I like to find the most efficient ways to do things in my day. It energizes me to find a faster solution to an everyday chore or task. I like to make a system and then work my system to its best ability. That is why I like the One Touch System and Doing all my Laundry in a Day. Laura and I shared several systems for managing the kitchen and meal planning and prepping in our March Meal Makeover Posts. We heard one common question through out those posts. How do you stick with it? How do you stay with the system when life gets busy or the newness wears off?
If you find yourself asking that same question, here is what I suggest. Here is what I have done. Examine the task at hand that you regularly don’t want to do and start by looking at one of the roots-procrastination. The definition of procrastination is “the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished. It is the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, or carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones, thus putting off impending tasks to a later time”. There are many Proverbs about those who procrastinate. Proverbs 12:11 says, “Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lack sense”.
Procrastination is not a word we hear that often anymore. Who wants to be a kill joy and talk about the less pleasurable tasks? I find it so interesting that in the definition it says that there is “still a practice of doing something”. So it isn’t that you are doing nothing but the things you are busy doing could be masking what is the most important or the very thing you want to get done. Maybe the pleasurable things come in the form of the distractions of our day like scrolling and scrolling and scrolling through social media, or HGTV- who can resist seeing which house they are going to choose on the Home Makeover Shows. Stopping by Starbucks and walking every. single. last. aisle at Target filling up time in your day. Maybe its binge watching a WHOLE series on Netflix. None of these things are wrong to take part in, it just may be what is distracting when you find yourself doing them instead of meal planning. Or laundry. Or scrubbing the bathrooms. You know, those less pleasurable things on your to do list.
There’s an old saying that says,“If the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is eat a live frog, then nothing worse can happen for the rest of the day!” Eating “frogs” is doing your least favorite task or chore of the day. And after doing that job every other job will get easier. It is doing your biggest job that you don’t want to do or the one that has grown the ugliest because you have regularly set it aside. Eating frogs helps to battle that daily problem of procrastination. What area are you a procrastinator? We all have areas or certain things we put off doing. What is an “ugly frog” that you daily face? Mine is cleaning my tile floor. I dread cleaning it, but it energizes me when the job is done.
Become a Recovering Procrastinator:
- Write out your to do- list the NIGHT before. Then you know exactly what your day looks like. Mark the items on your list that are your biggest and ugliest frogs!!! Be ready to do those first. Set out cleaning supplies, phone numbers, papers- anything needed to tackle that job before you go to bed.
- Make a notation of what is actually one of the HARDEST things of the task. Things like; Not hitting the snooze button on your alarm. Actually getting out of the house for your walk or driving to the gym. Opening the dishwasher and getting started. Not turning on the TV. Walking away from Social Media. Stating these little hangup, bringing it to light and examining it for what it is will propel you forward. Pray and ask God to weed out the root of procrastination. Set some boundaries for yourself.
- Cross task off you list. Enjoy this part and put a solid line through your task. Remind yourself you are getting closer to enjoying a more pleasurable thing with the satisfaction of a productive day.
- Be Gracious with yourself. If your day didn’t go as planned. Or something took longer than what you expected, don’t label yourself unorganized. Move it to your tomorrows to do list. Mark it as an UGLY frog and tackle it the first opportunity you have.
Practice Your New Non Procrastinating Ways:
- You can write a list and mark your “frogs” in everything from your housework to your business.
- Share your Frog Eatting Tips with your children. If you are a home school Mom, tackle those subjects that are a struggle to your kids in the first part or your school day. Or if homework after school has your child frustrated. Set out a time frame to jump in and do some least favorite task and then enjoy some free time.
- Be prepared to enjoy those “pleasurable things” even more when you have gotten in a tackled those tasks that are not your favorite. Doing hard things first, make things easier later!
Now, if you will excuse me why I go scrub my bathroom so I can cross that “frog” off my list!