topic. Today let’s look at three P’s that can get in our way: Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Pushing too hard
1. Procrastination - putting off til tomorrow what we could do right now! This is a big one, and it’s an easy one to fall into with so many excuses readily at hand: “I’m too busy.” “I’m not ready. I need to do one more thing first..” “I'm tired!" All of those things can be legitimate reasons for not starting something, but if you find them coming up too often and keeping you from moving forward on things you really want to succeed at, take a closer look.
To overcome procrastination is not rocket science – get started! One baby step a day beginning TODAY! What is one thing
you can do today to move you forward on a goal or project you’ve been avoiding? If your area is physical fitness, maybe you start by planning healthy meals for a day or for the week and then go grocery shopping so that you have the right food on hand. (OK, that’s 2 steps – you caught me… so, plan today, shop tomorrow). If it’s to write the next best-selling novel, begin today by starting to write for ½ hour or ___ number of words or pages.
By breaking big, overwhelming things down into manageable, bite-size chunks that we can handle, we are often able to get unstuck and get moving!
2. Perfectionism – closely linked to procrastination in that it can be one of the main reasons we don’t get started. For example, “I’m not willing to begin until I know it’ll be perfect.” Unless I know I will lose 10 pounds, I’m not going to exercise,” or “I’m not going to join the gym until I can do the exercises and look great.” Resonate with anyone?? I’ve been there and
I have learned to move past this one pretty well as a “Recovering Perfectionist.” Sometimes good enough is good enough, and it’s certainly better than no action at all.
Perfectionism also gets in the way when we beat ourselves up if things didn’t go as planned, it doesn’t look just right, or we had a slip-up. To beat perfectionism, begin with a practice of being gentle and loving with yourself. How would you support your best friend or a child when they were afraid to try or they were sad that they had made a mistake? Give yourself that same tender love and care. Accept yourself and acknowledge the effort you put forth, even if it didn't feel "perfect."
3. Pushing too hard or working all the time – We live in a world that seems to value the notion of being really busy. We
hear it all the time… “I’m so busy.” “I’m completely stretched this month – maybe we can meet for lunch in December.” Behind this lies a challenge with managing time and setting priorities so that what truly matters most to you fits into your schedule. If I fill my calendar with meetings, I have no time for actually doing the work I need to do, for workouts, or for my own learning, growth, or fun.
We fail to make ourselves a priority because it feels “selfish” or “less important” than tending to everything else and everyone else’s needs. There is something heroic in being a martyr and taking on the burdens of the world. And, we end up drained, depleted, and unable to sustain this pace. In the end, not only do we suffer, but so do those we’re trying to be a super hero for.
The antidote: Scheduling your time so that you and your main priorities get in there first. Have you heard of the big rocks exercise? Imagine a vase that you want to fill. Imagine having big rocks (the major things you want to make time for or get done – things that will leave you feeling great for having accomplished them), pebbles (things that are less important), and sand (things that drain your time and energy). If you put the big rocks in first, you will have room left for pebbles, sand, and even water. But, if you start with the sand and pebbles, you will not be able to force the big rocks in later and will end up feeling frustrated and depleted. Here’s an article that talks more about this and how it relates to productivity:
For you visual learners, here’s a short video about the idea that makes it pretty clear: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6m9WnNdpSw
Don’t fool yourself into believing that you can be all things to all people. Don’t fool yourself into believing you should be all
things to all people or that you should do what others want from you or be who they expect you to be.
Begin by knowing yourself, your values, and then setting goals that align with those values. Get started with small steps, give yourself permission to be imperfect, and make space for the things that are most important to you today. Start nourishing yourself and making yourself available to the important things in your life.
Do you fall victim to any or all of the 3 P’s and what have you found works to move you beyond them? What are you willing
to do differently starting today? Share your ideas in the comment section below.