Love-Yourself-More Monday Mindbody Wellness Tip #26
3 Tips to Stop Procrastinating Your To-Do List.
Dear Awesome Woman,
When I shared this on Facebook the other day: “Blessings are … you are enough, you do enough. Whisper this to yourself, your friends, your spouse, your children. It is a kindness that most of us cannot hear enough of. It battles those internal demons that want to hijack us from fulfilling our missions on earth, that want to keep us from joy and gratitude, that want to keep us dissatisfied, and that want to keep our nervous systems in fight and flight, doing to no-end. Blessings are you are enough, you do enough. Breathe that air in.” — a very wise woman asked the question (I’m paraphrasing): “If I tell myself that ‘I am enough and I do enough” then won’t that lead to laziness and procrastination? I feel good enough when I’ve accomplished a lot on my to-do list, but when I procrastinate, then I don’t feel good enough.”
I think that what this woman is speaking of is the never- ending cycle and wheel of the never-quite-accomplished to-do list. But is our only option to beat ourselves up and feel lousy and not good enough when we don’t accomplish, when we don’t do so much in a day? Is that really acceptable as an Awesome woman to treat ourselves that way? I don’t believe so.
Years ago, I did my life coach training with author and sociologist Martha Beck who said this very truthful quote that still stays in my mind: “We will all die with a to-do list.” This really shocked me into the reality of how the list of chores, goals and tasks that we set for ourselves is truly never- ending. It’s a fallacy to think that “we can get it all done.” Whew! Not even close and not even worth it to try if we’re hurting ourselves in the process.
Having things to do, goals and tasks—things that we are busy with and living a life of action is a great thing. And yet, at the same time, we can’t allow ourselves to be slaves to this list. We are souls in bodies and bodies can only move so fast. I see again and again from my clients (and from myself!) that when we push these bodies, they are not happy. Our mind can be an unrelenting slave driver and it’s up to us to decipher the truth of the matter—to hear our intuition and the wise wisdom of our bodies in deciding our to-do lists.
So, how do we stop procrastinating and get things done, yet release the need to be a slave driver to ourselves—pushing our bodies beyond their capacity?
Make sure that what is on your list, needs to be on your list. If you’re procrastinating, which means avoiding things, it could be because you are ‘shoulding’ yourself to do something that you really don’t want, nor need to do.
Try this: write down the word ‘should’ with all the things on your to-do list. As you go down the list, put attention on the physical sensations in your body. Does your jaw tighten, your chest constrict? Good to know. The word ‘should’ usually causes tension in the body.
Now cross out the word ‘should’ and replace it with the word ‘could.’ Yes, for each thing on the list.
How does your body feel with the replacement word? Does it relax more? Do you feel more of a sense of expansion? Does any wisdom flow about some of the things that you have on your list? Like “I could do laundry today, but it’s okay to do it tomorrow. No one will suffer if I take a self-care rest and do the load tomorrow.”
Ask yourself the question: “what can I knock off my list?” Remember that bodies can only move so fast. Burnout can happen too quickly if we’re not aware of the pushing of the mind (feel free to download my eguide ‘3 Secrets to Solve Burnout and Get Energized the Mindbody Wellness Way’—your body and soul will thank you!)
And if you can’t decide, then read on for Tip #2
These are the 3 B’s from Martha Beck. She suffered from terrible body pain until she came up with this solution for herself. Here are the options:
You can ‘bag something’, ‘barter something’ or ‘better something’.
‘Bagging something’ means not doing something that drains your energy. Put simply, if you can bag something that doesn’t bring you joy or even put it aside for a later time, then do so. Do you really need to obligate yourself to the PTA fundraiser when you’re taking care of little ones and suffering with back pain? By the way, back pain and many other aches and pains are often mindbody symptoms of repressed feelings.
Maybe some people at the fundraiser are nasty people to be working with anyway—their gossiping energy is draining. That would be something to ‘bag’ for sure! Will you be judged unkindly for un-volunteering? Maybe. But then are those the kind of people that you want to be around? If they’re energy vampires, then saying ‘no’ frees up your health and energy for other positive things in your life. Choose wisely, my friend.
You can even ‘bag something’ for awhile or another day. Do you really need to run to the store now or can you take a moment of fresh air self-care with a short, slow walk around the block? Even ‘bagging something’ for an hour and choosing to get some nature in, meditate or do something creative can be a healthy step for your health.
‘Bartering something’ that drains your energy means getting help — either paid help or doing an exchange. Can you get some cleaning help? Even once a week can make a difference if it’s too much to do all yourself.
Can you join a carpool to lessen your load? Or even pay someone to drive? I once hired a driver to do my carpool for a month when I had a new baby, a toddler who napped and a few kids in school.
You can be creative in managing your tasks and time. I even found a way to start my kids young with managing their own laundry—I call it “Lollipop Laundry.” It’s super simple and a great way to train the kids to take responsibility for their things. Hit reply to this newsletter (or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know that you want to know about “Lollipop Laundry”—I’m happy to share this tip.
‘Bettering something’ means exactly that. You have something to do that you don’t enjoy, but you’re choosing to do it for long term benefits or because it matters to you, so you better it. Can you better that trip to the store with listening to soothing music or a comedy audio that makes you laugh? Then great! Put those headsets on and make your time at the store better because you’re listening to something you love.
Have a chocolate bar at the doctor’s office to sweeten the visit. This is ‘bettering’ the experience.
Also, one technique I use for bettering things is to do them in chunks. Chunks of time. If I have guests coming, I won’t do the marathon thing of cooking all at once. I’ll do some prep one day, cooking another day. This really helps me preserve my energy and keeps me more joyful.
So now you’ve dropped the word ‘should’, you’ve ‘bagged’, ‘bartered’ and ‘bettered’ what you could and now let’s get you being even more kind to your body and soul by whispering that “you are enough, you do enough.”
As Louise Hay use to say, “Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
Our nervous systems can be in a more relaxed state as we get things done—this is choosing health. Whispering kind and approving statements to ourselves, making our nervous systems feel safe is the way to accomplish.
Please drop the need to compare yourself to someone else. There are certain types of people who seem to get a ton done in a small amount of time. Please read my article: “You Don’t Need To Do It Their Way” and get a sense of your energy profile (a concept developed by Carol Tuttle). Energy Style 3’s whose modus operandi is ‘action’ will get a ton done. It is not worth comparing yourself to them if you’re a different style. When “you compare, you despair” so again, whisper to yourself “I am enough, I do enough” and let your mind google all the wonderful things that you do do already. From this place of safety in your body, take action on what’s important to you including what brings you joy. Joy certainly is an energizing state to be in, ups your vibration and will surprise you with how good you can feel whether your list is done or not.
Feel free to forward this to friends 🙂 Let’s share the light!
Need a helping hand? As a Somatic Healer and Clarity Coach, I help women align with their physical, emotional and intuitive wisdom, empowering them with clarity and strength in their relationships, career and health. I invite you to schedule your free Clarity Call today.
I also welcome you to download your free gift eguide: “3 Secrets to Solve Burnout and Get Energized the Mindbody Wellness Way” (also gives access to your free download of “Escape from the Borderline/Narcissist’s Web” ).