How are you going Melbourne friends?
It’s a hard time for all, with stage 4 lockdowns and 8pm curfews, it can be overwhelming, but we can get through this because we as humans are resilient. We have the strength to come back from any setbacks that we may face. Remember you are not alone, and please reach out to someone if you are struggling.
Last week, I wrote on leaning into isolation and how as we accept this time rather than fight against it, we can come out changed. As we lean into the pain and discomfort that we may experience, we can come out on the other side transformed because we have gone beyond out comfort zone.
It’s no secret that we all love to live inside out comfort zone bubbles. We’re safe and protected in there. Easily able to defend ourselves from changes and new experiences that may come our way. However, are you really living if you are living this way?
It took a lot for me to step beyond the invisible boundary I had set up for myself. It meant I had to deal with a lot of things that were causing me unknown pain. They were the things that, in reality were holding me back for quite some time. As I acknowledge the pain, that I was in fact causing myself, I experienced a healing and freedom like never before.
I asked you last week, what is your motivation to change? For me, it was to become my authentic self. Giving myself the permission, space and freedom to be who I’m called to be. It was about letting go of the pressure, the perfectionism and the procrastination that would often stop me in my tracks.
So what was my secret to turning from a procrastination queen to a productivity queen?
As I said, I needed to first recognise that procrastination was a problem for me. Easy right? Not at all. It took awhile to acknowledge that sometimes my procrastination was because of fear. Fear of failure, yet also of success.
Second, it was developing a mindset around the urge to procrastinate. I would go and sit in front of my computer and at the start of the day I just had to tell myself I can’t follow the urge or desire to procrastinate today.
To ensure I stayed distraction free, I started using the Pomodoro method of time management. If you haven’t heard of it before, I encourage you to go and read all about it.
Now because I was quite prone to getting distracted and procrastinating, I found this method really helpful. Working for 25 minutes, then taking a five minute break really helped me to focus on the task at hand. I especially loved the fact that after every fourth break, I allowed myself to take a longer 15 to 30 minute break.
During these breaks I would stretch, make a cuppa or just take a walk to the mailbox and back for some fresh air. It helped curb my procrastination urge as whenever I would begin to get distracted, I would look at my timer and realise ‘oh I only have five more minutes of work until I can look at Instagram, I’ll just push through.’ Alternatively, if I was completely blank, I would sit there and do nothing. Those were my only two options.
If you work out, think of this method as interval training.
- Set your task
- Set your timer. If 25 minutes is intimidating, start with 5 minutes on and then have a 1 minute break and slowly increase it from there.
- If you’re in the middle of the task and you want to procrastinate and your break hasn’t come up yet, you have a choice to make. Either sit there and do nothing, or push into your discomfort and continue doing the task at hand.
- When the time goes off, have your break. YAY!
- Repeat it until the task is complete.
You can train for several intervals over one to two hours and then take a longer break at the end of it. Then start the whole process again.
It really helped me to get a lot done throughout my day and taught me to push through the urge to procrastinate and ignore any distractions that would come my way. It also helped popping my phone on to do not disturb.
On the other side of the spectrum you might be someone who’s motivation comes from helping others. You might be working out because you want to be an example to those around you. Maybe you are studying medicine because you want to help others walk through hard times in life. You might be a counsellor because you want to teach and give others the advice you may not have had in your life. If you motivation comes from a passion to help people, use this as your ‘Why’ to keep going, to keep pressing on towards the goal and to change up your own habits.
Celebrate your success and you failures
Time and time again, so many of us make the mistake that when we mess up, we give up because we end up discouraged. We give up developing the discipline in our life because we failed. We think it’s too hard and this lie stops us from developing period.
Here’s the thing though, that failure is actually your victory in disguise.
Failure means you tried. It means that you stepped out and took the chance. You felt the fear and did it anyway. It also means you learnt something about yourself that you didn’t know beforehand.
Don’t let failure stop you in your tracks to success.
Discipline takes time, it takes courage and it is going to take a few failed attempts until you get it right. And you know what – that’s OK!
No matter the result, take it as an opportunity to learn, grow and develop within that area of your life.
If you fail, breathe, let go of the discouragement and see it as a victory. Then, get up, regroup and keep going. You know what didn’t work before, so adjust your perspective, adjust your routine and try again. Try it at a different time of day, get a workout buddy, anything that will help you dust yourself off and try again.
Often something that can stop us is that we don’t see ourselves worthy of getting the support we need. We see ourselves as failures, who have no discipline, who lack self-control and can’t see any way out of it.
When we don’t ask for this support, we put a wall up instead of a bridge. We block people out, instead of taking the hand that is reaching out to help us.
We think that if we show this vulnerable side of ourselves people will run in the other direction. This is an absolute lie.
The truth is that when you show this side of yourself, people will love you, they will connect with you, they will trust you and they will relate to you more than ever. Be your authentic self.
Find the courage to ask for help. Find the courage to seek out an accountability partner to help you along the way.
Let yourself be supported as you push through the discomfort, the hurt and the frustration that you may come up against as you learn to build discipline in your life. It’s not easy and it can often bring with it a flurry of different emotions.
The one thing I want you to take away from this post, is that You’ve Got This!
Motivation will come and go but the discipline and habits you’ve created is what will bring lasting change.
So, what is your motivation to change?