Do you ever take a look at what you need to do and find a reason (or a hundred) to put it off for another day? I find myself doing that from time to time. I’ll think that before I can do this, I need to finish up that other thing. It’s normal, and natural but it’s not really helping us. Show of hands-how many have chosen an area of focus and picked their top three things that need to be done daily in that area? How many have started doing those three things? If you haven’t yet started, what’s holding you back? Are you waiting for just the right moment to get started? Maybe there are a few things you’d like to have done before starting? I’m going to let you in on a little secret – there will never be a perfect moment to start. There will always be one thing waiting to be done, or the timing will always be just a little off. It’s time to stop waiting and just simply start where you are.
There is Never a Perfect Moment
The biggest hurdle to any new routine or system isn’t the time it takes to implement. It’s not the daily tracking. Nor is it the effort we put into it. Nope, the biggest hurdle for many of us is simply getting started. That first step can be the toughest step to take. Not because it’s hard, but because it is the first! There always seems to be a reason a wait.
- Work is crazy busy right now, I can’t possibly start a new routine until things settle down.
- I can’t worry about finding time for anything until I get my home organized.
- I can’t start a new exercise routine until I can afford a gym membership and some better workout clothes.
The list of reasons for not being able to start something are as long and varied as the people who have them. There is no right here and there is no wrong. But there is a little secret I want to let in on – that perfect moment for starting something new doesn’t exist. There will NEVER be a perfect moment, something else will always come up. If you want to reclaim your life, or at the very least take back your time, then you need to simply START! Start where you are right at this moment. I know it’s tough. Believe me I know! But today, we’re going to talk about just that, and I’ve got a tip that has worked wonders for me.
Start Where You Are Right Now
I struggled with this concept. No , that’s not the complete truth. I fought this concept – tooth and nail – for the longest time. It never made sense to try building a new routine into an area that needed work. Despite that being the reason for a new routine. I would try waiting for that perfect moment and it never came so I never started. It can be hard to jump that hurdle, but once you do you’ll find that it gets easier to do it next time.
The first thing I do when I’m stalling on a new project or putting off getting something done, is to do a brain dump. I grab a few pieces of paper and a pen and I just start writing. I run through a list of questions until I just can’t think of any more answers.
- why can’t I start?
- what do I need to do before I start?
- in an ideal world, what would my starting point look like?
- how will starting this benefit me
Writing the answers down helps to get those thoughts and worries out my head. Sometimes I just simply think about what I’m procrastinating and just write what ever comes to mind. Clearing the head is a great way to get over road blocks. You can see what you’re thinking and come up with ways to work with it or around it if need be.
My next trick is to set a timer. I know many time management experts and gurus suggest using a timer. It is a great tool to have in your arsenal when you’re trying to reclaim your life and take back your time. It will help hold you accountable for your time, and it can often help you realize that some of those tasks you keep putting off, don’t take nearly as long as you think they do. But I like to take things in small steps. So rather than setting aside big chunks of time, I set aside small ones. 5 minutes!
You would be surprised at what you can accomplish in 5 minutes
In just five minutes you can:
- clear junk from your email
- sweep the floor
- tidy up a room
- straighten your desk
- dance your heart out to your favourite song
- pay a bill
- read a story with your kiddos
- hold a yoga pose
- unload the dishwasher
- send that email
- confirm a meeting
- start the laundry
- fold some laundry
- have a tickle fight with your kiddos
- sip some coffee and just breath
- wash some dishes
- do some jumping jacks or other quick exercise
The point is to start. I’ll give you a great example – have you ever heard of Fly Lady? I stumbled across her site a number of years ago when I was trying to get a handle on keeping our tiny house tidy and clean. If you opt to follow her system, one of the first steps she has you do is shine your sink. She tells you to empty the sink if it’s full. NOT wash your dishes, just empty the sink. Then give it a good cleaning until it shines. Doesn’t matter if those dishes are piled up on the counter. Doing the dishes wasn’t the point, the point was to just simply start and not let those dirty dishes stop you.
What are your dirty dishes? What’s holding you back? My biggest hurdle has always been the timing. I’m trying to embrace the saying, better late than never. This post is a prime example of that. It’s now 11:12 pm on the 5th. It’s passed my bed time. I could have save this post for tomorrow. The world won’t end if I skip a day right? But, in all honesty I couldn’t put this post off waiting for the right time to post it when today it so neatly fit in with what I wanted to talk about. Jumping in and doing, even if it’s not the perfect time to do it! How could I write about that, if I myself was willing put off writing it until the time was right? So, for the third day in a row I’m getting the post out late, but that’s ok – they’re going out and that is what is important. I’m sure there will be spelling mistakes and typos that I did catch on my read through, I can fix those tomorrow though.
If we wait for the perfect time we’ll never get anything done. So today, (or tonight) give some thought to starting where you are at right now. Don’t wait for the elusive right moment. Choose this moment! You deserve it. You can do it!
I’d love to hear from hear your thoughts – what holds you back from starting? Do you have a trick you use to get started when you don’t think the time is right?