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Lois                        

Welcome to the podcast, More to Life with Faith and Lois.

Faith                   

I’m Faith

Lois                          

And I’m Lois.

Faith                      

Our podcast explores life’s many transitions that inspire and daunt us.

Lois                       

Well, hello Faith.

Faith

Good morning, Lois.

Lois                         

You know, we’ve been taking a lot of steps and doing a lot of transitions as we started at the beginning of the year. And I like how I believe I’m starting to shift at the way I look at things. I’m getting a fresh perspective as I look at transitions and how I’m gonna survive them.

Faith                     

I know, aren’t they fun? They can stretch us. They really do make us look at life differently and ourselves differently. But we’re evolving? We’re moving. We’re being stretched into the person we were meant to be through transitions.

Lois                        

And so we really hope that these podcasts on transition are resonating with you. And, and when you’re done listening, would you share this with somebody and would you like go onto the platform that you’re listening to us on. I’m sure you’re subscribed on there, but rate us if you would, or rate this specific podcast or check out our website www.moretolifewithfaithandlois.com. See everything that we are up to. We have this great newsletter we send out every week and we’d love to add you to that if you want. So without further ado, wasting another second of your life. We thought we would now step into episode 73 which is Transition: the Impact of Procrastination.

Faith                     

This is fun because we all have had those encounters with procrastination and what comes with that most often is a lot of guilt. Yes, you know, a heaviness that we bury it. And so we want to try to work through that today and get you past that because we don’t want you to guilt written about something that is maybe not your fault.

Lois                       

Well, procrastination, maybe we don’t even need a definition because we all face it so much in like maybe daily life for you. But it really is the action of delaying or postponing something, putting something off until tomorrow and yet, Faith, when we use the word procrastination, both you and I, sometimes we burst out laughing.

Faith                     

I know. Well, you know, it comes with such historical impact of what we’ve encountered in life like we’re bad and we’re a loser and what’s wrong with us and other kids aren’t procrastinating. Why are you? And so we don’t fit if we aren’t on target. And I think that’s where the guilt and the shame and the heaviness comes and the reality is procrastination has a lot to do with our style, who we are, and we need to find what works for us.

Lois                       

I often find that I only procrastinate the things that I don’t want it and that’s good. I mean I do, why do them? But at the same time, there are plenty of things that I don’t like to do that I have to do. So that’s when I start feeling like I hate it when I’m putting something off that I, I must do. So I’ll just be right out there. I do Turbo Tax and so around that time when I know I need to start collecting everything, I know the amount of time and space that will take for me to go through the process. And I will sit there and go, oh, I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll do it next week. I’ll do it yet. And I just keep putting it off and it’s not because I can’t do it. I’ve been doing it for years, but I don’t enjoy this process. So I, because I don’t like it, I put it off and I actually know that about myself.

Faith                   

Well I think we know about all of ourselves is that the fact that we would much rather do things where there’s the pleasure than doing the things where we have to be restrained. And I think that’s some of it is that we feel in that moment whether it’s taking out the garbage or doing turbo tax, which is much longer, is the fact that we have to restrain herself. We have to take ourselves out of what we’d rather be doing and focus it on something of doing something that we don’t want to do.

Lois                       

One of the things that you’ll probably find if you Google procrastination, goodness, I can’t even say the word procrastination, is all these books on how to kind of reign in your self control. So I’ve got like shatter that a little bit for you because there’s a really great article that I had read this March from the New York Times and it was actually called Why You Procrastinate. And the premise of this article by Charlotte Lieberman is that it has nothing to do with self control. I remember reading this month and a half back, two months back and I was going, what do you mean it has nothing to do with self control? Well Dr. Piers Steel is this professor of motivational psychology at the University of Calgary. He actually wrote a book called The Procrastination Equation: How to stop putting things off and start getting things done. But he suggests that procrastination is self harm because we are aware that we’re avoiding what we need to do and yet we do that anyway. So it has to do with our emotional state and what we’re thinking about that we actually fear that we may not be able to get it done.

Faith                    

That’s so true. And that makes so much sense. Right?

Lois                      

So like the reason I don’t do my turbo tax isn’t because I don’t have self control or it’s because I don’t have things lined up well. It’s because I’m worried that I might blow it or get an audit. I hope if you’re the IRS you’re not listening right now, there’s no reason I should. But you know, those are the kinds of things that pop in mind. So it’s more about my emotional state and my mood than it is about the fact that I’m lazy. It’s not about being lazy, which I think is a judgment we throw on people who don’t do things on the time we like.

