And that brings me to my topic. Procrastination. Are you a procrastinator? Read on. You are in good company because there are a lot of us out there who, for whatever the reason procrastinate. This is an essay by Marla Cilley that struck a cord with me so wanted to pass it on. (Marla Cilley a.k.a. the FlyLady -- see ) www.flylady.org
Procrastination has been a way of life for most of us. When we think a job is going to take longer than we have time for then we put it off. That is our perfectionism. We have been taught since the day we were born that if we can't do something right don't do it at all! We listened! We may not have heard much else that was said but that stuck in our minds.
Coupled with the pain of having to redo things over and over again when they were not up to the perfectionist standards; we just gave up before we ever got started. A lot of times we don't know where to start. This is the perfectionism monster again. The perfect place to begin! When we can let go of perfectionism; we can stop going down the path of procrastination.
**MY thoughts: Oh boy! Perfectionism is indeed a monster that rears it's ugly head often in my life. It is all part of my definitely Type A personality!! OK, being Type A is not bad IF you use it correctly! But I had come to a point in my life where perfectionism was paralyzing me. I didn't want to start something I could finish or thought I couldn't finish well because that = failure in my mind -- USED to anyway. **
I give you a place! Go shine your sink. It is a simple action that starts you in a direction toward peace. This is our very first habit! Keeping your sink clean and shiny is all you have to do. That shiny sink puts a smile on your face each morning. It is the only thing you have to do. With this one habit you are being kind to yourself. You are not piling on with a huge list.
**MY thoughts: OK, you don't have to start by shining your sink, but the whole idea is START! SOMEPLACE! This is definitely a sparky idea. If you don't start, you'll never move forward!!**
As this one habit becomes automatic you can add another habit. Slow and steady relieves the guilt. This is being patient with yourself. You don't have to be perfect! You just have to do something instead of wring your hands and say I don't have time.
**MY thoughts: DEFINITELY! Start with one or two (at the most) lifestyle changes that are important to you to accomplish. Allow at least 28 days for this behavior to become a habit. Voila. Then when it is a habit you're ready to add more. Got the idea? Took me awhile, but now, being in maintenance, I am finding that maintaining those habits already established and making sure I'm doing the bet I can at those habits is all important. Tweaking and evaluating along the way . . . essential!**
When you hear those words come out of your mouth, set your timer and do two minutes. You will be so surprised at what you can accomplish in those short two minutes. Don't allow your perfectionism to push you too hard or keep you from starting.
**MY thoughs: Hallelujah for the timer! I may not be able to do something for a long time (because it's tiring, boring, whatever!) but sure can do it for 15 minutes (or whatever YOU determine that your limit is), rest and if appropriate, resume till your goal is accomplished. It's a PROCESS people! We have to respect the process and work with it. **
We have all heard the story of the tortoise and the hare. The hare procrastinated. He played and put things off because he felt like he had plenty of time to beat that slow tortoise. In the end he lost the race. Just imagine his stress level when he looked around and saw the tortoise winning. All of a sudden he got in a hurry! What happens when you get in a hurry!
Procrastination places guilt on our heads. We don't do well when well with this guilt and the stress that comes from waiting till the last minute. This stress is pushing our adrenaline buttons to put us into overdrive. So instead of taking your time and doing what you can, when you can; you are speeding down the highway to a head on collision!
**MY thoughts: I used to feel guilt when I didn't accomplish all I wanted to in a day, but learned that's what "to do" lists are for. That's what the next day is for, if you need to carry something over to the next day. But can't use that as an excuse NOT to do it!**
Your adrenaline super fuel is what causes you to crash and burn! That "flash in the pan" burns out your engine and disables your thinking ability. You become the victim of your own procrastination. Please stop procrastinating! If you will only take baby steps your journey will be slow and steady. Your home did not get dirty in a day and it will not get clean overnight! Baby steps will help you find the peace you are searching for.
Progress not Perfection!
**MY thoughts: Sound familiar! VERY sparky for sure. We may not have it perfect, but each day is a perfect opportunity to give it our best, give it our all, do our utmost. Isn't that the sparky way?!? Sure is!
Hugs and peace, fellow sparklers. Let that spark shine on.