The action of delaying or postponing something.
The four types of procrastination
The Busy Time Waster
The action of delaying or postponing something.
Today I have another treat for you guys. I am very excited to announce that Mecyll from Bitchy Chicken kindly graced us with a guest post on the blog. She covered one of my favorite topics: Procrastination. A big word for a big problem that slumbers somewhere inside every one of us. I don’t know about you, but I need all the help I can get on it.
So without further ado: Mecyll Jamila everyone!
You don’t know what to do next. You are overthinking, stressing yourself with a lot of unnecessary things in mind, and suffering from the countless frustrations in the past few years.
You don’t know why you keep on failing. You don’t have any idea why you become the magnet of painful failures with almost anything you do.
You don’t know why you don’t have the energy to hustle, to grind, to work on your own dreams today, tomorrow, and in the next day.
You haven’t noticed that you are already procrastinating in the last few days, thinking that you don’t know what to do at this hour.
Apparently, there are two unhealthy objects that are stuck in your head that block you from productivity. And I know you don’t know they existed. If you do, you failed to notice them. You’re too busy anyway.
These two are the perfect couple who will help you build that sturdy wall between you and your productiveness.
Literally, you don’t like to do that Etsy item or your clients’ blog layout design in fear that you might not satisfy your customers. You don’t like to risk working on your business blog, thinking that this won’t work anyway.
You don’t like to level up the experience with your husband or wife in bed because you’re scared he or she might not be okay with it. I bet.
In the past few days, Mr. Fear consumed me that I failed to write two guest posts. I feared that the site owners would reject my posts. So, I kept thinking, thinking, thinking for several days, which then turned into weeks, instead of writing these posts on the day they were assigned. It took me a week to gather myself up and wrote the blog posts.
Another instance happened. I should have started making more handmade journal designs to sell in our online shop. But then, Mr. Fear came again. It took me a week to scan Etsy and the craft sellers’ Instagram accounts.
Instead of saying, “Oh, that’s a good idea! I should make that one,” I said, “Oh, they made more beautiful journals because they have materials and they’re already big craft shops” and “Oh, what if they won’t like my sewing skills?”
At the same time, Mrs. Pride kept on telling me, “Hey, why should I do that? Who are they? They’re just small businesses anyway. They’re in Manila anyway.” My list of alibis went on and on until I became absolutely unproductive.
Because of this mind monster, I failed to start writing and crafting my next handmade journal. Again with Mrs. Pride’s influence, I failed to see the mistakes of my behavior and the outcomes it brought to our business and our blog.
Apparently, it took me a lot of courage to evaluate myself why I keep on failing in the last two years since I left my job and graduated in college. With courage and guts, I assessed my behavioral patterns.
Unfortunately, they all originated to Mr. Fear and Mrs. Pride’s huge influence on me. These are the two mind monsters that succumbed me to successive painful failures since 2014.
If you keep on listening to what these two mind monsters have to say, you won’t achieve anything. You’ll embrace status quo and suck in a lot of things you usually love doing.
You love to be in a handmade journal business, but you fear nobody will like your products. You want to produce music, but you fear nobody will love listening to it.
Your pride prevents you from being seen as a hustler. I’ll tell you my story.
I graduated in a top university in 2013 in the Philippines with almost flying colors. Literally, I could fill an 8-page resume. Obviously, pride was with me. “Who wouldn’t hire me anyway? I have a lot of leadership experiences and my grades were almost straight As” I said.
But then, everything changed when I started applying for jobs. Nobody hired me. My sister told me I was overqualified. I don’t know if it was a compliment, however, I was devastated.
Instead of teaching in a top school, I ended up teaching in a small private school, earning $100 per month and working for almost 100 hours per week for a year.
It was crushing. So, I left the job and studied German for months in Manila. My cousin told me that I should start teaching German in a language institute, given that I achieved 93 percent result and try applying for huge companies because she really thought many of them will hire me.
