“Karen’s Noggin’ 🧠 Nuggets” #30 ~ October 13, 2022
YOU KNOW IT’S A TOUGH DAY WHEN YOU WANT TO CLEAN TOILETS!
How to get the things done that you are putting off!
What are you putting off? You know that thing that you keep ignoring but it keeps showing up and at times overwhelms your thoughts, but you can’t muster up the energy, find the desire or fortitude to tackle it. Struggling with undiagnosed ADHD and even when you are finally diagnosed, you can find yourself procrastinating with the best of them! I’ve had years of practice at putting things off and I can procrastinate so much that whatever it is eventually dying from a slow death from no attention from me.
The crazy thing is things you would think would motivate me don’t necessarily drive me and positive and negative reinforcement doesn’t do it at times. Telling myself, I’m a ‘do it now person has some effect but not when it comes to tasks that leave me feeling overwhelmed just by thinking about them.
You find yourself thinking, ‘hey I could go clean the toilets. What? Are you crazy Karen? You think of everything else you could do instead of what you probably need to do. That one thing that’s on your back and sucking the life out of your brain! That’s what procrastination does…it’s a brain sucker!
Why do I tell myself I’m going to do this or that? And then I don’t do it. Am I sabotaging myself or just struggling to say ‘no’ this is not what I’m going to do. Or is it a situation where I just need to put my ADHD Executive Function Thinking Hat on and just do it?
My procrastination right now that I’m dealing with is regarding getting some paperwork done. And here I am writing a blog instead. I have been given this new gift of writing and it’s something I have a passion to do that I believe can help people by sharing my knowledge and experience. I’m loving it. However, there are still other things I need to do.
Researchers have found that chronic procrastination is linked to some bad stuff. Low self-confidence, low energy, and even depression. Even the Bible has something to say about procrastination. Procrastination is a destroyer of blessings. It can rob you of self-confidence, reliability, and personal peace. In Proverbs, the Bible says, “Slack habits and sloppy work are as bad as vandalism.” Proverbs 18:9 MSG. Yikes! Since we’re not going down that path again, let’s find out what we can do about it.
Laurie had some great teaching about motivation in one of our classes at https://www.iactcenter.com/ let’s learn from an expert on overcoming the brain-sucking monkey on our backs!
Don’t Wait for Motivation. There’s a Better Way to Get Things Done.
Do you want to be productive? Do you want to experience the satisfaction of getting things done?
If you want to experience productivity and the satisfaction of completion, two current trains of thought abound.
The first, more popular option is motivating yourself to do it.
The second somewhat unpopular choice is to take action and simply do it.
What’s the difference?
When we put motivation first, we assume that a particular mental or emotional state is necessary to complete a task.
Just taking action doesn’t rely on our moods or feelings to make things happen. Completing the task happens with or without it.
Just taking action may be a massive paradigm shift for many with ADHD but consider the payoffs.
Taking action first puts the horse in front of the cart. Taking action inevitably results in satisfaction with completing the task and high motivation to continue.
Put another way; you don’t wait for the mood to strike; you create the mood by first acting. Waiting until you feel like doing it is just backward.
When acting is conditional on how we feel, we can be waiting for a long time. Oh wait, I think there is already a word for this, procrastination.
Waiting for motivation to strike can leave us waiting for a very long time.
By putting the feelings after the actions, we will get things done whether we feel like it or not. And maybe, just maybe, the inspiration, energy, and motivation we have wanted will come afterward.
Because life in the real world occasionally requires us to do things that nobody would be enthusiastic about, waiting for “motivation” to hit before we do them can have us twiddling our thumbs for a long time.
There are simply things we will have to do that will never feel exciting, passionate, or motivating to do. Never once have I eagerly anticipated cleaning the toilet. Never. Waiting for motivation to magically occur with some tasks is akin to psychological abuse.
The worst thing that can happen if you simply go ahead and do it is to complete the task and never experience being motivated. But maybe, just maybe, you will enjoy the satisfaction of getting it done.
There is another practical problem with putting motivation before action. It has a short shelf life and needs constant refreshing. Motivation is like those wind-up toys that continually need to be reset to keep moving. As an answer for long-term productivity, it’s just not dependable.
By contrast, merely acting has the potential as us experience productivity to energize us.
Motivation is trying to feel like doing something. Acting is doing it even if you don’t feel like it.
The good feelings come afterward.
Waiting to be motivated is counterproductive when we want to be productive and get things done. What counts is that we act.
Once again, amazing advice from my instructor. Thank you, Laurie!
For the record, before I finished this blog, I did that paperwork I was putting off. I had great success with it, and I was even able to do more than I thought I could do. It felt great! The feeling I was looking for at the beginning showed up after I just got started doing it. Now, what are you going to just do and know the feelings you want will show up?
I forgot that Laurie had mentioned cleaning toilets in her explanation of motivation, and I had already given this blog the title. Too funny! I’m proud to say that those toilets did not get cleaned today. They will wait for their time for me to give them my attention and not a minute before!
For more information on this subject and/or if you would like to work with a Life Coach to work through some struggles or have someone beside you as you navigate this life, contact me at https://happybrainlifecoach.com/
Thank you for reading “Karen’s Noggin’ 🧠 Nuggets” #30 ~ October 13, 2022
2 thoughts on “YOU KNOW IT’S A TOUGH DAY WHEN YOU WANT TO CLEAN TOILETS! ~ How To Get The Things Done That You Are Putting Off!”
Great points, Karen. “Motivation” is actually a weak motivator, it turns out. At some point, if there’s a task in front of us, we need to say, “Hello task, I’m here.”
We can pretend the task staring right into our eyeballs doesn’t exist, but that doesn’t change the fact that it does exist.
We can clean the toilets while the task is sitting in the waiting room, tapping its foot impatiently and rolling its eyes as we try scheme after scheme to stall the inevitable until we’re “ready.”.
But the truth is we’re NEVER going to be ready!
Thanks Merle 😊
You also make some great points!
I appreciate you taking the time to read it and also your nice comments.