Thursday, February 07, 2013

Being Overwhelmed + Procrastination (& How To Beat It)

Let's time travel back a couple nights ago...

I had an entire evening to myself. It was meant to be my day to "get things done". The past few weeks have been jam-packed full of inspiration, mapping out BIG ideas, and getting myself ready to take on the year. It's been busy, but in a good way, you know? Now it was time to put the planning aside for a moment, and TAKE ACTION!

So there I was. Computer on my lap, notebook beside me, and my big ol' binder filled with my newly printed calender, and more inspirational goodies to get me fired up. And... the resistance flooded in.

Let's have a quick moment of complete, utter honesty: I am the queen of procrastination. There! I said it.

Where does this sneaky little trait come from? It's one that's been burned into my brain. I'd always be the one in school watching the time pass by, all calm, cool, and collected until the last possible moment. As the time ticked on by, I'd feel the anxiety gradually start to seep in. Then, boom! Cue the stress, the worry, the guilt (oh my! the guilt!), and with mere minutes to spare, I would finish what I was working on.

It's been the way I've handled studying, assignments, writing, projects, even the things that make my heart skip a beat from pure passion.

Seeing your wishes, dreams, and goals in writing makes such an impact. It motivates you to keep on track, pushes you when you need that extra shove, but you know what? Sometimes it's freaking overwhelming! Sometimes it can feel like my dreams are bigger than me. That's where the self-doubt comes in. I'm suddenly starting to think to myself...

Am I really motivated enough to do all this?
What was I thinking? Did I bite off more than I can chew?
Am I going to fail?
I will never accomplish all of these goals...

Let me get this straight here. I'm not in the midst of achieving some marvelous sparkly dream here. I'm not engrossed in the magic of making things happen. I haven't even started STEP ONE yet. I'm too busy justifying why I shouldn't do it at all.

Which is exactly what happened the other night. I took a quick peek at my (over-achieving) to-do list and proceeded to curl up under the blankets, watch an episode of 90210, an entire movie, while I jotted down a few ideas and caught up on e-mails.

Procrastination is a tricky beast. And the truth is, you can still accomplish mildly productive tasks WHILE procrastinating. Was there ever something you wanted to accomplish but then thought, "Oh... I'm just going to do this instead." And then you proceed to shop for your entire week's worth of groceries, or clean your house from top to bottom, read a good book, go for a run, stare blankly into the air.

Whatever it is, you're just using it as an excuse to not do what you actually want to do.

1. DO ONE THING AT A TIME. Stop looking at the big picture, which can often resemble a giant black cloud hanging over your head, and focus on the smaller (more sparkly) details. So, you have an idea for an awesome business and want to write out a business plan? Start with step one: Define your business. Step two: Who is your ideal customer? And go from there.

2. DEDICATE ONE HOUR A DAY TO YOUR GOAL. One hour in an entire day is pretty insignificant. Just think of how quickly an hour goes by while you're doing something you're not passionate about? (Hello, Facebook feed!) But an hour a day equals out to 365 hours a year. That's nearly 2000 hours in 5 years. That small amount of time can be just what you need to get you from stumbling to soaring towards your dreams.

3. EMBRACE POSITIVITY. When you're staring straight into the face of procrastination, negative emotions have a funny way of trying to circle in around you. Suddenly, you're beginning to doubt how capable you are. If you can even do this. If you've got what it takes to get to the next level. Know that you are enough. You can do this. You need to do this. You're ready to break down the walls, expand your possibilities, and see what you're really made of. Do the work!

The truth is, we all come up with excuses and justifications of why we shouldn't or can't get the work done. Some days you'll be a total rockstar, other days you may lag behind.

Coming here and writing something of importance in the matters of the heart is incredibly important to me, it's what I'm becoming more and more passionate about every. single. day. I don't just want to look at my own goals, my own desires, I want to be here and listen to yours. It's about coming together and sharing our stories. The ups and the downs. We're all in this together.

Your turn: Do you ever struggle with procrastination? Do you have any tips on how to get past it?

I was a little late today popping over to The Daily Motivator. (If you haven't already added this to your daily reading list, get on it!) When I clicked over, this was waiting for me...

There are a thousand ways you can talk yourself out of taking action. Yet there is just one way to truly move forward, and that is to go ahead and take action.
It’s great to be smart, informed, and thoughtful. It’s not that great to think things through so much and to second-guess yourself so much that you never get anything done.
You can find plenty of ways to justify your procrastination. Yet even if it’s perfectly reasonable and understandable, it’s still procrastination.
The secret to moving forward is not found in some clever technique. The secret to moving forward is to get up and go, get up and do, get up and create value.
Be smart, but don’t be so focused on being smart that you fail to put your wisdom and intelligence to good, productive use. Be smart, and then act smart, and follow through on your brilliant thinking.
Instead of just thinking about it and eventually letting the thought die, get up and do it. Put your thoughts into action and transform them into solid, lasting value.

Universe; you amaze me.

IMAGE: Fellow fellow (free printable! bonus!)


  1. I call it productive procrastination - doing anything else on your to-do list, or even seeking out other projects completely, just to avoid doing a particular task. I'm the queen of this.

    1. "Productive procrastination" is such a good way to put it! Which makes it even more difficult because sometimes you don't even realize that you're doing it since you're tackling the rest of the list too.

      I guess if the first step is acknowledging it, we're on the right track!

  2. Procrastination, I promise, has been noticeably a part of me since elementary school. I'm 31 and I still struggle with it! I'm also queen of starting a project before I finished the last one.

    Thanks for the post. It was helpful and nice to know I am not alone! :)

  3. This is a four letter word in my house. The more I agree to do, the more organized I have to be so I try to map out "weekly goals" of things that HAVE to get done and then when I tick them all off I reward myself. Childish, maybe, but it works for me! And then the relaxing and laziness is so much better when everything is done... cue the wine and the sweatpants, please! :)

    ps - I LOVE that site!! Great rec, dear!

  4. ha, it could have been me you are talking about ;) absolutely. I am finding a couple of things useful 1/ start with the big scary task, everything else is a walk in the park afterwards 2/ don't leave anything that takes under 2 minutes for later! xo

    1. Those are awesome ideas! I'll definitely have to start tackling the big scary tasks first. (Just typing that out has me excited and nervous all at once! haha)

  5. I am the master procrastinator! It's so horrible! So I'm going to give this a go and see how it works in my life. Xoxo-A

  6. I'm not sure if it's procrastination or lack of motivation if those are the same thing. But the short answer is...yes.

  7. Ha! I absolutely needed this post. I'm procrastinating as I write this, so obviously I need to hop off of the internet and finish my homework now that it has been pointed out that I'm wasting my time. Thanks for sharing!

    1. This made me laugh out loud :) Hopefully you got everything you needed to get done, done! xx

  8. I love all this advice, especially the "DEDICATE ONE HOUR A DAY TO YOUR GOAL." I'm going to apply this. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a sweet comment. Hope you keep on track for your goals this year! :)