You have no idea how long this post has been sitting in my drafts, incomplete. I’ve come back to it many times, adding bits and pieces here and there but never quite finishing it. I don’t know if it’s a season I’m in right now, or maybe this is the “new normal” but I’m having a terrible time finishing my tasks. Call it mommy brain. Maybe it’s distraction. Perhaps I’m just lazy. Focus has been an issue (see my “Word of the Year“). In any case, my motivation is shot and I’m really stressed out about getting it back!
I’ve been in the kitchen about three times today and this is what I see. Dishes piled up on both sides. Stuff that wouldn’t fit in the dishwasher before it was started last night as well as breakfast dishes. My husband’s French press is there, filled up with grounds to be emptied and rinsed out. My older kids emptied the dishwasher this morning so it’s clear and ready for me to load. Loading the dishes and washing the pans will take me ten minutes, tops. I just can’t get motivated to do it. It will get done for sure. I’ll start on the dishes as soon as my husband calls to let me know he’s driving home from work. That’s my ultimate motivation: getting it done before anyone walks in the door and sees dishes that have been ignored for 10 hours.
I’m a big time procrastinator. But only when it comes to certain things, I’ve found.
As soon as I’m up in the morning, I wake up my kids and I return to my room. I wash my face and I make my bed. Every day, I make the bed. I never procrastinate on that task. The bed gets made no matter what. It’s not like I enjoy making the bed, it’s just a habit that I get it done before I leave the house.
So why do I procrastinate on some things and not on others?
I know that I have certain tasks to do on the regular. I keep to-do items on my calendar. And sometimes even though they are STARING me in the face and I KNOW I need to do them, I skip right over them.
Why do I prioritize some things and not others? What is deemed more important to finish? I’ve learned that for me, it’s when I might suffer a consequence that I’ll get the job done. If I have a project due, it will get done or I don’t get paid. If my kids don’t have any more socks in their drawer, I’ll be sure to wash the whites. If my husband would be upset to come home after a long day at work and see that I didn’t take ten minutes to wash dishes, I’m definitely going to make sure the kitchen is tidy before he walks in the door.
If there’s no consequence, then I most often don’t push myself. How can I get that internal push to make myself better…for me and not for anyone else or because there’s a consequence?
Move the Mountains
I’ve seen You move, You move the mountains.
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again.
You made a way, where there was no way.
And I believe I’ll see You do it again
Do It Again – Elevation Worship
A few weeks ago in church, our worship leader talked a bit before this song began about the meaning in the lyrics. I’ve sung that song dozens of times and had never thought of it in the terms he brought up. He shared that there have been times when he’s prayed to God that the mountain in front of him be moved. Whatever the obstacle was, he just wanted it gone. However in some cases, instead of the mountain moving, he tackled the problem instead by climbing the mountain, therefore bringing him closer to God.
How Am I Waiting for the Mountain to Move?
I feel like I have sooo many things I want to do, “if only” that thing or this thing wasn’t getting in the way. If I could afford a gym membership, I’d work out more often. If my toddler was more independent, I could go back to work. If I had more time, I’d sew more/write more/spend more time with my kids.
However in so many ways, God has moved those mountains for me but I put up my own mountains back in their place. I lost my job several years ago, which provided me with a LOT more free time! Instead of taking advantage of the blessing of more time to accomplish the things I really wanted to, I filled up my time with extra helpings of sleeping in, social media and television binge-watching. I’m sure it’s not exactly what He had in mind for me when I wanted more time!
Procrastination Is My Mountain
Procrastination has always been my mountain.
I’ve been waiting for it to move and for me to get my “mojo” back. But that mountain isn’t going to move. It’s never going to move. I’m always going to have that mountain in front of me with endless things I have to do, want to do and need to do. My mind and my list are going to prioritize them in order. Some things will happen. Others won’t. But if I keep standing in front of that mountain, waiting for it to go away or move, nothing will get done at all. I’m going to have to climb.
Get Out of My Head
For me, the key to getting all the things done that I want to do in a day in a daily to-do list. There is a certain satisfaction with writing down tasks and visually being able to cross them out as I get them done. It’s been important to my well being to get all the tasks out of my head and jot them on paper instead. Even little things like, “Drop off package at post office” are on the list because nothing is too small of a task. And when it’s done – whoosh, I can gladly mark through it…DONE!
I also keep an entire folder of things to follow up on. When I return something in the mail or I’ve made a phone call about something pending or there’s just something I need to check back on at a later date, it goes in my “To Follow Up On” folder. Once a week I go through every single item in the folder to keep myself updated and not let anything slip thorough the cracks. That folder has saved my Swiss cheese brain many times over!
By breaking up my tasks into smaller bits, I’m able to tackle them more easily. Number one on the list was to get this post published. And if you’re reading this, it’s finally happened…yay, me!
Now, how will you climb mountains today?