A Coaching Power Tool created by Debra Y. Graham
(ADHD Coach, UNITED STATES)
Just do it! Nike®
To “do”, is to engage in a thought or activity. When a person engages they are moving forward to accomplish their desired goal. We all have wonderful fantasies, thoughts and desires but without doing them they remain just thoughts, and can quickly turn into frustrations and lack of self-esteem.
Our lives can be rich and full but without doing we can’t move forward and experience life fully. Even if we fail, and our outcome isn’t as successful as expected, the act of “doing” is where we grow and gain our strength. To obtain any goal we must “do”.
Not as easy as it seems? Perhaps not. The other perspective is to avoid or “procrastinate”. Procrastination is defined as to put off doing something, postpone action, and drag one’s feet or taking one’s time. Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing something.
Initially, procrastination feels wonderful and freeing and that you’re getting away with something, but the underlying truth is that it’s quickly followed by quilt and a lack of self worth. As human beings, we all procrastinate from time to time—putting off our work until the very last moment. We all procrastinate in order to push aside the stress we are feeling toward a certain task, and or to avoid doing something that we don’t find enjoyable. However, by procrastinating, we actually create more stress for ourselves later, and the consequences of procrastination can affect not only the quality of the eventual outcome of your work, but also can affect your well-being.
- What can motivate us to “do”, rather than avoid?
- How do we “do” when the possibility of an unfavorable outcome is a possibility?
- What are we fearful of to initiate the process?
- Do we have a desire or fear for perfection that can’t be achieved, so we avoid?
- What is our hurdle and how can we gracefully glide over this obstacle?
- What are some tools that would be helpful to keep us on track?
- Can we break down the task to smaller tasks that will be less daunting?
Common procrastinators scenario:
It’s Sunday night and the workload sitting on your desk has remained untouched for the entire weekend. You know that if you don’t commit and “buckle down” to doing the work, the outcome will not be favorable with your professor or superior. Knowing the tedious work that lies ahead, you start surfing the web for a vacation spot for the holiday season thinking it will be a few minutes, however, three hours later, the workload remains untouched, and you wonder where the time went! Due to procrastination, you are going to have to give up valuable family time, burn the midnight oil, accept the current of anxiety starting to flow and hopefully stay sharp enough to do an acceptable job.
It’s important to remember that with each seemingly relaxing distraction you gravitate towards, pushing off the task only increases your stress regarding the work at hand. Visualize for a moment that you have completed your work responsibilities early, freeing up valuable time to spend with family and friends, stress and quilt free, light and fabulous! We must to learn how to, “do” and stop “procrastinating”!
Almost 20% of the population suffers from “chronic” procrastination. Many people strive for a peaceful sense of well-being, the capacity to accomplish goals and the ability to share and be well thought of by others. However, when we don’t believe that we can achieve something, we use procrastination to set ourselves up for failure and blame. This method leads to frustration, lack of self-esteem, confidence and motivation: Why should I even try? Each time you procrastinate, stress is increased because of the time constraints that you are putting on yourself. Consciously, we know that the task at hand wouldn’t be as painful if we did it immediately, but our subconscious remembers the stress from previous bouts of procrastination, and makes us want to push it off further.
What we CAN do to prevent ourselves from procrastinating?
Stop procrastination model:
- Break down the goal to “mini goals” and tasks.
Michelangelo didn’t create, the David in a day. He had to chip away at the slab of marble to finally reveal a beautiful sculpture.
- Set up a realistic time based calendar for each mini goal.
Example - Tell yourself that you are doing to do ¼ of the work between 12:30-2:30, and then reward yourself by taking a 30-minute, guilt-free break.
Double the time you think the tasks will take. Most likely if you are a seasoned procrastinator your sense of time might not be as realistic as it needs to be.
- Commit to the plan!
Get enthused about the commitment! It will make it easier to start!
- Be accountable to someone for each mini goal.
Choose a friend, co-worker or boss to be accountable to.
- Say good-by to distractions.
--- With a constant stream of entertainment always available, comes the constant temptation of distraction. To get work done more efficiently, turn off the computer, the TV, and the radio.
Set up yourself in a comfortable work setting
- Do it!
Set a timer at the beginning of each session for 30-45 minute intervals.
- Reward yourself!
Whatever makes you smile, you did it!
Revel in the new history you have created for yourself and tap into it in future goals to come!
Think of Nike®, you have to tell yourself to just do it!