Stop Procrastinating and Get Started in just 10 Minutes

Procrastinating is really all about being afraid to begin. Follow these quick exercises to work out why you are scared and how to move through it.

Via Pixabay

Procrastination isn’t a sign of laziness, it is a sign of fear. It isn’t about not wanting to do the work, it is about being too overwhelmed to start.

There is a lot of pressure around the start of a project. It feels like a commitment, we are deciding to work on one thing and not another, and so there are doubts around that decision and the stress of taking a decision at all. We also often overestimate the importance of the work done at the beginning, as though it will determine the outcome of the project. That isn’t true. You can do basically anything at the beginning of a project, it should be the most fun part, the part which involves throwing ideas around, the part where you are the least hemmed in. And yet instead it is the part which we fill with the most apprehension. The work you do at the beginning isn’t like the foundations of a house, it doesn't have to be perfect or else the entire edifice will collapse. The work you do at the beginning is the warm-up. It is a training session. It can be totally invisible in the final product.

The important thing at the beginning is not to get off to the perfect start, it is just to take action, any form of action, and chase away the fears that are making you procrastinate.

In just ten minutes, you can conquer those fears.

Spend two minutes identifying what is driving your fear.

There are four main reasons you might be afraid to get started:

  • You have too many ideas and are afraid to commit to one
  • Your mind is suddenly blank and you have no inspiration at all
  • You feel like you’re going to make a mess of things and are putting a lot of pressure on yourself
  • You have no idea where to start

Examine your emotions, write down on a piece of paper the things that worry you about the project you are about to get started on and see which category they fit into the best.

Spend eight minutes doing the corresponding exercise

  • Too many ideas?

This can mean having too many ideas of projects and not being able to get started on any single one, or it can mean having too many ideas about how to tackle your particular project and not being sure which to pick.

Begin by making a list of all the angles or projects that are trotting around your brain. Reread it. See which stand out, which your instinct tells you is right. That is your shortlist.

In the case of choosing a project, ask yourself if any of them are time-sensitive — for instance, an article linked to a certain upcoming event. If so, start with that project. If not, sometimes it is best just to let the universe decide. Draw one idea out of a hat. Schedule the others for the coming days or weeks.

If you are choosing an angle on a piece of work you are already sure of, begin by seeing if any of them can be joined together. Maybe one angle could really just be a paragraph in a piece with a different focus. If not, open a word document, type out all the different ideas. Those will be the things you follow up on, do more research until your instinct tells you which to follow. And if that never happens, pick one angle out of a hat.

The next step: conduct research into each of the ideas left on your shortlist.

  • Lack of inspiration?

Put a timer on for eight minutes, and write down every thought that comes into your mind. Even if they have nothing to do with the project. Just let the words flow. Analyse every element of the topic — what exactly is the brief? What does that mean? This “brain drop” will give your imagination free space to roam. Ideally, you should do this in a place without any distractions, a place where your imagination generally feels stimulated. For me, it works best in a park or anywhere outdoors, but you might prefer home, in a warm bath or in a café.

Next step: do something boring, like washing up or ironing or walking around the block. Don’t take a phone, don’t listen to music. Ideas will continue to pop into your mind.

  • Fear of failure?

This fear can be harder to identify, because it often just makes you feel nervous or blank. The problem is usually a lack of self-confidence, or the fact that you are putting too much pressure on yourself, thinking of this project as the make-or-break event of your career. The problem here isn’t in the work at all, but in your mind.

Take a sheet of paper and answer three questions:

  • What is the worst thing that could happen?
  • How could I bounce back from that?
  • What past projects have made me proud, what have they taught me about my own abilities?

If you are into rituals and hippiedom, like me, you can make a ritual out of this. Light a candle or some incense. Put on some relaxing music and put yourself in an environment which makes you relax. Breath deeply.

Once you have finished, keep this list visible on your desk or working space and reread it whenever you feel scared or lost.

Next step: write a to-do list broken down into small, non-threatening steps (see below).

  • No idea where to start?

