Inner Feng Shui: Twenty minutes is my friend!

By · October 9, 2007 · Filed in Change, Growth, Intention
Inner Feng Shui: Twenty minutes is my friend!
Do you ever procrastinate?

Procrastination is the habit of not getting started, putting things off till the last minute. It results in missed opportunities. stress, and a head and life full of clutter.

Here are 7 tips for dealing with procrastination that will help you take charge of your life. As you read these, think of something you are procrastinating about right now and see how these tips relate – I know there’s something you’re procrastinating about.

1. Ask yourself: Does this project or action match my vision or purpose? Is it something really important to you? If not, why are you thinking about doing it?

2. Are you telling yourself you ‘have to’ do it? A client of mine was telling herself she had to create a quilt. Funny thing though, she told me she did actually really want to make it.

When you’re telling yourself you ‘have to’ do something, that puts a heavy energy onto it and who wants to do something they’re being told they have to do?

Here’s the thing: You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. You are always free to choose. There may be consequences for not doing it, but you DO have a choice.

If you are telling yourself you have to do something ask yourself….do I really choose to do this? If so, reframe it as something you’re choosing rather than having to do. Words matter. It will make a huge difference. And if it’s not something you choose to do, either find a way you can make a choice to do it, or don’t do it.

After all, think of all the things you do not procrastinate about – watching your favorite TV program, reading a book you’re excited about, eating your dinner. You don’t need to force yourself to do things you choose to do.

3. Break projects down into tasks. A project might be to do your taxes. A task might be to collect your Credit Card receipts or create a spreadsheet. See the difference?

A task is something you can do in 20-30 minutes.

Make a big list of tasks associated with a project you’ve been putting off. Then schedule your tasks – perhaps 20 minutes a day. When you don’t know the steps involved in tackling a project it will seem really overwhelming.

Along with creating tasks, see this as beginning something rather than finishing it.

Imagine this: one of my clients had a huge pile of soil delivered. It was dumped in the front of her driveway but needed to be around the back of her home. For quite a few weeks it sat there stopping her from driving into her garage. Finally in one of my Change your Life programs, she decided to spend 20 minutes a day filling wheelbarrows and carting the soil around to her garden. By the end of the program she was done. And she could use her garage again.

Remember this: ’20 minutes is my friend‘ (this is the mantra another client came up with recently). What you’ll probably find is that once you start you spend more than 20 minutes as you’ll build momentum. And even if it’s just 20 minutes, that will add up into something big.

4. Let go of perfectionism. These tasks do not need to be completed perfectly first time you do them. For anyone with a writing project that’s the biggest energy killer. Just start. Getting those words down on paper will get the energy flowing and when you come to edit you’ll have something to work with. Same with anything else.

5. Schedule fun times: Schedule self care, meditation, time for you, time with your family – those things that give you the energy and resources to handle the more challenging things – so you don’t feel deprived. And schedule your 20-30 minute time spots to do your tasks that will lead to completion of your project. Everything else will fit in.

6. Reward yourself: Spend 20 minutes – anyone can do anything for 20 minutes – and then reward yourself. For me writing this article – this task right now is fleshing out the outline I wrote – then I get to take a break and phone a friend. And yes, I’ve already been going for more than 20 minutes. Funny that!

7. Staying motivated. Find an accountability buddy or tell a close friend what you’re doing do they’ll ask how it’s going. The more people you tell, the more likely it is you’ll do it. It’s a bit like the Integrity Days I offer in my programs. Having told us what you’re going to do in the coming hour, you’re unlikely to call back and say you just sat around eating bon-bons!

Procrastination is caused by turning a project into something unpleasant. The way to reduce procrastination is reframe your experience. These tips will help you – if you use them.

Remember 20 minutes is your friend.

Now, what will you do today?

©2007 Vicky White – All Rights Reserved

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