I was listening to an old Trish Blackwell’s podcast (which I really recommend listening to you’ve never come across them) and these words really hit home:
Just do it
I’m really starting to get into self-improvement literature. It’s pretty motivational stuff – our mind is a powerful and unfortunately overlooked tool. Positive thinking and its benefits all that jazz. Preaching to the choir with me because I for one definitely love learning about the mind as well as self-improvement .
In the episode she talks a lot about how so many of us are ‘almost’ people in so many aspects of our lives, from saying we’ll get fit and healthy ‘one day’ or saying we’ll go on that dream holiday ‘next year’ or find a new job ’soon’. These big life events are somewhat dependant on funds or other circumstances, but what’s worse is being almost people within our day to day living. Constantly putting things off, finding easy excuses and stopping ourselves from pursing things we actually want to do by procrastinating in our minds. Saying we’ll get round to something for it to forever hang on our to-do lists. I think most people are guilty of this. I know I am.
What this does is deny ourselves not just of those big dreams, but also those easily achievable wants and desires on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Procrastination really suppresses ourselves of truly living a full and meaningful life.
One thing I’ve always yearned for is more time. More time to achieve work/career things, more time to put into my relationships and more time to try new things (I mean I’ve had aerial yoga on my list for almost 10 months!). I always proclaimed to be a busy person (which I am to be fair) but am I busy doing proactive things? Or am I just turning the wheel? I might perhaps not be filling my time as proactively as I can be. I see this all the time in people around me – running around like headless chickens – but they don’t seem to be happy. Perhaps insanely busy but not proactively time wise or necessarily enjoying what they are filling their time with.
Time is precious
Once I started to fill my time proactively and be more congruent in following through on doing things that I wanted and planned to do, rather than felt I had to do, I felt a sense of relief. As though I had taken back the control and gained time. Enter the time wise phase of my life. It sounds selfish, not doing things the that I don’t want to do. Fancy that? Living a life where I only do what I want. Let me tell you one thing I’ve learned, being selfish with your time does not make you selfish at all. It means you can concentrate on you – making you happy – because ultimately we are all responsible for our own happiness. Plus if you’re happy then you’re a pleasure to be around. Win win.
Do you also suffer from having a million and one things that you want to do, but never enough time to get around to them? Those dreams that just seem way too far out?
Nobody is too busy.
I used to feel as though I almost needed permission to allow myself to take time for me. Does anybody else feel that way?
I’m going to stop making excuses and stop procrastinating in my thoughts, ideas and goals. In the last year or so I started doing this on an ad hoc basis but I probably haven’t fully committed. Sometimes when I want to make a change I end up outlining about 100 micro changes in order to achieve that goal. Result? Hello procrastination! I try to take on too much at once, become overwhelmed, disinterested and end up doing nothing at all. Small, day to day, baby steps are needed, not a list of big changes.
So here are some small steps to thinking less, doing more:
- Bullet journalling and following through on plans – yep. I might be late to jump on this bandwagon but I’ve just bought one and I’m pretty damn excited! I’m going to start scheduling my weeks better. Instead of saying I want to do things, I’m going to take the list and put them in my diary. I got my to-do list out this morning and I’ve booked a massage for next week, had the brakes and lights on my bike fixed (I had been putting this off for the longest time!), booked tickets for a Halloween event and scheduled time for next week when I want to write up some more blog posts!
- Quit being a perfectionist – and striving to be bloody great instead of perfect Perfectionism is procrastinations best friend. Aiming for perfection really hinders progress, the more you want things to be perfect, the less chance you have in even starting… So just making the start. Put that first word down on paper, or make the phone call… make a start, however big or small!
- Stop waiting for the perfect time – i.e. in line with the above, there will never be a right place and right time, there is just now
- Positive language – I feel that the power of language is often overlooked, but I’m going to ban the use of negative language. Trish calls these ‘death words’ and I couldn’t agree more. Those horrible words that we use to criticise ourselves or talk ourselves down or out of a situation are often a BIG cause for procrastination. I’m totally guilty of this one – I’m SO hard on myself. Speaking words of action and kindness to myself. I like the idea of having a daily or weekly mantra. One for this week is definitely Just do it.
- Stop caring what others think – again I feel that this stops the majority of people from doing things. Who cares if someone judges you for trying something new? following your dream, or heck, even starting a blog! It’s more than they are doing and you cannot please everyone. I’ve learned one thing – people will find a way to criticise whatever you do, or don’t do.
I thought back to the times when I’ve been happy as Larry (who IS Larry!?) and the majority of those times I just did it. I lived in the moment but was bloody great with my time. No thinking, just doing.
Thanks for reading