Procrastination is a learned behavior. So why do we dance around our To-Do list?
Why do we pump up our anxiety while those tasks loom in front of our face? I think I know why…..but be sure to tell me if I miss anything! Here are 20 reasons why we procrastinate.
1. You don’t like the task so you delay.
2. It’s hard to ask for clarification or help.
3. You don’t function as well when you’re overwhelmed or tired.
4. Perfectionism keeps you from starting or finishing.
5. You do everything for everybody else except yourself.
6. Perceived lack of time or resources.
7. Fear of looking incompetent or stupid.
8. Difficulty prioritizing tasks.
9. You only respond to deadlines.
10. If you wait long enough someone else may take care of it.
11. The task is too large or too complicated.
12. It’s not my job.
13. You don’t care about the task.
14. You’re disorganized.
15. Fear of failure.
16. You are easily distracted.
17. Mental clutter!
18. Tedious tasks bore you!
19. Low self-confidence
20. You thrive on drama!
I know that I procrastinate when the task is boring or tedious. — There are so many other things I would rather do I no longer believe in “perfect” yet those tendencies have muscle memory and I delay finishing while I revamp and revise again and again. Ultimately I have a fear of humiliation and failing. I want to over-achieve, over-produce — I want to shine!
More importantly, I am softening into my KNOWING. My desire to be calm and comfortable drives my behavior and prioritizes my decisions. I crave peace over perfection. I strive to be impactful without the hustle and grind. (the whole work smart not hard thing) I prioritize my overall wellness, even if that means getting those damn expense reports done when I’d rather be playing!
Do you delay today what can be done tomorrow? If you identified with any of those 20 items then guess what? You too procrastinate! Join the club!
- Break the task into smaller pieces.
- Prioritize the icky stuff – get it out of the way.
- And finally, lean in and listen for your Girlfriend Voice. She’ll remind you that you’ve got this covered! #justdoit
From the heart,
I feel a type of rawness these days. A rawness resulting from stripping away most of my blame, shame and guilt. I’ve shed the heavy layered untruths and all of what no longer suits me.
I have discarded the limitations I’ve carried around since youth like a snake sheds it skin.
A bright light now shines into my heart, illuminating the bruises and battle wounds; sparking optimism.
The searing hot truth of knowing “I am enough” and “I am worthy” glistens on my skin.
It all comes down to choice. You can sit in discomfort or let the discomfort move through you.
You can allow pain to paralyze you or fuel your transformation.
I am over 50, divorced after a long, unhappy marriage and an empty-nester. I am estranged from one son and long for him to be healthy and free from chasing his dragon. The other son’s life mimics a page from a fashion catalog; European cut suits and jogs along the ocean at sunset.
I could look at myself as old and damaged or I can say, “Hello, Beautiful. Thanks for showing up! I’m glad you’ve arrived.
Now that I have stripped away pretense, expectations and assumption, I am ready to thrive a beautifully imperfect and quirky life.
I step into uncertainty, a little apprehensive, yet willing to take the journey. As I told my Girlfriends, “The risk is worth the reward, in fact there is far more risk in not taking action than to end up living with regret from a life played too safe and too small.
Uncertainty. I will accept uncertainty because I trust myself to make good decisions. I will not let fear drive outcome.
With uncertainty comes surrender. I surrender the need to be right and to always lead where there is wisdom in learning how to follow.
Surrender seeds possibility and soothes my weary, analytical mind. I do not always have to be right.
Courage is my compass.
Resilience and God’s grace have delivered me to the sweet intersection of vulnerability and empowerment.
From the heart,
Oopsie! I had a premature post there a little bit ago – hopefully that won’t happen again. I’m using the WordPress site on my IPad as my laptop died on me. So inconsiderate!! I just lost an entire post so I’m grabbing a sangria and starting over. Cheers! …………
Ok, Girlfriends, I need to rant. I need to blow off a little steam and GET THIS OFF MY CHEST. I don’t want to go to carry around this angst.
So what has my panties in a twist? Take a guess……
My kids? Surprisingly no.
My X-husband, “Mr. MF-Ski”? Nope.
My boss? Ha, ha, no. He has been behaving lately.
I am not pissed about my cellulite, how the refrigerator stinks (again), the high cost of living in the Bay Area or how hard it is to find stylish walking sandals that don’t look like Grandma Wilma’s orthopaedics!
I am breathing hard because I am FED UP. Enough already!
I have heard too many excuses; excuses like you don’t have time, you don’t have a choice, you don’t have a small waist or a big bank account…… you don’t think your opinion matters, you don’t want to rock the boat, blah, blah, blah!
You don’t want to date until you lose ten pounds. You don’t want to travel until you retire. You don’t want a new job because you don’t like change.
…….. ……….. ………. ……. You don’t have any problem complaining though. ………that’s the part that annoys me!
I see your heavy heart. I feel your outrage. I hear your desperation.
Your pain is very familiar to me.
Like you, I chose to play it safe. I lived surrounded by walls built by my own fear. I put everyone else and everything else first. I either numbed or distracted myself to keep from feeling anything. I blamed everyone and everything for my UN-everythingness!!
Superwoman puts up with bullshit because she can; she’s a fictional character!!! We on the other hand are only human!
I used to live that way but I don’t do that anymore. I gave myself permission to think and act differently. I’m in no way perfect- I still slip up and indulge in a bitchfest or feel sorry for myself. Progress not perfection, Girlfriends!
When I was in the elementary school, I pitched an idea to my teacher. We had a trash problem on the playground and I told her that we could solve the issue if we bedazzled our trash cans. “Let’s make it fun to throw away our trash!” ! Ok, I didn’t use the word bedazzled in 1972 but this is a true story! The project was approved. I moved ahead with my idea. The can said, “FEED ME’ and featured Lucy from The Peanuts.
