Please read the post first, and then discover what the mistake was… It’s at the bottom of this post!
I’ve made a start on my November project: digging up the stuff I need to do my taxes over 2016. Lisa, if it’s okay with you I might write regularly on how I handle it. One reason would be that it might help others. The other, more selfish reason would be that I’d like to be witnessed and applauded for what I expect to be a struggle (or, share my joy about whenever and however I manage to avoid the struggle!).
My start has been completely different from what I normally do. I didn’t touch a thing. I sat down and thought. I’ve used some techniques from working in projects, a bit like writing a project initiation document (a light version obviously, but something I can use to keep this thing from turning into a big bang and creating an expanded universe I drown in).
The other thing I thought about is: how can I control this as a process? I know 5 things per day will be to little and will not bring me my goal (taxes done). So I’m considering 5 minutes (or 10, or 15, or 30, I think I’ll have to find out what amount suits my levels of energy and the stress that will come up). I’ve also thought about things like: What will my boundaries be? When will I stop or seek help?
A third thing has been to notice how I’m feeling as I write all of this down (my body sends loads of stress signals), what I’m thinking (chocolate! Go binge watch Sopranos!! Don’t start this, it’s too big!!!).
My last thoughts, is how I would deal with my child if he’d feel fears as big as mine feel now.
This took 30 minutes, a bit of more if you include me typing this here. My stress level is going through the roof, and I want to show myself what I’ve learned over the years. So:
– I’m patting myself on the back. Well done for getting this far and facing all these emotions.
– I draw a line. This is enough for today. If I stop know, I’ll feel amazed at the steps I’ve taken. If I continue, I’ll drain myself and feel I’ve failed.
It’s hard to stop now, but I will. I really want to make this project a success. My definition of success is not just getting these taxes done, it’s also feeling I can handle myself.
So what’s the mistake here, and why might it be lucky? I’m part of a private decluttering group on Facebook, called Less Stuff. In the group we work on gentle decluttering, instead of the purge-type decluttering that has been doing the rounds these last years.
I thought I was sharing my post there and there only, in a group where people know what it’s like when you feel like decluttering is like climbing Mount Everest: exhausting, taking a big toll (whether physical or mental or both). To my surprise I received responses of people that weren’t in my group: likes, loves, thumbs up… I had managed to share the post on my own Facebook wall, for all my friends to see.
The responses made it clear to me that I’m not the only one who struggles with this, even outside the fabulous Facebook group I’m in. People were cheering me on, and telling me they’d love to read the rest of the story – a story that still has to be ‘written’.
So I’m thinking about sharing my journey here, on the ‘old’ Procrastination Coach blog. I know that this project has a lot to do with procrastination. Both the fact that my administration is buried in a mess, and the techniques I want to use to get me out of there – both organised and sane.
Like everyone else who procrastinates, I feel embarrassed about it. In my case maybe even more so, because I’m procrastination coach… I should know better! At least, that’s what the critical voice inside me keeps telling me.
Truth is, I do know better. But, well, things happened, in my life. And I fell off the badwagon of doing things, wrestling with the being part of my life. I understand how I got here. It’s human. And now I want to get out.
As Procrastination Coach, I know accountability can work like a charm. So I think I will join #NaBloPoMo (national blog posting month) where you’re supposed to write a blog every day. I still dread the project, so I also dread the NaBloPoMo idea. There’s something atractive about it though. I like writing. I’ll have to make sure that I leave some energy for writing (yay) after the project work (yikes). Which will probably help me stick to my boundaries and not drain myself…