Take a sheet of paper and separate it into categories according to the different kinds of activities go into doing a project. For writing, I usually make the categories Contact, Research and Write. In Contact I write the names or professions of anyone I would like to talk to, Research can be books to read or facts and figures to pull up, and in Write I jot down any sections I know I will write, or any ideas concerning the final piece. Do a six-minute brain drop where you write down any task that comes to mind in the corresponding section. Then reread what you have done, highlight priorities and order your tasks into a to-do list. For big tasks, break them down into sections. You should end up with a list of small, clearly defined steps.

Next step: just do number one on the list!

Whatever category you are in, it is important to stick to the ten minutes. Your mind needs to know, going in, that it will just be working for ten minutes, and then it can stop. Then take a break. If you are on a short deadline, make it a short break and then start work again for half an hour to an hour.

I do these short exercises whenever I catch myself procrastinating. I hope they can be useful for you, too, and if you have your own tricks and tips I would love to hear about them in the comments section!

Self-Helping

When it comes to any self-help book, I’ll admit I’m a recovering self-help bookaholic. The issue is, there’s only SO much self-help stuff you can read before you realize, that a lot of the time, you’re using it to avoid getting work done. You can always think of the perfect way to achieve what is missing in your life, but that’s all it comes down to Thinking. Once you get out of that thinking mind frame, only then will you be able to get things done.

This isn’t to say it’s unhealthy or unnecessary to read self-help books; I still think they’re wonderful. You’ll always find me in the self-help section of Barnes and Noble, but you won’t see my bookshelves filled with these books. My issue is that I’ll use these books as a way to procrastinate or make myself feel like I’ve done something productive when in reality I haven’t. Many people tend to fall into that camp, where we think we’re doing so much but in reality, we’re not.

Keep on reading your self-help books, but remember they’re called self-help books for a reason. You need to help yourself at the end of the day because these books should serve as a guide but not an action in itself.

One simple way to destroy procrastination

Three days ago I was staring at the “blank screen”, wondering what to write.

Countless thoughts. A stream of ideas. A bit of research.

And I was yet to write something.

Yes.

I was procrastinating.

I was moments away from this…

And then, a “light-bulb” moment.

A simple strategy I had learned from years of collecting underpants.

A beautiful, serendipitous moment when my struggle became the solution to the problem at hand — writing.


We have all been there. Whatever we are working on seems to be going extremely well, and then WHAM!

You hit a wall.

Everything comes to a standstill!

Inspiration has evaporated.

Progress? No more.

Motivation? B***h Please.

The devil on your shoulder says, “You’ve been good all these days. Just for today, take a break. You deserve it.”

While a “break” may seem a good idea, it often results in 1 day becoming 2, 2 becoming 5, and you giving up altogether.

Remember your last workout programme?

All it took was one break to throw you off course.

The same will happen to your New Year resolutions.

Procrastination saps your energy. It makes you believe you deserve a break, when you don’t. It also makes you believe you can’t do what you set out to do.

In short, it shortchanges your hustle.

Plus, the beast is shrewd. It throws all sorts of reasoning to make you give in. On the surface, they all seem legit.

Steven Pressfield’s brilliant books, Turning Pro and Do the Work address procrastination and other forms of resistance in detail.

Before getting into how to overcome this beast, let’s get our heads around why we procrastinate. It’s not that we don’t appreciate the importance of the task at hand. Right?

Here’s why I succumbed to mediocrity, on many instances, suffocating my better self:

  1. The project was just too big
  2. I was just plain fucking lazy
  3. Wasn’t focused
  4. No clear plan of action
  5. Failed to set a deadline
  6. Never went “All in!”
  7. Didn’t want it badly enough

When Lao Tzu said “the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step”, he didn’t only mean that first step.

He was talking of that first step, followed by another. And another.

And herein lies the answer to overcoming procrastination.

You need to do one thing, and one thing only — keep showing up.

No matter what, SHOW UP.

In fact, showing up is at the core of my writing project.

Yes, I’ve failed many times. But, I’m still here, aren’t I?

My repeated failures are the very reasons that I’ve begun to understand the power of showing up.

My failure is how this post was conceived.

Woody Allen, the legendary American filmmaker, writer, actor, comedian, and musician whose career spans more than sixty years said,

80 percent of success is showing up.

And it’s not like he never had failures. Quite a few of his movies bombed. But, that never stopped him. He kept showing up.

I don’t know about you, but, for me, 80% success is better than nothing!

Better an average product shipped than a futile quest for perfection.

How do I make myself show up?

