You know it’s important.
At least for you.
It does not get done.
I’ve a few of those ‘items ‘ in my life: some unfinished artwork, researching a holiday, some recordings I want to listen to, play dates to set up. And this is just about my personal life and interests, not to mention work.
When I think about these, I notice myself starting to feel stressed. I withdraw into myself. My little gremlins appear: “You never… You are so inefficient. What’s wrong with you? Other people… I wish you’d get it together.”
Wow. Listening to that commentary from my own mind is definitely a downer!
I don’t like it!
I’m assuming that at times you have something similar going on. So…
What in your personal life gets shuffled forward?
Take a moment to drop into that question and see what arises. Write it down, so that you can go a bit deeper with this and get some fresh energy into these stale patterns and habits.
Once you have two or three items, here’s what you can do to get things moving:
1. Ask yourself: Is it still relevant?
Sometimes we just hold on to an old want, because we’re in the habit of it. If you think about the item that you’re putting off, is it still on your “really important” list or has it moved to the “could do” or “should do” list? We change as life evolves. Consider who you’re now and how you’d like to see yourself, as you’re moving forward. Does it add to and enrich your life or is it time to just let it go?
You’ll want that clarity, because if the why is not strong enough, you’ll keep putting it off. When you connect with the importance, let yourself simmer in that feeling, noticing how it uplifts and energizes you.
2. Break it down
Once you have an activity that still feels relevant and enlivening to you, break it down. See if you can divide it up into smaller pieces. For example, if you want to clean up and organize your closet, you could just sort your sweaters, then your pants etc.: all on different days. If I want to get back into my artwork, I can focus on a section of a painting, or a color or experiment on a piece of paper. Often we look at the whole project and then it just becomes overwhelming and stops us right there. So, start nibbling away at it instead.
3. Calendar it
Do you put your personal items in your calendar first or fit them in after work and other things you have to do?
If you aren’t doing it yet, make yourself the driver of your calendar. Add your time for exercise, contemplation, family dates, and personal projects first. Notice if they contain “me” time as well as time with others.
Now add in your small segments of the item you have been putting off. Voilà – all of a sudden the activity has a recognized time and space in your life and thereby a much better chance to get done.
So, to pull it all together, first of all reconnect with the importance of what you’ve been putting off. No point beating yourself up for something that has actually lost meaning for you! If the item is still relevant, make it fresh and new by recommitting to it. This brings a sense of aliveness back that is uplifting. Then break it down into smaller pieces that can be put into your calendar on a regular basis.
Notice what happens over a month’s time.
Remember, it is all about you!
When you get done what is important to you, you’re happy.
When you’re happy, we are happy.
So, what have you been putting off? Leave a comment below. I’d love to know.