Eating a frog with gusto

I’m slowly getting into a routine with my November project, and it works. I hate routines, and I don’t work on my project on a set time. The routine is simply to work on it every day. Whether a lot or a little, both count. I just want to make headway everyday. It looks like my inner adult has kicked in. That’s a relief.

The first time I felt that green zone of my have-to – horse shoe was after I took the time to think my project through. The planning was done – and I felt eager for action! My energy was gone, so I had to wait until the next day. But the next day I was eager to begin, instead of reluctant and filled with dread. That felt like nothing short of a miracle. I can’t have been a miracle though – I created it myself. Yay me!

The second time my inner adult kicked in was this morning. I didn’t see it coming. I’d had a bad night’s sleep and a frustrating morning with my son. At 8.30 AM I was alone, tired and grumpy.

First thing I did was take a break – I’ve made the mistake to NOT do that so many times that I’ve learned that it really, really, really doesn’t work if I fight my way through the day. When I do I just get a lot more tired, much more moody, highly irritable. I tend to end up feeling like a horrible person because of deplorable behaviour towards my loved ones. So I’ve learned to take some time for myself in the morning before I start work.

I watched an old episode of Navy NCIS to completely take my mind off myself. When that was finished, I wondered what to do about my project today. Drum roll… I got the urge to do it NOW instead of later! I realised I was curious where my administration was hiding, since I hadn’t found it in Mount Doom yet. So I decided to set a time limit, dive into one of my piles and search for relevant stuff I could archive.

I self managed. I let myself be guided by my goal instead of whatever I encountered. No scope creep. No distractions. When I found stuff that was easy to throw away or easy to put away within my set time limit, I sorted it – and put it all in the right place before I reached my limit. Now I (already!) have a concrete, visible and satisfying result:

  • Some stuff archived
  • Some stuff in the recycling bin
  • Some stuff put away in the place where it belongs

My reward is on my lap now. I’ve taken the time to cuddle with the loudest purring creature I know. Her sounds of satisfaction make me feel I’m a wonderful person. (There was a time when I tried to do daunting tasks without a reward, but since rewards can help against procrastination, I use them consciously now.)

What my inner adult did, was want something that I normally have to trick myself into: eating a frog. A metaphor that stands for doing the thing you’re most likely to procrastinate on first. It’s a favourite trick for a number of my clients.

I love how I don’t even have to trick myself into writing the #NaBloPoMo blog posts. I like it and I’m happy to do it. My inner adult finds it easy to get this done. It’s more a reward than a frog 🙂

Poes mapPoes schoot

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3 thoughts on “Eating a frog with gusto

  1. Pingback: My brain is being mean to me | Stop procrastinating now!

  2. TooFullToWrite

    I think you are dead on the money with taking the break and not forcing yourself to start immediately if you are feeling down before starting/carrying on with a project. I often do this and don’t feel guilty if I need a bit of entertainment to give me the creative buzz I need to get cracking on my project. I feel that by listening to something or watching something and enjoying it, my mood is sufficiently elevated to tackle the task in hand if I am feeling low beforehand. Reflecting on the progress made is a reward too and it seems that you are basking in the glory of your own progress and getting to pet your kitty too, which is fantastic and they feel good so everyone is happy 🙂

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