It’s simple, really. But, not easy.

Aim for Small Wins.

Want to do 100 push-ups in a row?

Start by knocking off a set of 10 (or whatever number you’re comfortable with) and work your way up, daily.

You’ve got to show up every day.

This is true for launching a business, or any other venture that’s meaningful to you.

Small wins will help internalise what’s required, thus removing the “effort” part of showing up.

Don’t sweat the results.

Focus on showing up, every day.

Even Stephen King writes every day. On holidays and his birthday! So did Hemingway.

Don’t waste time waiting for a productivity hack or cool tactic to build momentum.

If your project is important to you,

add it to your calendar and get on with it.

As you cross off each day, task by task, you’ll build momentum.

On its own, a day’s work may not seem like much. But, over time, it becomes a volume of work.

Your work.

That feeling alone should feed your soul to fulfill your potential.

Photo by Thibault Trillet

Keep at it and you’ll find yourself stepping away from the sidelines.

You’re not part of the audience anymore.

You are a doer. A performer.

Remember, when the journey seems impossible…

When you are overwhelmed…

When you are stuck…

And you feel like pulling the plug…

Photo by Hailey Kean on Unsplash

You are NOT alone.

You’re not the only one facing a demon hell-bent on making you quit.

Countless others face the same, daily.

Including me.

However, will you be one of the few who keep showing up no matter what?

Or will you whittle and die on the roadside, forever obscure. Forgotten.

All it takes is one time block, every day.

  1. Whatever project you’re working on, allocate 15–30 mins towards it for the next 30 days.
  2. Put it on your calendar. Protect that time. It’s sacred.
  3. Knock it off first thing in the morning, before the day’s distractions get in the way.
  4. On days that you absolutely do not feel like doing it — and believe me there’ll be many- sit your ass down. Set your timer to 15 minutes. Shut off everything else, and work. Do something that moves your needle. You’ll be glad when that alarm goes off. But, you’ve finished your task for the day. Small win.

Let go of your need to be perfect, and do it for the love of it.

“Good enough”, is good enough.

Drop me a line and let me now how forcing yourself to show up works for you.

Eat That Frog Brian Tracy Book Summary and Quotes to Stop Procrastinating

Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy is a masterpiece in Productivity and Self-Help Books. In the Book summary of Eat That Frog, we will talk about the steps shared by Brian Tracy to produce more results in less time. If you are someone who feels he is working hard but still not getting as many results as expected or if you always have a backlog of work and essential tasks, this book summary of Eat That Frog will surely help you.

Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy

Brian starts the book with Famous Mark Twain Quotes on Eating a Frog. The idea is we should do the most important task first thing in the morning. We need to plan our day in such a way that we give the highest energy to the most important task. It works both ways. Either we put 100% efforts in doing one duty which produces most top results, or we try to remove one obstacle which is hindering the growth.

Example 1: Talking to a customer and closing the deal is the most critical task for a salesperson. If he does everything else except this, he won’t be getting the rewards he is looking forward to. So for him Eat That Frog is calling that potential customer and getting the deal closed.

Example 2: A particular bug or missing feature could be the biggest obstacle in the sales of software. So if the business owner focusses on changing the marketing team and sales plan that’s not going to help, eat That Frog for this software company would be developing the missing feature or solving that bug.

Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

  • Eat That Frog
  • Think on Paper
  • Six P Formula
  • The Law of Three / 10–90 Formula
  • How To Set Priorities Using The ABCDE Method
  • Positive Procrastination

1. Eat That Frog

Decide which is the most critical task of the day and give complete focus and energy to that task until it gets completed. Apart from Daily Routine tasks, don’t divert energy to other non-important tasks of the day. If you have two Frogs to eat, eat the uglier one first. This statement means in case there are two critical, non-negotiable tasks, do the more important one first.

2. Think on Paper

A lot of us get into analysis paralysis zone more often than not. The best solution to overcome this situation and become more productive is to write down our tasks and ideas on paper. Writing gives us more clarity and help in better planning. Only 3% of people do this and guess what that 3 % is way more successful than the other 97%

3. Six P Formula

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.

Planning saves a lot of effort and energy during execution. Spending 10–15 minutes in the morning to plan your day can easily save you 2–3 hours on the whole day. In most cases, we don’t even need to complicate planning. All we need is a pen and paper and do what we discussed in point 2 — Think on Paper.

