Procrastination and Busy Mums
We all do it. Some of us more than others.
We know it will create all sorts of problems. People becoming irritated with us. We become irritated with ourselves. It also creates stress, which leads to us being bad-tempered and irritable. And then we end up wasting our own precious time and energy.
So why do we do it and what is this thing? Its called procrastination.
Putting off doing things, often takes up more energy as getting on and just doing it. Quite often the task – whatever it is – takes on a form, which is more time costly than in reality it really is.
A few days ago I wrote a blog about one of my least favourite jobs…. cleaning out my daughters rabbits. (Quite why am clearing them out when they are not strictly my rabbits – I will keep for another day).
The story is always the same. I will sit and think about doing this particular chore, literally for hours on and off. I will make excuses – normally along the lines that I don’t have enough time. I will find other things “more pressing” to do and then the rabbit chore will slip my mind. Poor little things.
This is then followed by the guilt trip, and irritability with my own failures….get the picture?…..You would think I was cleaning out my grandparents life time possessions, not a rabbit hutch, the amount of “thought energy ” which goes into this job.
So in my effort to become “more organised”, I decided to time how long this job actually takes. I was quite surprised. Start to finish it took me twelve minutes. Twelve minutes and yet it took me two days to get round to it!
Procrastination is one of the biggest time stealers there is…but it doesn’t just steal time, it steals creativity, energy and if you are a really good procrastinator a good part of your life. So finding ways to help get a grip of this particular habit can be no bad thing.
Here are some ideas which may help you to do just that.
Daily Planning with the “To Do Lists “- ideally done at the end of a day. Not just “work” tasks but it is also important to write down “home” and “leisure” tasks to do as well. These can act as incentives.
Try doing your most hated, dreaded tasks first and just get them out-of-the-way. Prioritise the tasks on your list. (And remember it is not just chores that need to prioritised. Fun activities need to be prioritised too).
Set a timer, to limit and monitor the time you spend on specific tasks. This helps keeps tasks in perspective.. (e. g. my example with the rabbits). As I found, it can be very enlightening.
Longer term tasks – such as a tax form or a report which has a deadline. Set yourself a personal deadline before the official one for completion. This allows for last-minute hitches and takes the stress away from meeting the official deadlines.
Schedule less in a day and aim to complete everything. Do this if you find yourself constantly running late. Repeatedly being “very late” shows a lack of respect for other people’s time as well as making you be in a constant rush. People who are constantly rushing are more likely to have accidents, forget things as well as creating unnecessary stress.
Finally, and this is my favourite don’t use your “procrastination” to hide behind the “too busy” mentality. If you really are too busy you need to reschedule and re-prioritise your To Do List.