I love Sunday mornings. They are my time to catch up with myself and actually spend a few minutes relaxing and reflecting on my life and goals.
This Sunday Morning was not one of those relaxing mornings.
I came to a realization weeks ago that most of the stress in my life is self-caused.
It is not a welcome realization.
This morning was a prime example. I had a church meeting at my home at 9:00 AM and was lending out some of our computers for some training at 8:45 and had to get everything ready before the meeting.
Rather than clean my house last night and get the computers organized and ready to go, I spent the evening surfing the web, playing on social media and watching stupid videos.
In other words, I didn’t get anything productive done. All this was after attending an amazing, uplifting women’s conference earlier that evening, that at the time really inspired me.
So instead of having a relaxing morning, I had to get up early to get everything ready. As I was doing the dishes, I couldn’t help but wonder why I do this to myself over and over again.
Yet again I’ve managed to stress myself out because of poor time management and procrastination.
I estimate that 80-90% of my stress is self-caused by procrastination. It isn’t that I’m not doing stuff, I keep myself pretty busy and tend to have a lot going on. What I’m doing, is checking off the low hanging fruit from my list.
When I check off the easy items on my task list, I’m choosing to work off the wrong priority list. What I’m doing is taking the easy way out.
I kind of like the easy way at times. I don’t always want to be the great mother, the great businesswoman, the great church leader. Sometimes it just gets to be too much. Sometimes I just want to curl up in a ball and tell everyone to leave me alone.
I put a lot of pressure on myself to do it all and look good doing it.
What I’ve come to realize though is that I can’t do it all. What I can do is start working from the right task list. I need a list that is based on my priorities, not the random stuff that is constantly getting in the way.
Yes, the easy stuff needs to get done, but it should be fitted into the little cracks of time that occur around the truly important events in life.
I started writing this blog post out of frustration with myself and my lack of productivity. While writing this post, I’ve realized it isn’t the lack of productivity in my life that is frustrating me, but the lack of cohesive direction.
It seems like I’m constantly being reactive in my life instead of proactive.
Only when I’m proactive do I shape and direct my own path.
Being productive is about more than just getting stuff marked off a list. True productivity is based on working towards measurable goals that are meaningful in our lives.
I’ve noticed that I tend to procrastinate more when I don’t have clear goals and directions. I’m constantly distracted and easily sidetracked.
When I have a specific goal, task or direction I have an easier time focusing my energy.
Obviously, everyone overcomes procrastination using different methods. For me overcoming procrastination is all about making a conscious decision in my life that I’m going to work towards a specific destination.
Mason Cooley said, “Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder.” Isn’t it interesting that often the hardest things we deal with in our lives are caused because of our own inability to master ourselves?
As I learn to master myself, I firmly believe that my desire to procrastinate will diminish. I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes from working towards a goal and accomplishing something meaningful.
The trick is to remember that feeling and constantly work towards achieving my goals.
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