What stops us? And is there an IndexCardCure™ solution?

Are you a pro in procrastination? It happens to everyone in some area of life. When I was in school and had a paper to write, my delaying tactic was to organize my desk. There is always something more interesting than assembling research into a coherent essay.

done perfect

Ad infinitum. Again and again. It would be easy to write, edit, revise, re-write and on and on. I believe everything can always be better. I have to stop and remind myself–it’s good enough. Everything is a draft; a work in progress (WIP). Plus, Jane and I have set a goal of writing one post each a week. My commitment to her helps me to hit “Publish” and overcome my natural tendency to wordsmith.

If we are aiming for perfection, we will never achieve it. Perfectionism and  procrastination go hand-in-hand. I can use the excuse of needing to collect more information or develop better skills before we start, but the end result is that nothing gets done. There is always excuse not to start. For the last six months or so, I’ve had tiles leaning against the wall behind the kitchen faucet. The existing backsplash didn’t protect enough of the wall. Occasionally the tiles would slip with a clatter—startling me, but not compelling enough to start. The job had multiple steps—removing molding, measuring, and measuring again because nothing is completely square. Last weekend, I finally launched. I took out the cutter and cut the tiles. Because of the thickness, I had to score each tile three times and took some pressure to get the tiles to snap and then use the bench grinder to trim an edge. But it’s done. Cut, adhered, grouted, sealed. It’s a good thing I don’t pay myself by the hour.

Do not put off until tomorrow what can be put off till day-after-tomorrow. Mark Twain

How many projects do you have taking up mental bandwidth. It could be a “need-to-do” or it might be a “want-to-do”. What’s stopping you? One way to combat procrastination is by chunking: breaking a project into actionable steps or spending x minutes of time. Focus on process versus product for a multi-faceted project, which cannot be completed at one time.

My next project is building a shed, using leftovers from the renovation demolition.  It’s been on my goal list since the beginning of 2014, so  I’ve been pondering it for even longer. The old shed is down and debris removed. I’ve made a materials list but need to check it again. At least for this project, I currently have the excuse of snow.

backsplash

Tiled backsplash & window sill

shelf

Part of the same project: a shelf installed to free up counter space.

The backsplash tiling isn’t perfect. But, it’s done, it’s good enough,and it’s finally off my list.

IndexCardCure™ Solution for getting things done:
• Identify how your project aligns with your goals
• Use a timer and work for a set period of time.
• Break larger goals into baby steps
• Recruit an accountability partner
• Keep the momentum going with discrete steps
• Go for good enough. There is no perfect.
• Set up deadlines, if your project doesn’t have a fixed one.
• Reward yourself for completion.ICC getting things done

© Joan S Grey, 3 March 2015

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