4. The Law of Three / 10–90 Formula

Identify the three things you do in your work that account for 90% of your contribution and focus on getting them done before anything else. You will then have more time for your family and personal life. This formula can be seen as an extension to Pareto’s 80–20 rules which says 20% of our actions determine 80% of our results.

5. How To Set Priorities Using The ABCDE Method

The ABCDE Method is an effortless yet beneficial technique. Create a To-Do List and mark all the tasks as A, B, C, D, and E.

  • “A” tasks are critical tasks that you must do, and there could be severe consequences if you do or don’t do them.
  • “B” tasks are tasks that you should do but only have mild consequences.
  • “C” tasks are tasks that would be nice to do, such as calling a friend, having lunch with a co-worker, etc., but don’t have any consequences either way to your work.
  • “D” tasks are tasks that can be delegated to someone else.
  • “E” tasks are tasks you can eliminate, and it won’t matter if you do.

If you have more than 1 “A” task, for example, number them “A-1”, “A-2”, and so on in order of importance. Then, when you start working on the tasks from your list, start with “A” or “A-1” and move through the list. Don’t work on “B” tasks until “A” tasks are complete.

6. Positive Procrastination

This is a behavioural shift which can make us much more productive. We have a habit of procrastinating and delaying the most important task of the day because generally, that task would take more time and effort. Instead of that we should procrastinate about the other non-important tasks and delay them. It can also be seen as an extension to ABCDE Rule. We should Procrastinate about B-E tasks until we don’t complete all our “A Tasks.”

Quotes from Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy

…you cannot eat every tadpole and frog in the pond, but you can eat the biggest and ugliest one, and that will be enough, at least for the time being.

If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first. This is another way of saying that if you have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first

Everyone procrastinates. The difference between high performers and low performers is largely determined by what they choose to procrastinate on.

The law of Forced Efficiency says that There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.

Rule: It is the quality of time at work that counts and the quantity of time at home that matters.

If you have to eat a live frog at all, it doesn’t pay to sit and look at it for very long.

When everything is laid out neatly and in sequence, you will feel much more like getting on with the job.

Refuse to allow a weakness or a lack of ability in any area to hold you back. Everything is learnable. And what others have learned, you can learn as well.

About Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy is Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specialising in the training and development of individuals and organisations. Brian’s goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. Brian Tracy has consulted for more than 1,000 companies and addressed more than 5,000,000 people in 5,000 talks and seminars throughout the US, Canada, and 70 other countries worldwide. As a Keynote speaker and seminar leader, he addresses more than 250,000 people each year.

He has studied, researched, written and spoken for 30 years in the fields of economics, history, business, philosophy, and psychology. He is the top selling author of over 70 books that have been translated into dozens of languages. He has written and produced more than 300 audio and video learning programs, including the worldwide, best-selling Psychology of Achievement, which has been translated into more than 28 languages.

Eat That Frog Brian Tracy Book Summary and Quotes to Stop Procrastinating

Why do students procrastinate? Five problems and how to fix them…….DON’T read this later!

The Cost of Procrastinating on Little Things

Have you ever had little things on your calendar or to do list that you kept putting off?

I know I do. I could be an expert at it. It’s a shame I can’t get paid for it.

One of the things I kept postponing was a simple call to the contractor who built my porch. One of the boards needed to be replaced. This simple item was on my calendar and my to do list, but every time I saw it I pushed it off to the next day and then the next week until eventually months had gone by. Yes, months.

I’m not sure why I kept postponing. It was just a phone call.

While it didn’t seem like a big deal to keep delaying, there was a downside:

  • Every time I saw that item come up it was a reminder that I wasn’t getting things done.
  • I judged myself for not doing it.
  • It was always in the back of my mind somewhere using up valuable brain space.
  • Someone could have tripped on my porch and sued me. This is a long shot, but many of the things we delay have big consequences.

Yesterday, when I was once again postponing this item something made me stop and I decided to just pick up the phone and make the call. It took one minute. ONE MINUTE! The contractor was happy to take care of it and by the end of the day my porch was good as new.

I seem to remember learning this before, but I need to keep being reminded. Taking care of these little things makes me feel good. And, 99% of the time they are much easier than I think.