Faith                   

And there’s the guilt again and now we’re weighed down with something that we shouldn’t even be having to carry at that point in time. And so much of this is finding the way that works for you. Instead of saying that it is all about I have to, and I’m under this restraint. I love the fact that it is not about our character or about how we do things in life, it has to do with more. I don’t want to right now.

Lois                      

Exactly emotion. Faith and I love covering things like that from a therapist and a life coaching perspective. So right now, if you would, in your mind’s eye, think of something that you’ve been putting off and let’s dive into what might help you through this transition of procrastination.

Faith                   

Right? And let’s start with just some of the ways that, how we think about it and how we approach it. Because we tend to get into some anxiety or concern or doubt and whatever. So forgive yourself for putting it off. There’s just no reason like, okay, let’s start from the very beginning. You know, I forgive myself for putting it off. It’s okay that there’s not something – it’s not a moral issue. And I think we moralize thing. Yes. Okay. And it’s not a moral issue.

Lois                        

It isn’t. And when you’re kind to yourself for why you’re not doing that, whether it’s the taxes or folding your laundry, I don’t know what it is for you that you’re putting it off. But when you do that and express some kindness, suddenly you boost your motivation, right? And when your motivation is boosted, you’ll be so surprised that that’s when you might want to do that task. Because if it has to do with an emotional piece that’s missing, that’s going on right now, that’s holding you back from doing it, and you feel better, than guess what, you’ll most likely do it.

Faith                    

Exactly. And add to that is to find a way where you feel comfortable doing it. We tend to put ourselves in a box of saying, if I’m going to go Turbo Taxing, but I’m going to do my Turbo Tax, I need to sit down at the computer in this room and I have to stay here and don’t move. Well, good point. Boy, is that ever restrictive, right? And so when I’m doing Quick Books, I found a new way of doing them and I feel so much better. I go down on the couch, I had my computer in my lap, I have everything I need and I’m going to do input and I watch a movie.

Lois                      

While you’re doing it.

Faith                    

While I’m doing it.

Lois                      

That’s brilliant.

Faith                 

And I love it and I get it done. And I’ve watched a movie.

Lois                       

Well, and for most of us – you doing your quickbooks, somebody folding the laundry, whatever it is you don’t want to do or changing attire. You’ve probably done this before, and if you can recall how you felt when you were done, that’s another way to like, yes, you know, in addition to watching the movie, well, I feel so much better when I done that. So then it’s like, well, I’m going to feel that if I do this. And that sometimes can motivate you. If we look at procrastination as not being lazy, but being that we’re not in the emotional space at that moment, if you just change that, you might find a way to lift yourself up and go, all right, let’s just get this done with.

Faith                

Yeah. So you’re reaching the goal. Yes. And that feels wonderful.

Lois                        

Oh, so that’s one way to rewire your thinking. Another is to start asking yourself some questions when you’re in this process of stuck and you have put something off, right. What is it that’s prompting you to hold back? What are the feelings that are making you feel like, I don’t want do this.

Faith                  

You just hit on something so important that digging into the questions, asking yourself questions. Where is this coming from? Why am I avoiding that? Are questions that you’re going to find out more about yourself and find the source of why you may be procrastinating.

Lois                       

In our trades for both Faith and I, we ask a lot of questions, but we also know that the more questions we ask of ourselves, the faster we’re going to move through anything in life. So what happens when you say you’re procrastinating? So if I say I’m procrastinating about doing x, like vacuuming, I really hate to vacuum, but with as many animals as we have, it has to be a daily occurrence. So does it get better or does it get worse? When I say I procrastinate?

Faith                    

Saying that word is a judgment. You’ve judged yourself, you’ve condemned yourself and nobody likes that feeling. So I prefer to say, you know, I don’t want to do it right now, but I will do it and set a time when it does fit for me. Again. I think we try to squeeze ourselves into a timeframe that puts only more pressure on us. I got to get this done by. Well, do you? You know, and maybe it can wait till tomorrow morning when you feel better. So it is asking these good questions, what do I need to do to get it done and when would it work best for me?

Lois                      

And when we’re thinking like that, that even lifts the veil because then it’s like, oh, okay. So I’m aware that I want to get this done and I’m not doing it. So I’m acknowledging that to myself. Right. So I’m not bad because I haven’t gotten it done. It’s just not the right time yet. And it will happen.

Faith                    

If it’s a year from now. Maybe you missed the timing.

Lois                      

Yeah. You can’t with taxes. If I hadn’t done it by April 15th that I would have to get an extension. Right. As you’re asking yourself the question, get ready to take a step. Because usually if you don’t take a step, if you just stay in the questioning mode, which is great by the way, because you feel better about yourself, but if you actually do need to get the vacuuming done for whatever reason, I guess they’re coming over. What is that next step?

