I like to be busy. Not to the point of feeling the need to spend very long days chained to my desk without breaks and not so busy that I feel like I can’t just be for a few moments. But, being busy keeps boredom at bay and makes me feel like I’m doing ‘something’, for lack of a better descriptive. Idleness and the devil’s hands and all that. Being consistently occupied keeps me out of trouble and on ‘track’, whatever that track may be at a particular time.
Recently, however, I took an inventory of the many various little ‘things’ on my to-do mañana list. This list ranges from closets to sort through which have become too cluttered, the recycling mess, sewing curtains for our office, cleaning out my desk (which is daunting), and all the various admin tasks that I just put off because I don’t want to do them. When a friend posted an article about productivity, I started thinking more about my inability to stop procrastinating and resistance to start doing.
Once I get started on something, I am more likely to finish it and do so efficiently. It’s the process of starting that it is hardest for me. From cleaning out the refrigerator to writing a manuscript, I always find the first step (that is, beginning) the most challenging and the easiest to put off.
I’ve been experimenting lately with my time and trying out ways to just get going.
Routines help. Carving out a specific time and devoting that time slot to one task is working well for me. I tend to schedule my runs through our neighbourhood sometime between 13.00 and 15.00. Between 12.00 and 13.00, I’ll tend to plants on the balcony, read that paper that needs reviewing or spend a little time reading for me if I have the free-time available. Mornings with coffee are for responding to and filing emails. Afternoons and early evenings are reserved for administration and random tidying up around the office / home.
Not every day is the same, and certainly depending upon scheduling demands, etc., plans are likely to change to accommodate others. But, finding a routine and carving out times for specific tasks is helping me to not procrastinate quite as much. And, it allows me to get started if I know there is a start and end time to a particular task.
Mañana is great. But I’m rather tired of putting off for tomorrow what I could be doing today. And, I’m thoroughly enjoying the elimination of some stress and anxiety associated with that old bad-habit friend procrastination.
Besides, who knows when we won’t have any tomorrows left?