Now, I get to:

  • Enjoy a sense of completion and knowing one more thing is off my plate
  • Be proud of myself for taking care of it
  • Feel more secure that my porch is safe and in good shape

We need to allow time for these little things and recognize that it costs more than we know to let them slide.

Here are some simple ways to accomplish this:

  • Set aside a short period of time each week to get the quick and easy items out of the way.
  • Do them in batches. Productivity experts say this will save you time.
  • If anything will take less than 5 minutes, just do it. You will spend more time writing it down or putting it on your calendar than it will take you to get it done.

Incompletions are a type of clutter and they weigh you down. Sometimes completing them is as simple as choosing not to do them, like giving yourself permission to not finish a book you are not enjoying. And sometimes, they are as easy as a one minute phone call. I encourage you to clean up your to do list one way or the other.

It will feel so good…

Related Posts:

Is Tidying Up the Secret to Happiness?

How to Bring Balance to Your Relationship with Time

6 Proven Ways to Reduce Anxiety

Photo: Flickr

You can read more like this, learn about Life Coaching, or contact Linda at: lifecoachlinda.com

How can I stop being a procrastinator during holidays?

Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

If You’re Struggling with Post-Work Procrastination, Try this Trick

My adaptation of a popular learning hack to beat procrastination with just a small commitment each day of the week.

Tired. Worn-out. Stressed. Beat. Defeated.

I moment I walk through my front door after a day at work, all I want to do is to curl into a ball, order delicious take out, put on a show or a movie, and binge watch until my fatigue wins over and I fall asleep to the lulling sounds of my choice of entertainment. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to even push myself off from the couch to cook dinner or grab a drink from my refrigerator, much less to put in an hour at the gym or study.

But at the same time, there’s so much I want to do.

I’ve recently got more into computer science and programming, to the point where I have been seriously considering shifting over to a career in tech. I loved engineering classes and solving problems in school, and while I have not had as much experience in working a solely technical job function, I would like to give it a shot.

I love cooking. Ever since my mom first taught me to turn on our gas stove at home, I’ve been cooking meals for my family. During my college years, I even worked at restaurants and took cooking classes. It wasn’t just a curiosity or hobby — cooking was a way for me to express myself, and a way for me to break out of my bubble.

I’m also extremely passionate about investing. I don’t have as much money right now to trade or to be diversifying a full-fledged portfolio, but I love reading books about the art. I’m constantly inspired by people like Warren Buffett, whose tenacity and dedication to business has given him invaluable perspective to grow his wealth.

I also love music. Every morning while waiting for my hair to dry, I’ll sit in front of my electronic piano and let my fingers take me on a journey to La La Land, Jay Chou’s Secret, Yiruma’s catchy but heartfelt pieces, or a trip to the past with Debussy, Mozart, or Beethoven.

I want to do so much — but the moment I get home from work and finally have time to myself, all I want to do is, well, nothing.

My solution to this procrastination is the 5-Hour Week. For those of you who don’t know what it is, the 5-Hour Week is a learning hack to help you accelerate your personal and professional development. The gist of it is very simple — you need to spend 5 hours each week (one hour each workday) towards deliberate learning in order to accelerate your growth.

In an ideal world, the 5-Hour Week sounds so simple and powerful. But if you’re anything like me and you transform into a couch potato the moment you get home from work (or school), how do you find the energy to peel yourself away from your favorite TV shows or movies to learn? How do you push yourself to do more, when you feel so exhausted after a long day?

So here’s my take and tweaks to the 5-Hour Week, and how I’ve adapted and implemented this trick into my own life in the past 6-months to transform my learning and growth. I hope that it will help you beat the gravitational field of your couch, and push you — even just a little — towards making small changes towards the life you want.

1Hour 1: Ideation

I spend the first hour of each week with Ideation. I spend a ton of time surfing the web, reading a variety of random articles, watching YouTube videos, listening to audiobooks or podcasts, and writing. We often think of this as ways to procrastinate and distract ourselves — but I see it as an opportunity and channel of energy and motivation that we can use and shift over to take control of our learning.

My ideation step is broken into three parts: What, Who, and Why.

In the first 15 minutes, what I do is to compile all the topics that have caught my eye in the past week. From something as broad as the global economy to something as specific as a difficult recipe, a Python framework, or a hack on personal finances, I’ll jot down every headline, topic, or subject that has caught my interest.

