“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.” -Elvis Presley
Truth? I wanted to start this blog with honesty and let you know I’m feeling like a complete impostor at the moment. Why? For many reasons but the main one being I haven’t been following the same advice I give to you and it makes me feel like a huge fraud.
I started feeling like this because I wrote this awesome post about long term planning and promised you a post about how to do more detailed daily and weekly planning this month. But I just couldn’t do it – instead, you are getting this. I eventually will do a post about daily and weekly planning but because I’m not walking my walk at the moment – I just can’t write some steps that you should do when I am not doing them myself.
Feeling like a fraud and having a huge case of impostor syndrome are both signs to me that I have let one of my most hated parts of myself back into my ecosystem -PROCRASTINATION . I am sure at some time or another you’ve suffered as well from procrastination – it can be a horrible feeling, knowing you have to do something but your mind coming up with reason after reason why you should do something else instead.
I can always remember procrastination being around me. Back in school, I would put off assignments until the very last day before they were due. There was so much more I could be doing instead – riding my bike or exploring playgrounds. So, I developed a system early in life of staying up late to get things done the day before they were due and I carried that system all the way into my jobs after college.
When I discovered project management, I finally started to get a little control on my procrastination. I learned to make deadlines earlier in the schedules so that I could create an earlier due date. I would still leave things until the last minute but now, I wasn’t completely stressing out the day before they were actually due. Each year of my career, I learned a little more about productivity and over the years, I became a productive person at work. It helped that there were a lot of constraints that keep me focused there and I couldn’t surf the web or play on social media because most of the companies I worked for wouldn’t let you. So, in the office, I was extremely productive.
But home was a different story. So many distractions including TV were available. I would neglect everything that didn’t have a deadline until it didn’t matter anymore or I was completely sick of looking at it. If something did have a deadline, it would get done at the very last minute. One night, I was baking at 11 pm just to get cookies ready for a school event the next day because I put off buying them so long, the store had closed. I hated myself every time I did the last minute sprint, but I couldn’t figure out how to make my productivity at work spill over into home life.
I am still a procrastinator today, but I have managed to get more productive at home. It has taken a lot of willpower, motivation, and some serious decisions about wanting to change how I lived, but it has given me some fantastic feelings of accomplishment and self-worth that I want to keep around forever.
Back to feeling like a fraud. I decided to start my own time management business because I saw so many of my friends struggling to keep track of their lives. I started writing blogs on how to do long term planning and schedule things on your calendar. With each blog, I felt more and more like I wasn’t being completely truthful. Last month, I wrote the blog on the night it was supposed to be posted and then took two more days to actually get it published. And I have a full blogging plan with topics and everything scheduled out until the end of the year, but I am not following it. I believe if you are not being completely honest with yourself or others you are a fraud.
I started being honest with myself a couple of weeks ago, and it feels so much better to own up to your behavior and feelings. I have many strengths. I am good at adapting to change, but I need to keep my systems consistent once I find one that works. I like to bring people into harmony, and I usually do that with communication. And I am good at being a productive procrastinator. I do get things done these days but usually it happens in spurts with a chunk of procrastination in between (sometimes I call it “self-care” to make me feel better).
That is my story and I am sticking to it.
I wanted to share this with you because it’s so easy to feel like a failure when we procrastinate but the truth is you can become a productive procrastinator. You will need to put in some of the evil “W” word (work), but you can get more done and still have time to do fun procrastination stuff. Most of the things I have written about in past blogs like loving your calendar are things that I really do. Maybe not every single day, all day but when I do they work. The key to everything productive is just starting, and that is often the most difficult thing to do if you are a procrastinator.
I am currently writing up the 5 things that I use regularly to get myself started since that is the most difficult thing to do and I think it is best to lead by example. I would love your input in the comments on what you use to get started or even your biggest challenge to getting started.
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Thanks for reading!