Welcome to this weeks Clarity and Connection Q&A, where Geneén answers questions and give life tools that allow us to do all things with focus and intent. Remember, you can send in questions at any time. I will pick a couple of questions to respond to here, and a couple of others on social media.
A: There are a couple of things I do. First, I understand why I am procrastinating. Once I identify “why,” I tend to use one or a couple of the strategies to self motivate. Motivation typically falls on two levels. There is the everyday avoidance of doing tasks that we, quite frankly, don’t enjoy, nor do you see a higher purpose in completing, like washing dishes, doing the laundry, even homeschooling. Then there are more long term goals like exercising, dieting, career, etc. Here I will give you a couple of general strategies to stay motivated to complete everyday chores, tasks, + ways to stay on track with long term goals.
1. Lead with Positivity
By starting things from a positive place and with positive intent, you tend to act positively and productively.
Don’t stress; it is counterproductive. I refuse to let others stress me out; I, for damn sure, will not be stressing myself out. I am lenient and loving with myself. I don’t judge myself harshly, but I do assert that I will get things done and when I will get them done.
2. Commit To a Timeline
Commit to a fixed time or time frame to complete a task, do it, then reward yourself for getting it done. Having a fixed schedule works for some, while others are fine staying motived with a more fluid program. Whatever type of plan you create, be sure that it serves your personality and that of anyone else involved with the activity.
3. Work at Your Best
Schedule tasks during the time a day you and (your child – in homeschooling cases) are most productive. First, pinpoint the time of day you (or your kids) are the highest functioning. The beauty of homeschooling is that kids are not in school at a set time. You can assign work and give them breaks based on their individual learning needs and patterns. I schedule low functioning, but high impact activities in the morning like mediation, brisk walks, or reading. These actions tend to align me/us and allows us to focus on the day ahead. Then I do my household chores around 3 because, for whatever reason (probably the caffeine), I am functioning on 9 or 10.
4. Make it Fun
Pull your hair back-or wrap it in a scarf, throw on some music, and get it done. When we start to associate mundane tasks with things we love, it can change our perspective and actually have you looking forward to washing dishes. I tend to go retro when I am in the kitchen; now, I sometimes look forward to a walk down memory lane as I load the dishwasher.
5. Break It Up
Sometimes we psych ourselves out to believing that a task is enormous. Break it into more manageable pieces and commit to doing what you can by a certain point. So with the laundry example, I mentioned earlier, if you want to make sure you wash and fold the same day-do smaller loads. Another example is if working on a class project with your kids, commit do doing a certain amount of work each day to ensure you have it complete with all the aggravation or last-minute stress.
6. Avoid Distractions
When you need to focus- put the phone (or whatever the distraction) down.
Ask for help-company-or competition while you complete work or workouts.
8. Visualize the End/Goal
Whether it is a clean house, completing schoolwork, or a long term goal like weight loss. Focus on that resulting emotion (pride, relief) as you imagine the goal reached.
9. Don't Give Up
Understand that a pause is not a failure; you can always pick it up and go back to whatever your goal is.
10. Rid Yourself of Doubt
Avoid people and thoughts that induce self doubt. You can also read a more in-depth article here at mavens 101.com:
Stay tuned for our next Clarity and Connection chat where we answer “How do I stop myself from obsessive worrying?”