In the following 15 minutes, I’ll start researching who are Subject Matter Experts in this field and writing down every possible resource I can find on this topic. I don’t stray from the popular social media sources — I primarily use YouTube, Google, and my network of friends and colleagues to figure out which blogs, channels, or websites have great content.

The final 30 minutes of the first hour is my chance to ask Why. If I’m interested in this topic, I want to figure out — for better or worse — why I might be interested in this subject. Whether it is a topic or skill that directly applies to my career, a hobby, or just something I’m curious about, nothing why I want to spend valuable time researching this topic will help me stay focused and oriented.

2Hour 2 and 3: Immersion and Bootstrap

The amount of time I spend in step 2 varies from topic to topic — but for the most part, I usually dedicate about 2 hours to it. I call this step Immersion, which I assert to be the most crucial step in learning any new topic.

Immersion is the process of gathering as widespread but high level understanding of what you want to learn.

During my time in school, I found that so many of my friends quit just when things were getting interesting for me. Overtime, I came to realize that I unconsciously did so too, mainly due to a disoriented, misguided perception of an extremely high learning curve in the early stages of beginning something new, and being deterred away from trying after convincing myself that the task is simply too difficult to master, or the subject matter is too complicated to learn.

Immerse yourself by bootstrapping your learning to dive deeper.

Have you ever been on Encyclopedia, and found yourself hopping from article to article, clicking on random links on each of the pages you are reading? And before you know it, you find yourself on some completely random page, 15 links down from your original article?

To bootstrap your learning, need to do the same thing. For every article you read, “click” on the link to an associated term, topic, or even knowledgeable person from whom you can learn even more. You hop from topic to topic, term to term, article to article, gathering and immersing yourself in all sorts of information in regards to what you want to learn.

As I leveraged what I had just learned from a previous article, I essentially kill two birds with one stone: I was reinforcing old knowledge I had just acquired, while quickly spreading my knowledge and understanding of the field. In doing so, I found myself quickly conquering the learning curve, and subduing my fear of diving deeper into a complex subject that I’m curious about.

3 Hour 4: Apply

My problem with schools has always been the lack thereof for practical applications on what I learn in classrooms. But this is a perfect chance to take control of your learning, and so why not indulge a little in reaping instant benefits by applying what you learn, right away?

Now I know this might not always be possible — I am extremely passionate for investing, but I don’t have money to invest, so I can’t do anything about it! That said, you can still be a little creative on how you apply your knowledge. If you cannot directly find problems to solve or ways to test your skills, then push yourself to teach. Find a friend, and teach them what you just learned. Find somebody who you know will be interested in the topic you’re learning, and have them challenge your newly acquired wisdom.

Either way, the goal here is to apply — and preferably, apply right away. This has helped me reinforce my knowledge. I’m much more of a visual learner, and seeing where my mistakes lie or just seeing theory in action will help me jump forwards in my understanding. This is your chance to do the same, to get that practical insight that will help you make sense of why you are doing this.

4 Hour 5: Ruminate

Last but not least, ruminate (which is just another fancy word for reflect). I break down my reflection time into two sections:

The first half of my reflection is content-based. What did I just learn? What was most interesting? What are the most important takeaways? If I had only 5 minutes to share what I just learned, what would I say, and why? If someone asked me what I learned this week, what can I share with them, and what can I teach them? What foundations did I build, and what can I learn next?

The second half (and arguably the more important half) is result-based. How did I do this week in my studying? Did I stay on track, and manage to stay focused on the topic I chose to pursue? Or did I stray and find myself looking up more random topics instead? Do I need to be more specific in my study schedule to keep myself focused? Did I challenge myself with sufficient topics? Did I give myself enough of a chance to dive deeper into the topic, or did I again fall short, when things got complicated or difficult?

The first half of my reflection period is to review what I learned — the second half of my reflection period is to review how I learned.

The power of the 5-Hour Week is that the learning you do is intentional and focused. By making your learning a goal-oriented target, you have a much better idea what you’re going to gain, and what you will understand better when you’re done. Learning to refine that process by tweaking your learning schedule will help you — as it has helped me — master my time, stay on track, and take control of my education and growth.

