Ok, I have to admit that sometimes I just put stuff off. I even procrastinated about writing this post. I got distracted by so many other things that seemed important at the time. I don’t like to procrastinate because overall, I have made my list, checked it twice, and I know the tasks that I need to complete. But somehow, something ultimately just comes up and gets in my way so I find that I have to move that task that I had marked important on Monday to Tuesday. Why do I do that? Sometimes I think I create so much to do on my list of things to do that I become overwhelmed and just wish that the tasks would just disappear. Better yet, I wish I had someone to just assign them to besides me. Has that ever happened to you?
I love having my day organized, knowing what I need to do and when I need to do it. I love it when the plans that I have made come together and my day goes just as I have planned it. I can hear myself say, “Plan the work, then work the plan.” It actually works when I listen to myself. However, there are times when the Procrastination monster sneaks upon me and before I know it my plan is shot to hell. I am just being honest. I could blame it on some technical issues, which does happen sometimes. I could blame it on my migraines, which happens at times as well. However, there are times when I find that for some reason, I just cannot make myself move to the next task no matter how I try. Sometimes when I do that I end up with a migraine and I just have to lie down and go to sleep. Wow, another day messed up. Then when I am under pressure to meet my deadline I am putting the pressure on myself to get things done. What is interesting is I find that I can actually get things done very well when I am working under pressure. It actually made me wonder if I am mentally doing this on purpose. Okay. so there. I admitted it. I think I might be sabotaging myself. I know that planning is important in order to accomplish my goals. There are some goals that I have not reached and I truly believe that deep down inside I may be sabotaging myself by procrastinating!
I wondered if anyone else had this same issue so I decided to do something about it today. I realize that I must conquer procrastination! I sat myself down and thought of everything that I have been taught and facilitated. I pulled out my presentation of old and refreshed my memory. So here are five steps that I commit to doing and I hope it inspires you too:
1. I must set some clear goals. When I was working at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, one of the course modules I facilitated was called SMART Goals. I dug out my little card that I kept from the module S.M.A.R.T. Goals (George Duran, 1981):
- S – Specific (or Significant).
- M – Measurable (or Meaningful).
- A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
- R – Relevant (or Rewarding).
- T – Time-bound (or Trackable).
So If I commit to writing my blog, I can’t say “I’m going to write my blog.” I have to say “I commit to write my blog with 1000 words or less each Monday by 3:00 pm.” This means I am specific about what I am writing, when and know that it is attainable, it is relevant to my goal and it can be tracked by a time. If I want to lose weight, I can’t say “I want to lose weight.” I should say “I want to lose 10 pounds by March 31, 2013” I must be specific.
2. I must eliminate distractions. I attended a seminar recently called ‘The Elephant in the Room’ by one of my mentors, Belinda Mays. One of the take-a-ways from that seminar (there were many) was that if we look in the mirror we will find the person who stands in the way of our success. Yes, it is ourselves. That means although part of my business is social media, I must not be distracted by the mundane Facebook distractions of the day. Some of them can be done on my scheduled breaks. When I am tempted to turn on the TV and watch the Wendy Williams, Steve Harvey, and The Doctors I have to remember that there is something called DVR. When my cell phone rings I must learn how to set a time limit for personal calls (I don’t have to eliminate, but learn how to articulate).
3. Eat the elephant one bite at a time– When I have a huge task that seems to overwhelm me, if I can break it into smaller tasks in order to finish it then do that. Don’t overload your plate and know what you are capable of doing, then do that. If you know that you will commit to work 8 hours in a day, don’t load 12 hours of a workload into your day. Only take on what you know you can reasonably handle.
4. Don’t try to be so perfect– My sister, Renee always tell me that I am a perfectionist. There are many things that I have put off doing because I didn’t have the perfect setting, or the right paper, or the right equipment, or the right whatever, and someone beat me to the punch. I watch videos on YouTube and see many non-professionals who took their ideas and just went for it with no thought except they were going to present what they knew. They now have hundreds of thousands of followers. I have watched them and thought, “Wow, I would have wanted to video that in a better area, or did she know that her shower curtains are ripped?” However, in reading the comments, very seldom does anyone even mention the shower curtains. They are only focused on the presentation of the makeup demo or the hair weaving demo or whatever the case may be.
5. Just Get it Done!- Thomas Felder is one of my favorite people. He made it to SVP in 85 days. When he was promoted to SVP in Las Vegas, his speech was moving and motivating. He inspires us to get it done because we have the opportunity so we must get it done! He did it because we live in a land called ‘Get it Done!’ I remember one week during one of his campaigns he could hardly talk because he had lost his voice and had a fever. However he forged ahead because he had a deadline and worked through it as if his life depended on it. Starting today I am sticking to my planner and I will get it done, one bite at a time.