Procrastination is something I believe we all struggle with at some point and I am no different. It’s been very prevalent for me at the moment but it’s something that I have been trying to get better at. In today’s post, I’m going to be discussing my relationship with procrastination and how I have found a quick tip to help me combat it.
Something I talked about briefly in my recent quarterly goals post was the two-minute rule and for those who don’t know about it, it’s a rule that has been around for many years that simply gets you to do smaller tasks that should take two minutes or less. In doing this, it means that you try and get those smaller tasks done right then and there, leaving less room for procrastination.
I know why I do it, and it’s not so simple to explain. I have dealt with perfectionism for so many years; meaning that certain tasks that I do, have to be perfect. For example, I wasn’t happy with only cleaning one room of my house, it had to be the entire house or nothing at all. It’s that all-or-nothing thinking that came into play and that would take over so much that I didn’t see the point in cleaning at all if I couldn’t do it all at once. It sounds ridiculous when you read it, right? But that how I seen so many tasks for years; from school work to absolutely anything I got involved with and it stayed into my adult life.
We’ll take cleaning the house as an example for this, I would procrastinate cleaning because I told myself that I had to wait until I had a full free day to clean the house. When I was working, that day only happened at the weekend but sometimes I would be doing other things at that time and by the time the work week had rolled around again, I didn’t have time. The cycle then began again waiting for the “perfect time” to clean an entire house and when that time did eventually come, I couldn’t clean it all in one day by myself so I became angry and frustrated.
(Photograph from Pexels.com)
With this cycle never ending, I became annoyed at myself but after talking to my therapist and having heard her say this a lot, I knew I was being too hard on myself. I knew something had to change but change is very hard sometimes, especially when you’re doing something for such a long time. I decided to implement the two-minute rule into small sections of my life and I want to share a few examples of how I have done this:
Making my bed in the morning.
I talked about this briefly in the goals post but it’s something that is so simple that it almost seems silly that I put it off. This doesn’t even take one minute to do, never mind two. As soon as I get up in the morning, I make the bed because it can be so tempting to get back in after breakfast. Plus, there’s no better feeling than getting into a made bed in the evening.
Washing the dishes after I have used them.
Not exactly two minutes depending on what you have cooked, but I find it much easier to do the dishes straight away rather than wait until the evening or the next morning. I would be really lazy and they would end up sitting for days, it made the kitchen look very bland and not as fresh. I’ve started to feel more organised getting them washed, dried and most of the time, put away too.
Prepping vegetables for a main meal.
I tend to stick to a small selection of meals so I know the exact portions of vegetables I need for each one and that really helps when I’m going to the shops to get what I need. Now, I tend to cut up my vegetables a few hours after buying them and putting them into boxes in the fridge or freezer. It means when I come to making the meal that day or even the next day, it’s very easy to put the already chopped vegetables, into the pot and start the process. This takes longer than two minutes, depending on the amount, but it’s a rhythm I’ve been loving lately.
It’s so strange to imagine how a few simple changes to your routine can make such an impact but it does. I don’t have a complete day routine as of yet but those changes definitely help with building it up again. It’s also made me realise that I don’t need to clean the entire kitchen in a few hours, I can take it little by little and still feel good about it. Being a perfectionist, it has been hard but it’s all about working through that, isn’t it?
Let me know if you’ve ever used this technique before or if you have a better one I can try, I’m all about trial-and-error with these type of things. Thank you for reading today’s post!