Bumps In The Road

So I’ve been trying to finish the new post for about two weeks now, and every time I come to it something more important always seems to find my attention…

For example:

Oh, I should hang up my mirror that’s been leaning against the wall for 5 years and is going to take me the entire morning to do…

or

I really need to go buy some paper towels from Target and spend 2 hours walking through every single isle of the store…

or my favorite…

Let me just do a quick scroll of Instagram… 5 HOURS LATER… Damnit Kristina you did it again!!!

We’ve all fallen down the deep, deep rabbit hole that they call Instagram at least once in our lives to avoid a responsibility or task at hand, don’t lie…

So I finally sat down and had a good talkin’ to myself, and I understood what the problem was.

After a minor 2-week meltdown, I shook off the bad vibes. I opened a blank word doc, lit a candle, poured myself a cup a tea and started from scratch. These are the slightly off topic words that came to mind…

Brain Vomit

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to write, or that I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing because I really do love writing these blog posts. It was that I had lost touch with my intention.

I wasn’t connecting with the words I had written so far so I would find ANYTHING to turn me away from the text on the page.

I had turned writing into a homework assignment, instead of something I thoroughly enjoyed and really WANTED to share with the world.

My intention for this blog and for sharing my story is to show that yea, life may not be filled with rainbows and puppies and it can seem EXTREMELY difficult at times, but you’re not alone. Not only are you supported, but you can get better and improve your situation all on your own.

This blog is my form of accountability, too. It is to keep my healing on track and share the EMENSE amount of knowledge and experience I’ve gained throughout the years with you beautiful people.

This is my journey just as much as it is yours so buckle up ladies and germs (good germs) because there is some SERIOUS knowledge comin’ your way!!

What I originally wanted to write about was my shift into living a plant-based life, how I was able to do the transition and why I chose to do so.

Instead, you’re getting to read some truth and maybe a sprinkle of inspiration.

I’m still writing about how I’ve successfully converted to living a plant-based life, just not yet… so hold tight!

Times a Chnagin’

As life usually does, it likes to throw curveballs. It’s really really good at having IMPECABLE timing, too.

Well, one thing I’ve learned to embrace, whether we like it or not, is that CHANGE is the only constant in our lives.

We can choose to generate that change or it can come flying out of left field.

Either way, it’s happening and there’s no way to stop it. Good, bad, horribly painful, or filled with excitement.

One of my more recent moments of change was when I decided to take my health into my own hands.

I yanked those reins and went head first into the world of holistic and naturopathic healing. I felt and still feel, deep down, that somewhere in that world, are the tools I need to heal.

But of course, also came the unexpected change…

The kind that pulls your life plans completely out from under you.

Well, this change did just that. And as painful and difficult as it can be, you learn to adapt and do what’s best for you and your circumstances because we all just have to keep on keepin’ on.

If we sit and wallow, wishing to go back to how things were…we will never grow, missing out on the chance of becoming the best versions of ourselves possible.

So whether we create it or not, change is a comin’! The more we look at it as a positive thing that’s leading us closer to our ultimate goal, the easier it is to accept in the end…

I wanted to end this little brain dump with some quotes…

Samuel Johnson’s Alarm, or Genius and Procrastination

On the perennial aspiration to get up earlier.

After Shakespeare, Samuel Johnson may well have had more influence on English literature than any other figure, for his authority insinuated itself into the ongoing yield of the language at — at least — three distinct levels: idea (see his fable on happiness, Rasselas); sentence (sample any of his resourceful and wise secular sermons published as The Rambler); and even word (as creator of the great 1755 Dictionary of the English Language). He was a peerless critic (see his Preface to the plays of Shakespeare, or his Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets); an accomplished poet (“The Vanity of Human Wishes”); and a superb biographer (Life of Mr. Richard Savage).

Speaking of biography, he is equally renowned as the subject of one of the most famous biographical works ever written, The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell, in which Dr. Johnson’s personality and conversation are — well, immortalized is close enough to the truth. Rather astonishingly, he is also the subject of two other biographies of the first rank, Dr. Johnson and Mr. Savage by Richard Holmes and Samuel Johnson by W. Jackson Bate.