Faith                 

Right. Well, and that’s what I usually do is I don’t want to do quick books cause I don’t like it, but I’ll go get the extension cord that is going to be able to plug in to my couch where I can plug in my computer and now there’s this great big orange cord in my living room, but it’s there for the purpose of plugging in my computer. So I’ve taken that first step and then it’s like, okay, get the computer down here. I plug it in. Once I get that momentum going, then it just starts to pick up more and more momentum. And so you’re absolutely right. That first step can be the key to getting moving.

Lois                       

Because once you do that first step, then okay, you’re on the couch. I’ve got the computer, I might as well start. Right. Okay. I’ve started the movie. I might as well keep going all the way from bad.

Faith                

Yes. It’s not so bad because now you’re going and that’s good.

Lois                        

So do that. Think of this in steps and not as the whole Enchilada at once, right? But little pieces, because once you cover one hurdle, you really will be able to move, move through the rest of it, and then look at what obstacles might be in your way. What’s holding you back from doing that? You know, I mean, it may not be even emotion at that point. It may be that you’re answering yet another phone call or a ping on social media. What can you do to remove some of those obstacles so that you will be able to sit down with your computer and do your quickbooks, Faith. I mean, do you, do you remove obstacles?

Faith                  

Oh, absolutely. If there’s distractions, I will turn off the phone or different things that I might need to do that I know is going to take me away from it. Or at least let people know, look, I’m going to not be available for this amount of time. Give yourself the space that you need, the place that you need to actually reach your goal in getting something accomplished in that particular way.

Lois                       

Yeah, it’s really tough to take away the interruptions and we can do it when we want to. It gets back to what we don’t want to do. Suddenly these interruptions seem monumental and when we really do want to do something, we’ll chuck them away. So think of it that way, that it’s something if you wanted to do this, how would you prepare yourself for that?

Faith                

Sometimes you actually need some help too because then we are so quick to say, Oh, I’ve got, I have to get this done. I have to get this done. Well, are you in charge of getting it all done or is there someone else that can help you with some of it? Because that can go a long way. Like I will call my accountant and say, Hey, I’m really stuck. I need some help and she’ll talk to me and share, Oh hey, you could do this easier by doing such and such. I found all kinds of little ways around quickbooks that I didn’t know were there, and it helped the process go faster. But if I hadn’t asked for help, I wouldn’t have known it.

Lois                     

I love that and then you’ll do it. Because once again, then you feel like you can accomplish it because what we’re getting at with procrastination has a lot to do with how we feel about the task at hand that we can’t do it. It’s not because we’re lazy. Finally reward yourself. Yes. I mean this is really the key in so many things. The end, especially in something that we don’t want to do. Why is it that we feel like we have to do something we don’t want to do and then get no pat on the back?

Faith                    

I know and we need lots of pats on the back and we celebrating and when I’m done with the quickbooks thing, we’ll go out to dinner. We’ll have like, I got it done, I got the year done. I’ve got, everything’s done. I feel really good about it. So there’s things that you can do to just say, wow, good job. That’s awesome. I tell people – I got it done. And if it is vacuuming, when you’re winding up that cord and putting the vacuum away, it feels good.

Lois                       

It just feels good. You know, the smell is better than the lack of hair. You know? It was so funny this weekend we really needed to work on our sprinkler system and check some of the different heads that were broken and we really wanted to go on a bike ride. So we said, let’s finish this. And then our reward is that we get to go on the bike ride. Well we finished it in Uber quick because we wanted so much to get out on the bikes. So we give ourselves these prizes that you get at the end of it. Right. That’s really important. And a lot of times when it’s stuff that we are procrastinating that we are holding back on that we’re saying we’ll do till tomorrow. We don’t reward ourselves and treat it like something that can be rewarded.

Faith                   

We really need to because we’ve done something really big.

Lois                        

Yes. So you may be facing a little bit of self doubt about yourself, whether you’re the person for the job or whether others will see if you’ve done it correctly. And that may be what’s holding you back. So if you are the person to do it, maybe some of these ideas that we’ve shared with you will help clear away what’s holding you back.

Faith                 

Thank you for joining us on the journey of facing what we don’t want to do and finding the courage to do it.

Lois                       

We hope you’ll find what you need to be kind to yourself and just get started.

Faith                 

If you know someone who might benefit from this podcast, please share it .

Lois                      

And join us next week for Transition, the Impact of Fear.

Faith                  

Get the latest news on our social media platforms and on our website, and please subscribe.

Lois                       

More to Life with Faith and Lois is a podcast to support, encourage and uplift you.

Faith                  

As you transition through all sorts of change, we want you to know there is more to life.

Lois                       

We’ll be back next week.