Tag Archives: eat the frog

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… 🙂

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 🙂

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