Bate’s book, which it seems is out of print at the moment, is a stirring work of great understanding and instruction. I’ll go so far as to claim you’ll be ready to lead a richer, better life after reading it, perhaps an unexpected outcome for a book about a literary laborer — “a harmless drudge” was Johnson’s own definition of a lexicographer — who suffered from sometimes debilitating melancholy and exhibited strange tics and behaviors, posthumously diagnosed as evidence of the condition what would later be defined as Tourette’s syndrome.

Johnson’s prose is a formal marvel, each sentence mitering cadenced clauses into an elegant and sonorous design. A little remote from today’s more demotic literary expression, it refreshes the linguistic attention of anyone who takes the time to appreciate its music. Most tellingly, that music is often in the service of measuring human frailty with sensitivity and sympathy, despite its classical posture. Here’s Johnson on our proclivity for procrastination, from The Rambler, Number 134:

It is indeed natural to have particular regard to the time present, and to be most solicitous for that which is by its nearness enabled to make the strongest impressions. . . . [W]e readily believe that another day will bring some support or advantage which we now want; and are easily persuaded, that the moment of necessity which we desire never to arrive, is at a great distance from us.

Thus life is languished away in the gloom of anxiety, and consumed in collecting resolution which the next morning dissipates; in forming purposes which we scarcely hope to keep, and reconciling ourselves to our own cowardice by excuses, which, while we admit them, we know to be absurd.

That Johnson knows whereof he speaks, which is the quality that ultimately makes his sagacity so useful, and others’ annotation of his life so rewarding to his readers, is demonstrated by the following passage from Bate’s book, in which that author telescopes fifty years of the good Doctor’s private resolutions into one riveting catalogue of aspiration and regret (the quotations are from Johnson’s diaries; the emphases supplied by Bate):

September 7, 1738: “O Lord, enable me . . . in redeeming the time which I have spent in Sloth. . . .” January 1, 1753: “. . . To rise early To lose no time.” July 13, 1755: “I will once more form a scheme of life. . . . (1) To rise early . . .” Easter Eve, 1757: “Almighty God . . . look down with mercy upon me depraved with vain imaginations. . . . Enable me to shake off Sloth. . . .” Easter Day, 1759: “Give me thy Grace to break the chain of evil custom. Enable me to shake off idleness and Sloth. . . .” September 18, 1760: Resolved . . . To reclaim imagination . . . To rise early . . . To oppose laziness . . .” April 21, 1764: “My purpose is from this time (1) To reject or expel sensual images, and idle thoughts. To provide some useful amusement for leisure time. (2) To avoid Idleness. To rise early.” Next day (3:00 A.M.) “Deliver me from the distresses of vain terror . . . Against loose thoughts and idleness.” The following autumn he resolves, on his fifty-fifth birthday (September 18), “to rise early. Not later than six if I can . . .”; and, the following Easter (writing at 3:00 A.M.), “to rise at eight. . . . I purpose to rise at eight because though I shall not yet rise early it will be much earlier than I now rise, for I often lye till two.” Four years late (January 1, 1769, writing after midnight): “I am not yet in a state to form many resolutions; I purpose and hope to rise . . . at eight, and by degrees at six.” A year and a half later: June 1, 1770: “Every Man naturally persuades himself that he can keep his resolutions, nor is he convinced of his imbecility but by length of time and frequency of experiment.” January 1, 1774 (at 2:00 A.M.): “To rise at eight . . . The chief cause of my deficiency has been a life immethodical and unsettled, which breaks all purposes . . . and perhaps leaves too much leisure to imagination.” Good Friday, 1775 (he is now sixty-six): “When I look back upon resoluti[ons] of improvement and amendments, which have year after year been broken . . . why do I yet try to resolve again? I try because Reformation is necessary and despair is criminal. . . . My purpose if from Easter day to rise early, not later than eight.” January 2, 1781 (he is now seventy-one): “I will not despair. . . . My hope is (1) To rise at eight, or sooner . . . (5) To avoid idleness.”

Even genius, apparently, must face constant reminding that — as this particular genius once put it in a letter — “tomorrow is an old deceiver, and his cheat never grows stale.” Nonetheless, put like that, on this dreary, unproductive, weather-beaten and soon to be expired Sunday of my own, it offers paradoxical encouragement toward whatever the morning may hold — which is one of the small blessings, I suppose, that genius can bestow upon the rest of us.