Today is the day

I’m going to finish my November project. Today. April 17 instead of the November 30 I hoped for (yes, that doesn’t say ‘I planned for, I know…). You’d think I’d be excited, happy, relieved. Instead I’m tired, full of resistance and desperately longing to not work on it today. Why? I don’t know.

So, again, this blog post is to make myself accountable. I WILL finish it today.

I’m not sure whether I want to look into my resistance and learn from it, or simply bypass it. I do know the resistance annoys the heck out of me.

I remember that I wrote about unmet needs as a productivity block. Maybe that post brings some insights.

I have gotten my poem for #NaPoWriMo done, so I can’t procrastinate by doing that. There are five sweet kittens in my house  that I could look at for hours. Maybe I can make those my reward for getting my first steps done: reading the blog post I mentioned, and creating a plan for today after that.

 

Paper pile monster

 

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On track

Working so hard on my planned project (see previous posts) that I don’t have time to write a blog post, Yay me!

PS: celebrating accomplishments is very healthy against procrastination. Since lack of faith in getting a job done (well) can be a trigger for procrastination, you’re actively increasing your faith in yourself by spending some yay-time on yourself.

PPS: Self criticism often gets enough me-time already with people who know procrastination intimately.

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And for the #NaPoWriMo peeps: I got my poem done before I started working on my adminisration. Fun before frog. It turned out to be a good choice: all headspace is available for my boring task My mind is free now and I can focus on getting mynumbers right.

In the post I visited yesterday I wrote that I have low confidence in my ability to stick to a concrete plan. Confession time: I ran away from the post after I’d read it, and didn’t manage to get any planning done yesterday. Other stuff that needed doing? Yes. Planning? No. I even realised I’d sooner have worked on my horrible task itself, than the planning for it.

Yesterday I decided to let it happen. Today that won’t fly. I WILL plan.

Just now I realised my low confidence in my ability to stick to a concrete plan only matters if I believe it has consequences. I can’t play standing base. Do I care about that? No, since it has no consequences (apart from me not being in a psychobilly band, which I can live with).

So what about my perceived inability to stick to a concrete plan is such a drama? Obviously nothing, but some part of me is telling me differently. I’ll try to shed some light on the fictitious monsters under my bed. I’ll challenge them after I uncover them.

I believe I SHOULD be able to stick to a concrete plan

Now that I write that down I wonder: why? There are probably millions of people who don’t know how to stick to plan or who don’t care about planning or sticking to it in the first place. Why do I believe that I HAVE TO BE ABLE to?

If I can’t stick to a plan, I’m a worthless coach

Again, as soon as I wrote this down, I noticed this thought doesn’t make sense to me at all, even though it’s mine (hidden beneath layers of rationality, I’ve practised on those discoveries). In my thorough training for being a coach, sticking to a plan was never a requirement.

If I can’t stick to a plan, I’m a worthless procrastination coach

My brain is trying to convince me the thought makes sense, by altering it. I’m a worthless procrastination coach then? No, not true either. It’s probably the other way around: if I thought planning was easy, I’d keep believing it’s a solution or even a cure for procrastination.  If it only was that easy…

If I can’t stick to a plan, I’m stupid

I think we’re at the end of my reasoning here, because I feel the urge to stop writing this and simply make a planning. I don’t even care about refuting this thought.

To make sure I don’t lose my way: I’ll only share this post after my planning is done 🙂

Got my planning done. Got ‘rewarded’ with a deadline – it turns out my planning is absolutely necessary! Also, I have already done the first part of my planning.

The inner critic (the thoughts written in bold) is not winning today 😉

And my #NaPoWriMo post got done before anything else: Would you pray to me. Productivity wise, something could be said against that… Then again: I’ve had my fun, now I’ll get everything done 😉 That will be my motto today

Procrastination duality

This poem by a fellow #NaPoWriMo participant sums up the feeling of procrastination (and more) in three short lines. Brilliant! It also shows the solution… Now how to get there?

Duality

The mind is at war
Logic versus Emotion
Only one may rule

The mind is at peace
Planning balancing Impulse
Both ruling as one
Source and copyright: https://myauthoritis.wordpress.com/2018/04/06/duality/

May I add that the poem is probably about much more (or maybe even something different) than my interpretation ‘procrastination’? It’s just where my mind led me.

So how to get logic and emotion ruling as one this week? I’m grumpy and full of resistance, so emotion is running the show…

Accountability

I’m going to be accountable for administration stuff again this week. My brain is already trying to avoid planning, by telling me ‘no need to make this concrete, you’ll do as you promised, in some way’.

So, first thing I’ll do is go back to my post called ‘I hate planning‘. I vividly remember the title. I don’t have a clue what I wrote there. It’s probably something I need today.

Then I’ll do the planning I need. Then, and only then, do I return here and make myself accountable. And hopefully share something I’ve learned as well. By linking up the post I was looking for, I’ve already learnt there is no post called I hate planning. Memory is a fickle thing 🙂

Looks like planning is my frog today!

