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Going from Procrastination to Motivation

Woman in silhouette standing with arms raise overhead in front of a sunset

Recently I have been feeling burnt out. 

It’s the end of summer and this time of year I always find myself totally spent and in need of a reset. 

Heck…every season I need a reset!

In summer I want to absorb every ray of sunlight, attend all the social interactions, do all the traveling, eat all the yummy bbq, and drink all the cocktails. I burn my candle at both ends because it’s also a very busy season for me in my career and in the volunteer work I do as well.

My overdoing and over indulging have depleted me, mind, body, and soul and it’s time for me to get motivated to do something about it. 

Not to mention all the things that have not been getting done as thoroughly as I like. Some of the things that have been neglected in my busy summer season are my household organization, meal planning, fitness and business planning.

Some of these things are really easy for me to just get back to but others are harder for me. I’m tired and spent so I have a hard time getting motivated. I end up procrastinating… 

Procrastination is when you avoid doing something, usually by buffering with something else like watching tv, reading emails, snacking, drinking, or even puttering around the house doing tasks can be a form of procrastination if your meant to be doing another task.

The thing is though, I didn’t immediately identify that I was unmotivated and why, instead I was making excuses for why I wasn’t getting things done or for why I dropped some of my healthy habits lately. I didn’t immediately identify that yes, summer was busy, it’s time to transition to fall and nothing has gone wrong here. 

I’ve been feeling more depressed and anxious. I’ve been tired. I began to just make excuses, so many excuses, and the more I made the less I did, and the worse I felt.

Anyway, now that I do recognize why I’m not getting the things done that I want to be getting done, I’m ready to address this head on. It’s time to stop complaining and start  looking for solutions. It’s also time to give myself a little grace to rest and reset.

Fall is upon us and the season is slower and naturally I will slow down with it. I will begin to feel myself unwind if I allow myself too. Now this doesn’t mean that I don’t take action and get myself sorted out. I know that with some re-shuffling of the deck of my life I will have immediate relief in many areas.

Here are 4 easy steps to get yourself back on track, how to reshuffle the deck or hit the reset button.

Create Awareness  

Are you aware of how you feel and why you feel that way? It’s so common during seasonal transitions to feel off kilter. I have identified that I feel burnt out but I didn’t immediately recognize that’s what was happening. I just felt bad…I didn’t stop to think about how I really felt or why. I was just feeling like my life was a mess and I was feeling bad about myself for letting things get messy. 

Thoughts:

  • Recognize the changing season and how this transition impacts your life. The busyness of summer sliding into the slower pace of fall. Take a deep breath and recognize this is totally natural. 
  • Change is uncomfortable especially when you are not aware of it, the seasonal shift is a natural change.
  • Understand the sun's energy powers us throughout the summer season and in the fall we naturally slow down to catch our breath. It’s okay to be tired, to feel burnt out. 
  • Give yourself permission to rest to reset.
  • You are human.
  • Take a moment to think about how you feel.

Journal practice:

  • Take a bit more time and journal about how you feel and try to identify why you are feeling that way? 
  • What are you thinking? What are your thoughts creating for you?
  • What is changing right now in your life?
  • What other factors are contributing to your current state? Seasonal allergies? Illness?

Identify What You Want

Identify what it is you want and why you're not doing them. Now that you have slowed down and taken a deep breath, let's identify what we want to change, get back to, or need to have grace around. 

Ask yourself:

  • What things do you want to be doing but can’t seem to get motivated to get them done?
  • What things are you procrastinating on or avoiding?
  • Why are you avoiding them? 
  • What are you doing instead?

Take a look at all the areas of your life and decide what things you have been neglecting or putting off that are most important to you. I bet you already know what things you most want to get back on track.

For me this looks like:

  • Meal planning and eating a cleaner diet.
  • More regular exercise.
  • Sitting down to work and following my calendar even when it’s nice out.
  • Re-organizing and tidying up my home.
  • Self care and rest.

Identify What You Are Doing Instead

Now identify why you aren’t doing the things you know you want to do and what things you’re doing instead. Being aware of the ways you buffer (procrastinate) helps you to recognize and begin to correct for them in the moment.

For me this looks like: 

Wallowing in indecision. I’m wasting so much brain energy questioning decisions that I’ve already made. Rehashing, second guessing, and redeciding. Over and over…

Indulging in confusion and overwhelm. Telling myself “I don’t know where to begin” or “I have too much to do” so I do nothing useful and instead I do all of the things listed below.

  • I am watching far too much tv. Netflixing for entire days…
  • I am spending far too much time on the sofa or even going to bed early. Telling myself I’m tired when really I’m avoiding discomfort.
  • I am indulging in intoxicants like wine and cocktails. 
  • Even to avoid writing this blog I spent hours on Pinterest and then moved on to online shopping.

Other common ways to procrastinate are:

  • Snacking or overeating.
  • Doing chores, just not the chores you need to get done.
  • Surfing the web or Social Media.
  • Online shopping.
  • Reading novels.

Take Action

Get out your journal and create a plan to get back on track while prioritizing your health, energy levels, and rest so you can feel physically and mentally capable of doing what you want to accomplish. 

Use the seasonal slow down to clear your calendar, create some space in your schedule so you can focus on what you need and want to accomplish.

For me, I know if I prioritize eating healthy and getting regular exercise I will feel better. If I drink less alcohol I will feel better. If I get my work done, I will feel better.

Being aware of my favorite ways to procrastinate and identifying why I feel so out of whack also helps in motivating me.

Here is a quick to do list to get you started. 

  1. Remove all unnecessary tasks and social events from your calendar or to-do list.
  2. Decide what must be done. (Work projects, meal plans, etc.)
  3. Schedule in the must do’s leaving plenty of space to just be without guilt.
  4. Decide what you will not do. (Netflix ; ) Prepare to feel uncomfortable and sit in it instead of buffering it. Simply feel the discomfort, don’t worry it won’t actually hurt you!
  5. Add in self-care so you have the energy to do all of the above.
  6. Now, GET IT DONE.

You are totally on to yourself now. You can understand why you feel the way you are feeling. For me that’s burned out, for you it may be overwhelmed, tired, miserable, or just lacking vitality and energy. 

You can have a little grace for yourself because you know that with the season’s change from super busy summer to a slower fall we are physically and mentally spent. Of course we're feeling really off our game. 

In spite of this seasonal change you know what it is you want and need to do to feel better and hit the reset button on your life. You know what your bad habits are and what to avoid.

You have a game plan for getting through this transition, getting things done, and having your own back while you do it. 

No more procrastination, only self-motivation. Let’s Go!

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