Fear has a way of looking really attractive; like a big colorful trashcan called Lucy who eats your dreams. The more you feed the fear, they more fear grows and keeps you small.
I believe in getting familiar with all of the voices in my head. You might remember me mentioning some of them in previous posts. I “humanize” these voices – not sure that anyone ever told me to do that but it made perfect sense to me. I want to meet “face to face” with Penny Perfectionist, Bitchy Becky, Anxious Abbie and the rest of that motley crew who contribute to the negative banter. My Girlfriend Voice lives with those mean girls and helps to keep them in check.
This weekend a new Voice had her debut. Let’s call her Warrior Woman. Rather than REACTING, she RESPONDS from a place of power and passion. She is not to be silenced or shunned. She is a fierce Momma – unleashed to lead and educate. It’s extra cool that this happens to be my 100th post!
You’ll end up hearing more from Warrior Woman. In the meantime, here is a link to my 3 minute video clip of her first public appearance.
My Girlfriend Voice is a tool for every woman and especially relevant for those impacted by anxiety, depression and grief. I don’t claim to be an expert! I’m walking the walk with you. I’m sharing what I know and sometimes it ain’t pretty. Other times I damned proud of myself!
There is something beautiful about struggle, right?
- You learn what you’re made of.
- You learn who your friends are.
- You learn to love yourself first and foremost.
- You learn that the only thing you can control is your response.
Until next week, settle in and invite your Girlfriend Voice to visit. Let her tell you everything’s gonna be OK. You are where you need to be!
Penny Perfectionist insists that I tell you that in case the formatting looks wonky, I wrote this on my phone.
From the heart,
There are certain songs that grab your attention because you think that the lyrics were either written about you or just for you. One of those songs is “BRAVE” by Sara Bareilles. While I have not seen the movie, I do love the song. It starts out:
You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way words do
And they settle ‘neathy your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you
(now the chorus)
Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
BRAVE. I used to define bravery as taking action in the face of life threatening danger. Police officers, firefighters, and soldiers are brave but now I realize I was wrong. Without diminishing these examples of bravery, it is only fair to acknowledge that bravery includes a far larger group of people.
Bravery can be found in all of us; amongst everyday people living everyday lives.
For example, you discovered your voice and publicly expressed your opinion, putting aside the fear of ridicule, making a mistake and rocking the boat. You are brave.
You asked for help because it was getting too difficult to deal with the dark, self-defeating thoughts shouting in your head. You are brave.
You said no instead of yes. You are brave.
We all have the opportunity to experience quiet, private moments of bravery and these moments are worth acknowledging. They are steps worthy of celebration. Brave doesn’t have to be BIG because Brave is BIG.
Brave is sitting with your feelings.
Brave is acknowledging what scares you.
Brave is forgiving yourself.
Brave is opening your heart to love again.
Brave is doing the right thing, not the easy thing
Brave is starting a conversation that matters.
Brave is saying you are sorry.
Brave is trying something new.
The song continues:
Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is (now the chorus)
Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
The funny thing is that everyday people rarely think of themselves as brave. Me included!! But remember, you have courageously stared down your fear and bravely moved forward. You heard your inner voice saying, “you got this” or “you can do it” and that any outcome is better than the status quo. Brave people hear their wise Girlfriend Voice urging them on.
Brave is letting go of what doesn’t serve you.
Brave is risking failure.
Brave is telling your story; without skipping the ugly...
I almost can’t decide what I want to write about today! Maybe I will tell you how I had a giggle fit drinking champagne straight from the bottle at the movies on Saturday night with a girlfriend– it was a first! Or there was the voice mail saying, “I am on my way to help a Mom with a drunk 13 year old. What should I do??” Well, let me tell you. I have a little too much experience parenting teenagers – is this because I was such a good teenager that my kids paid me back quadruple fold with their “learnings”????
What a minute, I see a correlation …. My kids have driven me to drink! Not only can I help you with your parenting, we can tip our glasses to the joys and wisdom of midlife!
Speaking of kids, can women have it all? This is the headline of a magazine for smart people in the checkout line. (I try not to mention names because I am anti-advertising. It is also easier to diss people, places and things when they are either anonymous or the names have been changed to protect the innocent.)
So is it a slow news week or am I missing something? Perhaps I am feeling a tad bit bitchy (it was cheap champagne after all) but I believe the majority of women already know that we can’t have it all. We make choices and then make the most of those choices. Comprende?
What is the “ALL” in this article? Well, it is referring to a simultaneously creating a happy family and a fulfilling career–
This year I turn 50 so I feel like I have a realistic perspective to share. When I entered college, the plan was to head off to medical school but by my junior year, I had no desire to live the lifestyle of a physician. Very fortunate for me, I found a career that balances the science and the business. I was driven to be a career woman and I knew that marriage and family could coexist with my professional life. Don’t ask me how, I just knew it or was too stubborn to admit otherwise.
I married young and had two babies before I was 30. I chose to work from home and travel very little once I went back to work. Did this limit my advancement potential? Damn right but I was doing what my heart or MGV said was the right thing to do. I thought I had a supportive partner (no further comment, especially since I am feeling bitchy today) but I was managing it all alone while my husband’s career continued to blossom.
Editor’s note—there is no “balance” in the life of a working parent. Something is always tugging at you and you have to let some things go. Pause and Prioritize; those PP moments!
I could go into a deep philosophical discussion about why we women want it ALL but glass ceilings, boy’s clubs, historical precedents, gender bias, biology and so on…we women are often swimming upstream.