I hate accountability

… because it works! Yesterday I was ready to read a large number of National Poetry Month contributions, when I realised I had made my foolish resolution: to work both on #NaPoWriMo, and my unfinished November project. It was immediately clear to me that I had to get some work done first, and could use poetry as a reward.

So grudgingly and reluctantly I went upstairs to check on my Piles of Doom. I realised exchange a nice plan (poetry) for a wise plan (administration) didn’t feel that good yet. The sun was calling me, and I wanted to go outside. So I decided to combine my plan and my urge: I took my administration to my son’s room, opened a window, sat down with the sun on my back, and started working. Here’s proof:

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Doesn’t that look like I’m really organised? 🙂 🙂 🙂 I shan’t bore you with why this project is such a big deal for me. It took me a while to discover it, and it feels rather private. Let’s just summarise it as: it ticks all the wrong boxes.

So I need my own advice to get it done. And, if I’m honest, some help from someone who helps me dig deeper in myself than where I’m willing to go on my own. When I look back at yesterday, I realise that I applied different tactics:

  • accountability
  • eat the frog (doing the thing you’re most likely to procrastinate on first)
  • rewards
  • making things more fun (did I not write a blog post about that yet? It really works!)

And I’m doing the same today. I listen to my own advice. So I read a bit of poetry before I started my day, to recover from the morning rush hour – self care. Then I decided that it was more important to me to report on my progress, than to follow the #NaPoWriMo prompt. (An easy choice, since ‘description’ is not my thing and that takes the fun out of it, and I wrote too many poems on day 2) – values to the rescue. Next, I made myself accountable on Facebook for eating a frog (making invoices). That helped me to get those done before writing this post.

I think I deserve a bit of poetry reading after writing this post, so that will be my next step. After that: more invoices. After those: publish my poem for day 4 and share it. Or take a break first. Saving the best for last 😉

If you happen to follow any of my links and wonder why they lead to a different Procrastination Coach site… Yeah, long story. Basically that’s my official one, and I want it to look good (spelling, grammar, lay-out). This is my old blog, which I treat as a playground: the motto is ‘done is better than perfect’. I write straight form the heart and don’t edit much. A quick spell check is often all I do.

Guess on which of my sites I’m spending the most time… 🙂

To do or not to do

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I’m going to make fool’s resolution today: to complete both National Poetry Writing Month (#NaPoWriMo, #GloPoWriMo or #AprPAD) and my administration project with the many Piles Of Doom.

The fool part is not that it’s an April Fool’s joke. It means that it’s probably not foolproof to try and do both. But #NaPoWrimo brings a lot of inspiration, connections and fun each year, so I don’t want to miss out on that. And my darn administration is still the project I blogged about during National Blog Posting Month which I never got to finish. I used to be quite allright in doing my administration, but since a couple of years it brings out the worst in me.

I guess I know how to deal with my foolish plans: values, boundaries, keeping an eye out for the drama triangle, taking care of my inner child. Still I fear I might drown. I’ll probably need to revisit every post I’ve written during November (or since), to remind me that I CAN do this. Maybe some of them can be useful for you too, whether you’re in on #NaPoWriMo or your just trying to get something done.

Wish me luck!

If you’d like to follow my creative endeavour, here’s the link to my blog: Unassorted Stories

How kittens can lead to doing your administration

To my own surprise, I just realised that I’m working on my November project. How did that happen?

First of all I blame the cat. She’s moved her kittens upstairs, and stressed me out endlessly by dropping one of them down two flights of stairs. Then she the chose an impossible place to put them. I put them in a box instead, and I’ve been spending the whole day upstairs to check if everyone is doing okay. So far I seem to be the only one who’s stressed. There’s lots of napping going on. (… are they warm enough in this room? Does everyone get fed? Why has she put one of them aside from the others?)

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There seem to be two lucky things about this:

  1. I got bored and decided to work on my administration
  2. The anxiousness about the kittens left no room for other stress.

It was more than a coincidence though. Yesterday I realised what I needed to get back on track with the project:

  • Go through each and every pile to see if there’s administration on the year 2016 in there.
  • Put 2016 in a separate, clearly recognisable box.
  • Create two other boxes, to make sorting through the big piles fast but effective. One box that says administration older than 2015. One box that says other things to archive.

So I freed up some space to put the boxes in a place where they are easy to reach, and grabbed some piles. Meanwhile keeping an eye on the kittens and the cat. The sorting went quickly. One reason was that I found much stuff that was half sorted already. Another reason was that the three boxes worked perfectly!

 

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All my careful observation made no difference for the kittens. Mum has just again dragged them to a spot where I don’t want them. She wins, for now. I have a customer coming in half an hour. I’ll go and brew some coffee, let the cat have her way, relax a bit, and enjoy how much I got done today! Oh, and thank Lisa for writing this book, for it sure helped my thought process yesterday: http://less-stuff.co.uk/product/piles-to-files-paperwork-book/