal plan, de-cluttering the junk drawer? Set the timer and join me.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t even have to complete it. Just get started and do that next thing. (Did you notice my books still on those chairs and my unfinished tablescape? That will be finished tomorrow.)
It’s time that I am dethroned as the Queen of Procrastination. 😉
I completely understand about the procrastination. Yesterday I finally got the room for our nursery cleaned out so we can get it ready because our baby is due in 7 weeks. I’ve dreaded the project for 7 months and let it stress me out because I didn’t want to deal with the junk left over from high school, college and moving in 2 years ago. I would walk in and feel defeated and work on something else in the house (watch TV or browse blogs instead). However, yesterday I committed to clean until it was empty and now I feel such relief!
I tend to do the same thing. I have a running list of small clean up projects that need to be done but some days it just seems impossible, especially with a 3 year old tornado following me. I’ve found that I have to set the timer in the kitchen for 30 minutes and make myself get started. Usually, once I get going I complete the task even if it takes longer than the originally designated 30 minutes. For me it’s just a matter of getting started.
You could have written this post about me! Great advice, just the little nudge I needed today.
I am like you. I want to get jobs done from start to finish in one chunk of time. I have to force myself to set my timer or just set a goal and get it done in steps. My biggest project right now: exchanging summer clothes for fall/winter ones. Since I pass gently used clothes down to the next siblings, it takes time to organize it all. I’ve been doing two drawers at a time, as I put away laundry. 🙂
Thanks for all your inspiration!
I love that expression…..the queen of procrastination…..xv
Hmph…I came on the computer because I was in the middle of folding laundry (ALL of our laundry because every item has to be washed before the bed bug exterminator comes on Tuesday, stinkin’ bed bugs), and now I’m told to go do laundry?
*sigh* all right…. 😉
Yep, it’s amazing what gets done if we just start! And do then next thing of course!
Thanks for keeping it real. I am the same way….and glad to know I’m not alone!
Thanks for the post! My refrigerator has been disgusting for a while now. Something leaked on one of the shelves and it was gross. The other shelves were gross just from normal use. I got that thing clean and it looks great. It took a lot longer than 30 minutes but I knew it would…it was just the point of getting started. Thanks again!
I think the biggest problem is the start, since sometimes we are just lazy or dont know how to proceed. But some motivation could accelerate the process.
I always, always say I’ll do it “later.” Of course. later never comes for me. Haha. I read this post this morning though and changed the sheets, made cookies for two birthday presents, decorated them, and wrapped them for shipping. Both are things I shouldn’t have been putting off, but was anyway.
Jen I have to say you always look like you have everything completely together to me. It is a relief to see a bit of disorganization it makes me feel not so out there! Glad you kicked it in the butt. Keep it up!
So inspiring. I love the bite-sized approach.