She even complimented me that with I’m the type of applicant I am, I can really guarantee to land a great job with a great payment to receive every single month.
I chose the status quo. I didn’t do anything. Instead, I returned to my hometown and stayed at home for months.
I started searching jobs online. But, nobody wanted to employ me. So, I started as a contributor at Lifehack and eventually, my works were noticed and I got hired by a news site. Mrs. Pride influenced me again. My head kept on saying, “I’m too great to work for only $250 per month.”
So, I kept on changing online writing jobs several times in a year. After months of working as a freelancer, I met a blogger named Hannah. She said she’s earning some bucks through it.
On the following months, I asked my fiance for some bucks to start my own blog, which he did. When I started it, however, I kept on experiencing dissatisfaction with what I’m doing. For months, I kept on studying how other bloggers do it.
I knew their tactics a hundred percent. But what prevented me from applying them? Guess what? It’s because of Mr. Fear.
I kept on changing blog names and niches in the past two years, wasted a lot of money buying domains and hosting, instead of focusing on that creative niche — journaling — that I started in early 2015.
With my indecisiveness, I decided to leave my job and started to run a small handmade business. I did for how long? Two months and I quit.
These mind monsters have made me suffer for a long time and prevented me from doing I really love. I usually quit when everything’s getting harder and sacrificial.
Because of this, I haven’t had an idea on what should be my focus and my business. I even forgot my real idea of my business. I was too blinded until my fiance told me recently, “I’m getting a shop in Waldshut (Germany) and registered the car to Bitchy Chicken’s initials.”
I was shocked. It triggered my desire to let go of these mind monsters Mr. Fear and Mrs. Pride.
Adhering to their principles certainly brought me to a lot of successive painful failures. In fact, it succumbed me to depression and suicidal attempts. They affected my work, my behavior, my attitude, and even my relationships.
With these experiences, I realized that I should let go of these two mind monsters and be productive. I should start moving forward.
I believe that procrastination is still inevitable. Yet, never allow these mind monsters consume you until such time you’re unable to move forward to your business goals.
Let me painful failures be your lesson. It wasn’t a joyful ride at all.
About the author:
Mecyll Jamila is a freelance online writer, a full-time blogger, and craftswoman at her business blog and shop Bitchy Chicken .
Let’s hear it! Did you enjoy the post as much as I did? How do you like to deal with Mr. Fear and Mrs. Pride? Let me know in the comments and make sure to check out Bitchy Chicken for more of Mecyll and her creative work.
Have you ever had one of those days where you just thought “I can’t do this anymore. I am going to quit. I am going to quit right now.“ ? I know I have. But quitting is the easy part. The hard part is having to live with yourself after you have quit. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of things that are worth quitting. However, you should never quit anything just because you had a “blanket-over-your-head” kind of day. Especially not something you have a passion for and worked hard on.
What you should do instead is unwind. Recharge your batteries and free up your mind. I have talked about the power of “Doing nothing” in an older post if you remember. So if you want to know more about the reasons why doing nothing can boost your productivity, feel free to read it. Today, though, I want to show you HOW to take care of yourself and unwind after a stressful day.
Some of these tasks require only 5, some can even take you up to 30 minutes. It doesn’t matter. If you’re in the rabbit hole it doesn’t help to rush yourself. Take as much time as you need to climb out of it. I swear by every one of these tactics. Let’s see if you can find one that suits you best.
This is one of those short tasks. But effective nonetheless. I love tea but in this case, it is not about the beverage itself (gladly replace with coffee etc.). The important thing is that you take a few minutes, go into the kitchen and prepare your beverage. Sometimes a few minutes can be enough to free your mind and refocus.
Hot showers can be one of the most relaxing things. And for me they are also the place where my mind can wander and I can really think about important decisions, world peace and the universe. This is a moment you completely have to yourself without any major distractions. So just be naughty and leave the hot shower on for a little longer than you should. 😉
Also a big relaxer for me. Painting my nails is my form of manual labor (trust me, you wouldn’t want me holding a hammer. Things could happen). It’s a task that does not require thinking and therefore gives your brain a much-needed break.
