Eat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day. -Mark Twain
We all know that person, heck – many of us may BE that person, who always waits until the last minute to get things done.
I get it! There is just something about having a bit of pressure that can be exactly what you need to get the creative juices flowing, or it’s that push to finally ORGANIZE all the thoughts you have running around in your mind and get things done.
But it’s not truly working for you.
At least, it wasn’t working for me, and that’s why we are going to chat about it.
So, before I get started, I am going to get a trendy sound bite stuck in your head. I’m sorry in advance because I know it will get stuck in your head like ALL DAY…
Raise your hand procrastinator and sing it with me. It’s me,
hi, I’m the problem, it’s me!
Even if you aren’t a Swifty, I know you have been on TikTok or Instagram long enough that you heard that more than you read it.
You’re the “problem”, but don’t worry… it’s not REALLY a problem. We just have to shift the way we look at goals and to do’s, and start putting in place success strategies to help get you out of that high stress cycle.
Ribbit – Eat that frog momma!
Are you an avid reader? I'm not, but trying. However if you are, or if you are looking for some motivation and direction on, “here’s how you get more done!” I cannot recommend enough the highly regarded book Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy. The idea of the book is pretty simple, do the thing that you least want to do FIRST, so that everything else is something you look forward to.
At least, you look forward to more than the thing you least wanted to do!
I have to tell you, I love the idea of eating the frog, well … the analogy, because the idea of eating a frog makes me want to jump out of my skin. But what if it isn’t practical?
What if you aren’t the person who can just sit down and do the big, scary task first thing in the morning?
For whatever reason. Maybe you’re like me and you have kids that need your attention, fed, get ready, and then homeschool, or even just rushing out the door to get them to school. Setting aside a big block of time first thing in your day isn’t something that would work for you in this season.
You could be the person need to accomplish something quickly to get your brain wired for success? Like little accomplishments just so you can check them off the list. (I’m picturing the mom who writes on their To Do List, “Make To Do List” simply so they have the satisfaction of checking that box off. No shame in that game! It’s one less thing to do that day. CHECK!)
Even when we know that getting the things that NEED to be done, done, not only is important in your day but also feels really good, we can still find ourselves in the procrastination loop.
The truth is that procrastination is a lie we tell ourselves when we are either avoiding doing something OR we aren’t laying the foundation for success in giving the important things in our lives adequate time to be done well.
Break the stress cycle
While I love the tips laid out in Eat That Frog, I will readily admit that they don’t always translate in the world of motherhood, work and entrepreneurship (well in motherhood COMBINED with work and entrepreneurship).
Sometimes, the frog must wait for business hours to be done before it can be addressed or consumed if you will.
For me, the frog usually isn’t work, instead, it can come in the form of avoiding the laundry sitting in the basket ready to be folded (or the pile I created that isn't even in a basket) and put away, maybe it’s distracting myself with tasks during the day (even work) and avoiding the dinner hours causing a rabid scramble to figure out what to cook, it may even be lacking the motivation to work out or opting for a little more sleep.
See, it’s not about needing pressure to get the job done, it’s more about not placing adequate priority on the things that need to get done. The things that may not be as engaging, glamorous, or “fun”. Avoiding the tasks that are mundane or challenging. Procrastinating.
Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well. -Philip Stanhope
So, if you feel like you are putting things off, I encourage you to prioritize the things you need to be doing. And think of the things that you don’t need to be doing, maybe not at all or maybe YOU don’t need to be doing them, someone else can do them for you. Many hands make light work after all.
Maybe you can say so long social media (is that even a possibility?!)
Maybe you ditch the book club or the extracurricular activities that add more stress
Maybe you hire a cleaner or you opt for a laundry service (I know this isn't cheap)
Maybe you make a meal plan and a grocery list on rotate each month instead of winging it
Maybe you hire a virtual assistant to take care of the little things in your business (this is so affordable surprisingly)
MAYBE you take a break
Ultimately, if you find yourself waiting until the last minute to get things done you’ve either got too much on the go (but who doesn’t as a mom), OR you aren’t fully convinced that what you are putting off is worth … putting on. And maybe that’s what needs to change.
Ultimately, my tip for ending your fantasy that you do better under pressure is to take the pressure off. I don’t necessarily buy that moms WANT to put things off until the last minute. It’s usually that there are so many things on the go that putting something off, that CAN be done later, happens by way of just doing all the other things instead.
So, take the pressure of the things that do not matter, off. Don’t do them. They don’t matter anyway.
Instead, do the things that matter and do them well.
And spend quality time doing them, because they matter. In big, and little ways. Trust me, no one will notice the crumbs in your drawer or the pillow that isn’t properly fluffed. Karate chop!
They probably won’t even notice the fact that you missed the Instagram target of posting every 37 seconds in order to stay relevant. This is a big one for me!
What they will notice, is the air of confidence you bring now that you’ve off loaded the unnecessary weight of doing it ALL, and you can focus on doing it WELL and enjoying yourself and your life in the process.
Moms are probably the busiest ladies I know, juggling all the things while raising children, house work, work and even maybe growing a businesses. It’s amazing and I forever in awe of the various ways that ladies manage the workload and expectations. It is my hope that, if you find yourself in the cycle of procrastination you can come to realize it’s not truly you.
You’re not the problem. Even if I did get that soundbite in your head. So often we pick up so much that we don’t even realize that there are things that we can put down because they no longer matter.
If you find yourself procrastinating, take a mental inventory of all the balls in the air and consider if some of them can be put down for a season so that you can focus on the ones that glitter and wow. The ones that matter.
You’ve got this! I believe in you.