I am certain plenty of you can relate to this one… The extra five minutes of sleep you grant yourself turns into an agitated half hour of wrestling with your alarm clock that leaves you exhausted at the start of the day, or putting off getting ready for work, doing some exercise, or just having an extra bit of restful sleep. Happen often?
When I was looking at what I wanted to achieve for myself this year I used the ‘snooze’ analogy for my life. Was I snoozing away, and delaying myself from starting what I really wanted?
Why am I not bounding out of bed to start my day excited at what it will bring? Why am I putting things on hold, delaying starting them, beating myself up for not getting anywhere, getting fearful of what could happen ‘if’, instead of just getting on with it. Getting up, I realised is part of participating in your life… This is being. As I believe, being is an expression of who you are in the world. And I certainly don’t want to be a snoozer…
Whatever it is you may call yourself, a ‘snoozer’, ‘lazy’, a ‘procrastinator’… Tackling procrastination is one of the trickiest things to get your head around, yet it can also be so simple. I have heard so many people berate and typecast themselves as a ‘procrastinator’ but the truth is you do things when you’re ready to do them. Sometimes you just need a little jump-start to get in the right frame of mind and away you go… Starting with small things helps build a sense of achievement and get some practice in for the bigger goals.
Experiment a little…
So, starting with the small things… Don’t overwhelm yourself, and please don’t write a massive list – it’ll scare you off starting and you’ll be back to hitting snooze.
1. Write down five things you’ve been putting off commencing or doing. It can be as simple as making your bed before you leave the house, cleaning out your wardrobe, writing an email to a friend, washing up, booking the car in for a service…
2. Rank them in importance, from 1-5.
3. Circle the two that are the easiest to achieve.
4. Next to those two, write down when you want to achieve them by (it could be a time in the day or a date in the future).
5. When you’re writing this down think of them as a commitment to yourself, and how you can reward yourself when they are completed. The reward can be as simple as doing something you enjoy after the chores are completed, as taking a couple of hours to do them in the morning frees up the rest of the day, whatever it is make sure it also includes a mental pat on the back for taking the time to do them.
6. Do the same exercise for the remaining three. It’s a nice feeling when you can scratch things off the ‘to-do’ list.
I often start each week or day with 5 small things. Over time some of them, like making my bed every day before I leave the house, becomes second nature. I start to see it as taking care of myself, and not as a chore or being too busy to do it. I’ve been able to get the small things done, and allow myself to focus on how I apply this same principle to the bigger things I want to achieve. Have a go at it yourself.