Be a Better Me – Day 9 & 10 – Procrastination & Action

I am going to compress these two tasks and may not be as thorough as the task actually deserves. There are two reasons for this: one, I am so far behind I don’t want to get stuck on the minutia when I can focus on the spirit of the task; and two, it’s a rather confronting process, really. I want to take it easy as I face the root of my procrastination problems. 🙂

Now, let’s talk about Procrastination!

1.Identify something you’ve been putting off in the past week/month/years.

Oh there are so many things! How to pick just one!?

  • Selling my saddles
  • Getting rid of my horses
  • Riding my horses
  • Finishing the hallway
  • Getting a plan together for the future

2.Answer this question: Why am I procrastinating on this? ◦For every answer that comes up, keep asking “Why?” and go deeper into the answer. ◦Keep drilling into your answers until you gain a sudden realization you never had before on the issue.

Okay, so clearly the horses ones have to do with fear and longing and how I identify myself (I am a horsey person). I have explored this problem of mine to a great extent on previous occasions. I don’t think I’ll carry on with those tasks just now. I still don’t feel ready. Of course, that’s not exactly the point of the exercise, but I don’t care. I’m a baby! (Though this probably means it’s the one I really need to deal with …)

However, there is no real reason I can’t sell one of my saddles. I have four. I only have one riding horse. None of these saddles actually fit TK perfectly.

  • The western saddle is not mine to sell, doesn’t fit either of my horses right, but I have lost touch with the owner. I will hold onto it because he may come back for it one day. Or maybe I’ll get a horse it’ll fit one day?
  • The stock saddle fits TK adequately, and I feel safe in that saddle, though if I am going to ride him again, I will need to get a different saddle for him eventually, which is where the plan for selling saddles came from – to get enough money to buy him one that fits!
  • The dressage saddle cost me a whole $15 about 5 years from a car boot sale, and isn’t worth trying to sell. Plus, it fits Nero brilliantly, and it means I’d have a saddle for him if he ever got back under saddle.
  • Finally, the jumping saddle. This saddle came over with me from Canada. I meant to take jumping lessons, and never had a horse that suited jumping, or a jumping horse that fit the saddle. In fact, I think I have ridden in this saddle a whole once in the whole time I’ve owned it! It should be sold!

I think I have put off selling the saddles because the whole idea of selling the stock and jumping saddle was to get a new saddle fitted to TK. Then I decided to get rid of TK. Then I changed my mind and decided to keep him. But then I was too afraid to ride him. So then I wanted to stick to a saddle I felt safe in (the sock). But the stock is worth the most money and would be the one that let me get a properly fitting saddle for him. Round and round it goes.

Add to this list of problems is the fact that I am concerned it will be inconvenient to try to sell the saddle. Ads, calls, inquiries, trials, blah! Time consuming! Inconvenient.

Finishing the hallway is just a matter of priorities. I keep thinking it doesn’t really matter until the ceiling gets fixed anyway, and the ceiling won’t get fixed until the roof does, and the roof isn’t going to get fixed until the back room is done, and that won’t get done until the deck is done – which is going to happen “soon.” However, there’s still stuff that can be done to make the job look more complete in the meantime.

Creating a plan for my future wasn’t done because I was quite content with where I was. However, recent changes made me realise that if I wanted something specific from my life, I was going to have to take charge and make those directional changes. Likewise, in chatting with Mat recently, we talked about all the plans when we first got together (travelling, being closer to family, living by the ocean, etc) and we decided that we really need to take steps to live those dreams or they’ll always only be dreams. Why was I putting it off? Contentment with the status quo made it unimportant. It would mean making changes that are difficult or uncomfortable. I would mean making choices for myself and therefore being responsible for my own destiny. Too much responsibility!

Take Action!

Schedule out a 30 minutes block in your calendar today.

  • Identify a task you want to work on today.
    • It can be the task you identified for yesterday’s procrastination exercise, or a totally different task.
    • Post a comment as a pledge of action. Share (a) The task you’re going to do (b) What time you’re going to do it (c) What you want to accomplish in this 30 minutes.
  • Take action!
    • Commit yourself to doing the task in that time slot. Don’t let anything get in the way.
    • If there are any urgent things that crop up, just wrap them up and proceed with your task, or push them off for later. This is about following through on your commitments.
  • Schedule a recurring 30 minutes slot for action in the future.
    • I recommend setting a daily 30 minutes slot, which will build a strong momentum and create the maximum results in the long run.

So, I actually did a few things, not precisely as listed. However, here’s some action I took on things that I was putting off:

  • My Future Plan: On Monday, while I was laid up in bed, I spent a lot of time thinking when I wasn’t sleeping. It only took me a few minutes to list off a few of the things that I’d like to accomplish in the near future, and set a date next to some of them. What I ended up with was a list of things that I need to look into (get course information, mainly), a list of things to do (speak to the payroll guy about automating savings through my pay, etc), and a list of a few more things to consider, think about, make decisions on.
  • Later in the week I took a few minutes most days to look into much of that stuff, and created a calendar for the next 18 months. Not every month has something in it, and not all tasks have been scheduled yet, but the calendar ends with where I want to be in 18 months and several of the things I’d like to do in the meantime (run a half marathon, complete an Olympic Triathlon, complete my Cert IV (PT), etc)
  • I will need to continue to take time to follow-up on those things. When I have the savings I need in place, register for the courses, complete them, etc. It will also mean budgeting more carefully, and being more conscious of how I spend my time.
  • The Front Hallway: I had been meaning to do a second coat on the baseboards for weeks. So the hallway has sat there with blue tape on it for all those weeks since I did the first coat. I decided today that the first coat was actually good enough and that if I just took off the tape and cleaned up the hall, it would look great and so close to done no one would know any different. So that’s what I did. It took me only 10 minutes and it’s a nice relief to have it not look under construction!
  • Selling a Saddle: I will schedule 30 minutes today to create an ad to sell my jumping saddle. I will take good photos of it, create an ad that can be posted up locally. I will mention it on Facebook and to a few horse related pages there. I will take it to pony club on 4th September if it hasn’t sold prior to that. If using local, easy, free contacts doesn’t lead to a sale, I will then take my sights further afield to other selling sites, horse sites, etc.

I really like the idea of blocking off time daily to do a task, but I feel that my erratic schedule limits my ability to do this effectively. I’d love to have a more routine day.

Some people loathe routine, they get bored, and I agree, that’s an easy thing to do. A routine can go stale and become a rut. But when you want to have time to sit down and get something done every single day, doing it at the same time just works because you can count on the rhythm and habit to get you to that task.

Anyway, this post is well and truly long enough! I will go start my saddle ad, and catch up with the next tasks in a few hours time!

Have you been putting anything off? What’s holding you back from moving forward on your goals?

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