Category Archives: Feelings

How small is a bite sized chunk?

I wondered about this when I thought about my last post, and how I chose to publish it before it was finished. Frog first, the rest later. That rest hasn’t happened yet. Still the post has been very effective for me. I wanted to practice sharing with the world that I have a GoFundMe page, to help me raise money for my tuition this year. I’ve shared it here, and I’ve dared to share it in more places since then.

How is this related to bite sized chunks? It’s a tip that can really help in getting things done, because we tend to procrastinate on daunting things a lot more than on things that seem manageable. But there’s no clear reference point for what bite sized is. It will be different, depending on the subject, your physical well-being, your emotions… You can only learn it by self observance. Trial and error.

Here’s a link to a worksheet from my course called “From Do it Later to Do it Now in Ten Days”: Bite sized chunks The starting point for bite-sized used there, is time. But there are many different starting points, depending on the type of thing you want to get started on:
– number of pages
– number of words
– manageable amount of fear
– manageable amount of negative responses

I’ll add more when I think of more, but I’m tired now after a day filled with emotions yesterday.

For me, sharing that GoFundMe page without making it a great blogpost was the amount of stress I could deal with at that moment. So that’s what I did. I fully intend to write that longer blog post later. It’s going to be interesting for me, and hopefully useful for you as a reader, to see how different triggers for procrastination were playing up. Because understanding what’s happening, makes it easier to find a way to get it done – AND, in my opinion even more importantly, to transform the things that are holding you back into something else. Maybe even something that helps you move forward…

This blog is a bite sized chunk for me too. I have my “official website”, where I feel everything should look profesional. No typos, no grammar mistakes, no sentences that are too long or clumsy, or thoughts that aren’t clear yet. Here I allow myself to be more relaxed. If I make those mistakes, I can sort them out later. At least the post will be written already. And maybe touch the heart or brain of someone who’s looking for ideas, inspiration, or space to be more gentle with themselves.

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Scary thing first

Okay, to practice what one of the things I preach (eat the frog) I’m choosing scary thing first. Here’s what I find hard to share, a GoFundMe page that a friend made for me:

My immensely talented friend Angela Van Son is a coach and counselor who could use a hand right now. After an accident in July, she’s lost her income, so is unable to pay her upcoming tuition. Her education in Psychoenergetics is integral to her goal of “supporting people where they don’t dare to go alone.” This coursework focuses on deep healing.

If I write the explanation of why I find this scary first, I’m going to be procrastinating on this post like mad. So, link first, explanation later. I’ll tie it to triggers and causes for procrastination, so it will hopefully be an educational post 🙂

Now that the first bit is done, I wonder if I’ll choose to create my #ThursdayDoor post first, at my writing blog, because that’s fun. Or if I will dive more deeply into why sharing a site that says I need help makes me nervous on so many levels…

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

 

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

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… 🙂

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!

 

BoxesforPiles

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/

 

Procrastination by overwhelm?

I was on a roll writing blog posts on the drama triangle and its links to procrastination. Now I’m off the roll… I’d love to continue writing the next blog posts, but I can’t. Not yet. Here’s what happened:
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I know, crappy picture. But is does show the back of our cat, and her five newborn babies. They’re so small!

I’ve never been around a nest of kittens before. I’m mesmerised, exhausted, worried, in love… A plethora of emotions (finally an excuse to use the word plethora) I’m enjoying it lots, but one things is for sure: I can’t think straight. Which means the blog posts will have to wait.
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It turns out I have a temperature too. So maybe it’s not the kittens, maybe it’s the flu. My inner critic often tries to whip me into productivity. This morning, in persecutor mode, it said things like ‘You’re weak. Kittens are born all the time, that’s no reason to not work. You’re a wimp, to let all these emotions get to you.

After that, my inner victim (in terms of the drama triangle, hence this choice of words) came through: ‘But only slept three hours yesterday, I’m still exhausted. I’m in overwhelm from all the emotions. And more excuses to not listen to the persecutor and create some space. The inner rescuer concluded: ‘It’s impossible to work now’, and provided time off.

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I know what procrastination from overwhelm feels like, and this wasn’t that. There was also a part of me that said: ‘Most things don’t matter today. Enjoy the miracles of life, take care of yourself, the rest can wait.’ I’ll check those thoughts against the winners triangle. Do I have a point?

drama triangle winner triangle

The winner’s triangle subsitutes the victim role with vulnarability, the rescuer role with caring, and the persecutor role with assertiveness. If I apply those to how I feel today:

  •  I’m tired and filled with emotions. Vulnarability in this moment means to simply accept that, not fight it, deny it or judge it.
  •  I’m tired, filled with emotions, and I want to get some things done. Caring means taking all of those seriously, and finding a way to take care of all of those. I can get rest, take it easy AND get things done that matter today. Like buying bread for lunch. And getting this post done – but taking a break when I need one, like now.
  • Assertiveness: taking that break as soon as I wrote ‘now’. Going to the nearby supermarket for bread instead of the bakery a bit further. Finishing this post now, and ignoring spelling and lay out. Also: promising I won’t write again until my temperature is back to normal 🙂

Looks like the winners triangle helps my inner adult to get her job done. (I’d provide a link but I can’t find it quickly enough. Click on the tag when you want to know more about the idea of an inner adult)