We have looked hard at our procrastinating personalities and why we are so good at putting things off till later. The main reason that we don’t do something right now is because we think that it is going to take too much time and right now we don’t have time or we don’t feel like doing it now. I want to look at how this kind of thinking actually creates an avalanche effect and before we know it we are suffocating under a heavy load of guilt and we are paralyzed by our in-actions.
For the most part we are a very social happy-go-lucky spontaneous vivacious group of people. We love to have fun at anything we do. When it comes to housework or other things that we may need to get done; we can come up with every excuse in the world to not do it. The main excuse we use is “I don’t have time!” When the truth is we really don’t want to do it because it is not going to be fun or we don’t feel like it. We don’t like to do things that are the mundane boring aspects of living. That is one of the reasons that our FlyLady routines get those things out of the way so we can get on with the enjoyable part of our day.
People ask me all the time if I spend all day cleaning. The truth is that as long as I do my simple routine (15 minutes) in the morning and a routine at night (10 minutes tops); our house is always company ready. This will work for any size home; now I do have to pick up after myself and keep my hotspots policed. This only takes a couple of minutes at the most.
Here is what happens when we put something off. Let’s start with our before bed routines.
1. We go to bed at 1:00 or 2:00 am and have to get up at 7:00 am. We procrastinated by not going to bed at a decent hour. Then we can’t get up on time.
2. After you hit the snooze button a few times and it is 7:30 am and to get to work on time we have to leave at 7:45 am. Now you have 15 minutes to get dressed and out the door and you have no clean clothes.
3. Not only did you go to bed late, but you did not lay out your clothes for tomorrow. So there again you have procrastinated and you are rushing around.
4. Now you are feeling the time crunch and the pressure of being late to work or an appointment again. Then the guilt starts to pile on.
5. With the guilt comes blaming others and not looking at what our role was in our perpetual tardiness. Then we have martyrdom and the loud yelling voices that just add to the stress along with the guilt.
6. Now we are half dressed, jumping in a car trying to put on makeup while driving and not paying attention to what we are doing. Not to mention that you have skipped breakfast and there is not even time for a quick drive through the golden arches. Well that could be the only positive thing about rushing; not time for negative nutrition with fast food.
7. Next thing we know the blue lights are flashing in our rear view mirror and we have yet another speeding ticket to have to explain and pay for.
8. That is if we are lucky and we haven’t had a car accident with our babies in the car.
9. More money wasted all because we procrastinated and didn’t go to bed in a decent hour to get up and start our day on the right foot instead of behind the eight ball.
Just writing this makes me nauseated. I can’t live this way anymore. The constant surge of adrenaline is hard on our bodies. We have to find a way to relieve the stress that our procrastination causes in our lives. Are you listening to me! Procrastination can kill us and maims our children. It can be a slow painful death of our bodies turning on us because of the constant surge of adrenaline with immune dysfunction or it can be a quick one with a car accident. You have a choice to stop this right now!
If I can ever get you to feel the peace that comes from just a few simple routines in your life; you will never go back to living this way.
Here is what you have to do!
1. Set your priorities! I know you hear this all the time, so I am going to make this very clear to you! Is talking on the phone or the computer more important than your children’s or your life? Is watching that movie better for you than a good nights sleep?
2. Lay out your clothes for tomorrow; Use your creativity to accessorize your clothes. We love to do this but we never have time when we are so rushed. Look at your calendar and see what you need to do tomorrow. This will help you to pick out your clothes.
3. Go to bed at a decent hour; we can have time for ourselves in the morning when we are not rushing around like a chicken with its head cut off.
4. Put the alarm clock on the other side of the room so you will not be tempted to hit the snooze button. This is an ineffective habit that you have. When you start getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night you will not need that snooze button any more. You need to get your feet on the floor to turn off the alarm.
5. Put gas in your car when it is not empty. Look for times when you are not in a hurry to stop and fill up before you are running on fumes. This will not cost you as much money if you are only putting in a half of tank. You never know when you may need gas to get you to the emergency room in the middle of the night.
6. As part of your before bed routine; put everything you need to take with you tomorrow by the front door or in the car. This will keep you from having to search for things tomorrow morning and from forgetting that important paper you have to present.
7. Start your day without the chaos of the television by listening to beautiful music. The television is filled with bad news that we can do nothing about. Open up your heart to a new morning with your favorite music or silence.
8. Get up 15 minutes before the rest of the family so that you can be dressed to lace up shoes before their little feet hit the floor. You will be in control! Put on those shoes whether or not you have to wear heels to work. You can change just before you walk out the door because you would have put them by the front door. All this is done because you laid out your whole outfit the night before; from jewelry to shoes and hose. You checked your calendar and you know what to wear.
9. Without all the rushing you can sit down and eat a breakfast fit for the queen that you are! It may just be a yogurt smoothie but you will be filling up your personal fuel tank with good nutritious food not junk on the run. You may also have fewer digestion problems when you slow down your food consumption.
10. Now you are in your car and not rushing to get to work because you factored in your drive time into your morning routine. You have even added a few extra minutes for traffic and you may surprise everyone by being at work early or getting the kids to school without having to write a late note. This will mean no speeding ticket and some extra money in your pocket because your insurance has not gone up because of the points on your drivers license.
Every single thing we procrastinate about can be put into this avalanche scenario. Just stop and think when you hear yourself saying I don’t have time or I don’t feel like it right now. We are never going to feel like scrubbing the toilet but it sure is nice when you are hugging that piece porcelain during a round of stomach flu. We don’t have to feel like doing it to just get up off our Frannys and do something! With this attitude, we are getting it out of the way so we can go play and enjoy our day without the stress and guilt that comes from procrastinating.
If you will just start with one little piece of this essay; you will be slowing down the effects of the avalanche. Soon you will begin to feel the peace that I have from my morning and before bed routines. If you will just get a small taste of this peace you will not want to live in the chaos of procrastination another day.
Are you ready to FLY by doing the little things in life that make living easier; routines?
Try this little trick. When you realize you are procrastinating, I want you to say this out loud, READY, SET, GO! We all love to have fun. This will get you going. Get up and do what it is you have been putting off! READY, SET, GO!