How to Finally Get More Done
First, what is
Without a doubt, the need for organization is sometimes your minds way of saying “its time to adult”. When most people grow tired of being the way they are, they seek an alternative. Basically, the only way you will choose change is by being fed up with the way things are.
In fact, I have ADHD and can’t take meds, I was living in such a chaotic and unorganized life. Due to that, I was constantly moving from crises to crises. Crises I had created from my inability to focus, priorities, and commit.
You see, when you have ADHD everything is overwhelming, just thinking is overwhelming. However, when fear finally would strike me and I had a looming deadline I would go into high gear and move better than any other person I know, but there is only so much of
Why Organization Sets You Free
As a rule, becoming organized is all about freedom, seriously, being organized sets you free. I used to believe the opposite, so I would fight getting things done on time, I would put it off. I didn’t realize that my unorganized life was caused by anxiety based on fear of the things I needed to do. To sum up, my to-do’s where causing my anxiety.
In addition, Anxiety-based Fear can look like inactivity or procrastination. Here are six kinds of
- Inactivity due to feeling overwhelmed
- Inactivity due to uncertainty
- Inactivity due to too much on your plate
- Inactivity due to overestimating the time you have (The “I have plenty of time phenomena”)
- Inactivity due to worry about the outcome
- Inactivity due to lack of knowledge about a subject
Okay, now that we know what causes inactivity let me share why it doesn’t matter. Fear is fear to your body, so it doesn’t matter what caused it, but how to stop it does.
To Fear or Not to Fear
Altogether, fear has its benefits in our evolutionary history. Even now we can listen to our bodies fear mechanism and learn from it. Even so, fear can also work against us. In the time of hunting and gathering, we used fear in its rawest form, to survive. Without it, we would have died out long ago. But what do you do with this fear now that we don’t have to face imminent danger? Learn to regulate your emotions.
Learning to emotionally regulate can help you let go of excess fear. Absolutely, emotional regulation can help sort out your emotions, including fear, and allow correct processing. Here is how; if you have a project due, fear lets you know by causing anxiety related to the impending date. Once you get the emotional fear tag, recognize it and move to do something about it. Either write out the steps you need to do or begin your work on that project.
After writing down your steps and taking the first action, you are still anxious about it, practice letting the fear go. See the fear as an emotional energy bubble around you, bring that bubble closer to you until you have absorbed all that excess energy that was around you. Now, take a deep breath and with the exhalation release the fear toxins. Repeat this until the anxiety leaves your body.
Every time you observe yourself procrastinating re-evaluate your emotions. What is causing that fear? Then, practice the energy bubble technique until that fear leaves your body, and move into action. Also, don’t forget to do the technique again after you have begun your project and re-release the excess fear if you have any.
Photo by Pedro da Silva on Unsplash
To sum up, I have made every single procrastination mistake you can possibly make, multiple times, over numerous years. I figured I was the queen of failure by the time I was in my 30’s. Consequently, making things happen was almost impossible for me, my motivation was non-existent and all that I could do was go from panic mode to panic mode in getting things done.
That is no way to live and no one should hate themselves for this kind of procrastination. For this reason, I will show you what I finally learned that made my brain switch.
On the whole, it was this quote:
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.”
This amazing quote led me to my aha moment. As a result, I have been able to relax my need to see the whole picture. Thus, I am able to do my work and only focus on one step at a time.
To sum up, fear can make us miss opportunities that are destined for us. It’s really sad if you go back and think of all the things you have not done because you let that fear win.
Don’t miss any more opportunities, take that first step, you don’t have to see the whole outcome, just the next activity. With that in mind, here are a few methods to help you overcome fear-based procrastination.
Methods to Get More Done
1. Reign in the fear
First, by calming your fears you will be able to move into action. I pretend that my fear is a dust cloud around me (energy) and I slowly with deep breaths bring that cloud back to my body. I then tell myself, “I am okay”, “I have my energy back”. Do this until your heart rate comes down and you feel calmer.
2. Get Prepped
Second, get yourself prepared by writing your goals or to-do list. Write what needs to happen first, then second, then third, etc. If a task is to large break it down into smaller steps.
Photo by Max Bender on Unsplash
3. Start the first task
Third, begin your to-do list by repeating,
“I only have to do this task first.”
As you go about doing your task and you find other distracting things you need to do, tell yourself,
“I will do that later, it will be okay.”
(write that task
Fourth, repeat the simple steps I mentioned with the next task. Always come back to deep breaths if you feel like stopping. I want to remind you that the more you practice this the easier it will get to do. It does get easier the more you do it, I promise.
5. One step at a time
Fifth, practice bringing your mind back to your task and DO NOT think about EVERYTHING you have to do. Every time you feel the fear of all the things you have to do, I want you to bring your mind back to the quote “I don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.”
Finally, being organized is about getting the things you need to do done when you need to do them. Remember, calm your fears about starting your to-do.
Then, organize your thoughts by prepping for them. Do things like write a to-do and if a task is to big break it down. After taking the first step, don’t focus on all you need to do, just the first task.
Continue with your task until you finish and then go on to the next one. And, if you become overwhelmed to try to imagine the energy cloud around you and bring it with deep breaths.
This next content piece is simply an addendum. Only read if you are procrastinating and I have failed, haha.
I didn’t finish my college courses because of procrastination. Now that I look back it was due to severe fear driven-anxiety. It’s such a shame and I wish I would have found that out and gotten help from someone. Check your emotions occasionally and try to get to the root of your fears and learn to let go of them. Life is too short to let fear rule your life and stop you from succeeding your dreams.
On A messy home
In typical ADHD fashion, my house was always super messy and cluttered. I just couldn’t get on top of my to-do’s. Everything overwhelmed me and unless, in a panic, I could not motivate myself. Having too much stuff can make your life hell. Try to get rid of stuff so that you can tackle more things. I am not even talking about minimalism, more like “you don’t use it, release it”. Getting rid of things is about having a new starting point. It releases visually what your mind is going through mentally. Happy tossing!
Kids are another major task. No mother ever wins the war against getting it all done. It will never be done, so relax and do what needs to be done and relax about the rest. Now that doesn’t mean have a messy house. It means you must choose what is important to you and be okay with the rest. To me having balance is spending one on one with each one of my kids, and maybe having a somewhat picked up house. I let go of all the other expectations, I don’t go out much but by choice. Do what you need to do and be okay with the rest.
(It was at this point that I lost about 500 words of my text and wanted to cry, but didn’t. I took a break and came back. )
Motivation will never appear when you are looking for it. It doesn’t work like that. Build motivation from the inside and take drive yourself to move. I tried looking for the magic motivation pill and never did find it. It was a myth! There are only hacks, hacks to get you moving. Be okay with that realization (mourn it even) but get back up and get moving.
I hope that you get moving on your to-do’s, don’t give up take one step at a time and you will get there. Be kind to yourself but keep moving forward. Remind yourself that it takes one step at a time.
Latest posts by Lucia Stakkestad (see all)
- 5 Self-Love Rules You Are Probably Breaking - January 25, 2022
- The Number One Reason You Should (Do) Journaling for Mental Health - August 26, 2021
- How Trauma Affects You: The Costs of Ignoring Trauma - August 18, 2021