Procrastination = poor systems and processes.
I’m adding a new routine to my quarterly habits. Instead of just goals to achieve, I classify them as Goals (explicit outcomes) or Processes (embedded routines). This way, it helps me to see the end to my goals and keeps my work in check.
- Dedicated workspace. I keep changing things to “switch it up”, like changing bags, changing notebooks, new processes, etc. It keeps my brain on its toes and not fall into a mindless routine. But I realised that there’s a huge value in keeping some routines as it is. My bag, the items in my bag, the desk I go to for research vs the desk I go to for other things. Such processes are actually so valuable. These are things that I want my brain to be autopilot on.
- Make lists. This works so well. Both to do lists or break them down to more specific steps and tasks. It helps because you realise everything is so manageable and within reach. What a pleasure.
- Micro tasks. Instead of just lists and things to do, make them small, detailed and specific. That helps so much in going to achieve them.
- Start the timer. I keep track of how I spend my time and that helps to deal with tasks to do. It sucks when I procrastinate pressing the timer, but at least I’ve solve the problem of doing the tasks.
- Breaks. A 5-10min break every 25 or 50min. And a weekend break or week’s break to recharge (sharpen the saw) and go again. It’s easy to fall into the easy comfortable life. So, practice discomfort.
- 2min Rule. If something is done in 2min, do it.
- Just start. The first step is always the hardest in the grand scheme of things. But the first step is also the easiest in the micro view. So, realise that to others, starting is hard. But in the now, starting is the easiest. That’s how I deal with #4.
Feeling Burned Out
- Forgive. Forgive. Forgive. It’s ok that one day is bad. It’s ok that you made one mistake. Learn from it. Don’t make it again. No one is perfect and we all fail. Fail fast and learn fast.
- Manage energy. It’s easy to want to do everything in the first 100 days. I still make that mistake. I do think it’s better to over plan than under plan, so that’s fine with me. But to manage energy is something I want to hone better this year. Manage energy on each tasks to do.
- One at a time. Make a conscious effort to limit the things to do. And then do one thing at a time. Channel all the energy towards one thing and one thing only. Turn off gadgets if required.
“I’m not ready”
- Drafts are ok. When tasks seem to pile up, create overview structure or draft 1. Start with something small and manageable. Improve as we go. No one creates the perfect piece at the start.
- 5min starts. When in doubt, just press a 5min timer and get started. Again, the 5min doesn’t have to be perfect, they are just initial drafts.
- Failure is ok. Mistakes will be made. It is okay. Again, no such thing as perfection at the start. It’s ok to make mistakes. It’s ok to fail. Learn from them. Don’t make them again.
- Acknowledge success! This is so important. We think we are not ready for everything, but the truth is that we are more than ready. More than ever! Humans are adaptable and malleable. Acknowledge and accept the successes. Recognise progress. Celebrate achievements. We are actually ready. Just have a little faith.
- Compare with 5 years ago’s self. When in doubt, realise the growth you’ve had in 5 years. I’m proud of where I am today, I’m excited for where I will be in 5 years. It’s silly to compare with others — I do not. And when you realise your growth in 5 years, it’s so much more fun to keep doing awesome and kicking butts.
“But I’m bOrEd”
- Practice discomfort. Delaying something doesn’t magically make it disappear. In fact, the real returns are negative. Yeah, let’s be uncomfortable now and comfortable later. Make future Lisa proud.
- Make plans. Similar to making lists, I think lists are more for daily actionable tasks, while plans are overall goals and processes to achieve. It’s more long-term and bigger picture. I’ve been doing it for years. It helps to keep me stay on course. Bad days happen, it’s ok. Back to the routine and that’s important.
- Reflect. Whatever you are feeling, write it down. Label those feelings. Acknowledge those thoughts. It’s crazy how that helps to brain to realise what we are feeling and then work towards solving it. Our brain is so powerful.
- Read plans in the morning. I miss my wall. That helps me to get so worked up in the morning. I can’t wait to have my wall back! Reading plans in the morning helps. Planning in the morning helps. Basically, morning routines to get the day started helps.
Processes, not Motivation
- Declutter. Honestly, there is something about decluttering life. Deleting digital files, clearing the room, packing away the closet. It helps to get life started again. Motivation is only temporary, and in the process of decluttering, we get to redefine the new space and improve the processes in place.
- Document self. That is why I made daily entries on videos, film my month or write every day. Documenting my growth, my journey and my thought processes help me to understand the current processes in place, thus easier to improve them. Realise the bad processes. Stop them.