Everybody knows, that watching TV shows is pretty much my favorite thing in the world. If we’re being honest we should probably call it an addiction. BUT it is not without merit. Watching TV can help you turn off your brain. It is 45 minutes of losing yourself in the ups and downs of someone else’s life for a change.
I love to use mediation as a 5 to 10-minute break in between stressful tasks. It helps me fully relax in a short amount of time and refresh my energy levels. Personally, I use guided meditation because I still need a voice to concentrate on. However, after time I would love to be able to meditate anywhere and without guidance. We’ll see how it goes.
I do this almost every day after work. Specifically, after a stressful day, it helps me relax and turn my attention to simple tasks like chopping onions or frying a fish. And if the result turns out good, I even have a sense if accomplishment. Win-win 😃
I don’t have to keep praising naps to you. But seriously, you should try them. They are the best thing. Always and forever. 😉
Remember the old days where writing in your journal was a must-do before going to sleep? Well, I don’t know about you but I just simply don’t have the time and energy now to do this every day. But once in a while, particularly after a hard day, I like to open up my journal and write about the struggles I had. It helps me to get closure and start fresh the next morning.
I definitely don’t take enough time to just sit on the couch and enjoy a good book. A few years ago I basically switched to audio books because it gave me the opportunity to listen to a story whilst still being able to do something productive. So in my case it has been more multitasking than relaxing, to be honest. However, after a particularly stressful day last week I found myself on the couch at half past 10 with a book in my hands and the candles burning. Let me tell you, it was the most relaxing half hour of the whole week. I forgot how totally awesome it is to lose yourself fully in a story and be able to turn on your imagination. I am now going to make it a habit of reading more before bed.
If you haven’t lived under a rock in the last year, you have probably heard about adult coloring books. The need for this seemed strange to me at first. But research has actually proven that coloring can help reduce stress and anxiety. By now, there are numerous coloring books on the market. Some even made it on the Amazon bestsellers list with titles like “Stress Relieving patterns” or “Color me Calm: 100 Coloring Templates for Meditation and Relaxation“.
I will be honest with you, I have not purchased any of these books. What I did do however, is get my old “Kids Mandala” book out of the closet and tried out this tactic. And it worked! Combined with a good audio book, I had an hour of total relaxation all to myself. And I loved it so much that I am now seriously contemplating buying the “real deal”.
I used to love puzzling as a kid. I could spend hours and hours just putting together the pieces until a beautiful picture arose. Like drawing, puzzling can reduce stress since you are focusing your attention solely on the task in front of you. Sounds great to me 🙂
I’ll admit, not one of my favorite activities. But exercising does help you to relieve stress and clear your mind. To unwind after a stressful day you don’t need to hit the gym for a two-hour workout (don’t let me stop you though). According to the Harvard Medical School, 30-40 minutes of walking can do the trick and relieve stress.
I personally like to do this before bed time. I have a little note on my phone that I renew every once in a while. Especially when I had a crap day or feel like I didn’t accomplish enough, this helps to ground me. It just puts everything into perspective and makes you realize what you do have instead of constantly thinking about the things you don’t. I sleep better after this.
Another “manual labor” task that really helps me to unwind. For me as a productivity addict this is just perfect because it still gives me the feeling of accomplishing something and using my time well, whilst bing able to shut my brain off for a while.
I like to combine this tactic with #14 a lot. Listening to a podcast, much as watching a TV show just forces you to think about something else. I feel, especially with having your earphones on, you get the opportunity to not just shut the world off for a while, but also shut up those little voices in your head. Very refreshing.
After a hard day, talking to someone about it and then chit chatting away can be very relaxing. I am a typical girl and can be on the phone for hours. However, if this isn’t you, don’t worry you can use this tactic without spending5 hours a day on the phone. Just call a friend or your mom for 10 to 15 minutes and that can already do the trick.
Folding laundry is probably one of the most boring chores. Again, it is a task where no brain power is needed and that’s what makes it so perfect to unwind after a stressful day.
If you’ve never turned up the volume on the stereo and started dancing like a maniac in the middle of your living room (preferably in your underwear), you are completely missing out. Dancing is one of the best stress reliefs there is. And I don’t care how sophisticated you have to be in your professional life, sometimes you gotta go a little crazy to feel sane. Try it, I dare you!
This task has a similar effect as #13. It’s definitely a feel-good tactic, as you are reminded of everything that is amazing in life. It also helps me put my time management into perspective. After a bad and stressful day, it’s safe to say that you probably didn’t do enough of the things you love. Maybe tomorrow should be used differently.
There is some truth to the saying that clutter not only fills up your house but also the space in your head. A good sorting out of Shirts and Shorts can be so liberating. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t do this once a week. But every few weeks when I feel like I am drowning in stuff and thoughts, I like to clean out a drawer just to feel organized and make space for something new.
Now I wanna hear from you. What are your favorite ways to unwind after a stressful day? Do you do any of the tasks above or are there other tactics you love doing? Please share and let’s chat in the comments!
Whenever I don’t feel like working but kinda wanna be productive, I watch TED. It gives me the feeling of doing something for myself and learning something valuable. There are hundreds of amazing TED Talks out there by now. However, they don’t always apply to me or don’t peak my interest that much. For me, I love watching the empowering talks about success, creativity, and productivity. They almost always leave me feeling inspired and wanting to work and create. So yes, they are the perfect procrastination stopper. So today I have compiled my favorite TED Talks for you guys that I believe can not only change they way you work but also change your way of thinking. Enjoy 🙂
Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of “Eat, Pray, Love”, talks about not only how you can overcome failure and get the motivation to carry on, but also how success can put you in a very disoriented place. She explains how this place is a state of mind very similar to failure and how you can come back to the thing you love doing the most.
This inspiring and eye-opening talk by David Kelley teaches us that the world is not divided into creative and non-creative people. Each one of us has a creative side in us. Through stories from his personal life and his design career, Kelley talks about the reasons people lose their belief in their own creativity and how this creativity can be build up back up again.
In this short but valuable speech, Arianna Huffington talks about the importance of a good nights sleep. You think this sounds strange coming from a woman of such great success? Well, so did I. But in her own words: “The way to a more productive, more inspired, more joyful life is getting enough sleep”. As the founder of one of the most influential and powerful blogs, Arianna must know what she’s talking about, right? Believe me, after listening to her talk, you will be going to bed early tonight.
In this very innovative speech, illustrator Rilla Alexander talks about the difference between having an idea and actually executing it. I am sure, we’ve all been there. Daydreaming of an idea, maybe even planning the execution, but never getting the real work done. Step by step Alexander guides us through the different stages of ideas coming to live.
Heather Payne talks about how she got her project “Ladies learning Code” off the ground and emphasises the importance of momentum for every big idea. She says that “momentum is like a fire, you always have to be fueling it”. Through telling the story of how her own project started, she basically just makes it a point that you need to get the word out there about your idea and then keep working on it until it becomes a full-time endeavour.
Leah Busque is the founder of the errand service “TaskRabbit”. With her experience of starting a successful business, she shares 5 big lessons in this talk that sum up her philosophy and made her get where she is now. In a nutshell, she believes that you should share your idea with every single person you meet, network and surround yourself with people that share your vision. Furthermore, she emphasises the importance of taking small steps in your process of revolutionising the world.
Probably one of the shortest TedTalks with an enormous amount of information and value. In 3 minutes and 26 seconds, Richard St. John explains the 8 secrets to gain success. Believe me, luck isn’t one of them.
That is it for today’s post. I hope you enjoyed these empowering talks and got some inspiration and motivation from them. What are some of your favorite TED Talks? Let’s chat in the comments.