What's the real reason you're procrastinating?

procrastinationblogsizeLast week, I took an annual leave day to just concentrate on this here blog. It was the neighbouring day to the ANZAC day public holiday, so I thought it was an opportune time to tick off a few things on the blog to do list and plan a few exciting projects. The day started off well, I took myself to breakfast with my notebook and planned next month’s posts. I was excited about being so organised and was loving the content of the posts, which I hoped could make a real difference to many other mothers. High on my ideas and plans, I headed for home ready to get started on it all.

By the time I got home I started to worry about what I’d planned. Would I be able to do it? Will it make the difference I hoped? Would it be worth the effort? With these questions came a restlessness that stopped me from getting started. I busied myself with mindless tasks. I stood staring at the fridge, despite not being hungry. Even vacuuming looked like a tempting activity. The fear had taken hold and it’s result was procrastination.

Does this sound familiar to you?

I used to think my tendency towards procrastination was just a form of laziness, that I just couldn’t be bothered getting around to tasks I didn’t like. Which is true for some things, but when I started to look more deeply at my procrastination patterns I realised I often avoided things that could bring me great reward. It makes no sense when you say it like that, but fear was creeping up on me and taking me away from things that I would actually enjoy doing.

So, I decided to take my procrastination by the horns and tackle my fear head on. I logged off facebook (my procrastination sink-hole) and got to work on a small part of my plan. I started pinning inspiration on Pinterest related to my planned posts for next month. In doing so, my brain was tricked by the procrastination-friendliness of Pinterest, which then kicked me in the butt to move onto my next small goal, which was writing this post. Once I gained some momentum doing the things I actually planned to do, it felt like my day was kick-started again.

So, what can you do if you’re procrastinating and you think fear could be the cause?

1. Start small: Trick yourself into action by doing one small activity in the direction of your goal. It may be something that seems procrastination friendly, like a Pinterest board.

2. Gain momentum: Once you’ve done that one small thing, move to the next small thing and so on. Things won’t seem so big and scary if they’re broken into small chunks.

3. Set a timer: If you think you might start wandering off again, set a timer. Start at 20 minutes and go from there. If you tell yourself you just have to sit and work for that length of time, it may just be enough to get in a groove and once you’re there, there’s no stopping you!

4. Give yourself a pat on the back: Set a reward for when you’ve achieved your plan for the day. I like to take a time out and enjoy a cuppa and something sweet, or perhaps enjoy a meditation or have a short nap.

Are you a procrastinator? Do you think fear is the cause, or is there something else going on there for you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Feel free to share this post if it resonates with you. x

5 tips to bring that holiday feeling to everyday

holidayshomeI write this on the second last night of our Easter weekend away with a glass of bubbles by the laptop, a head of beach hair and a fond memories of the last few sun-soaked days turning at the corners of my lips. Nothing beats that holiday feeling, of nowhere especially important to be, of living in the moment, going with the flow and even doing nothing when the mood so demands.

But with that holiday high comes the eventual crash back to Earth when it’s back to work, school drop offs and the domestic drudgery. But I’ve been thinking. Does it have to be that way? Is there some way to bottle that holiday feeling and bring it back with me to inject some relaxation into routine and fun into the familiar?

I’d like to give it a go. The best thing I find about being on holiday is the chance to really connect with my family and myself. I love having the time and space to be spontaneous and just kick back and do nothing. We scoured the beach for the best shells, sat in the park as dusk approached listening to the birds and swam in the sea giggling together over nothing much at all. As I think about those precious memories, I feel certain with a few small changes that we can bring some of this feeling home with us tomorrow.

1.       Leave some time to ‘just be’

Jarvis has started to regularly ask to ‘go home and do nothing’. Sometimes when I hear it, the ‘to do list’ looms large in my mind and I wonder ‘how can I do nothing when I have so much to do?’. But he’s so right, we all need time just to ‘do nothing’. So even if I have to schedule ‘do nothing’ time once a day, every day … I will.

2.       Don’t always plan ahead

I have a tendency to plan ahead so we know what’s coming up, but holidays are a good reminder that not everything has to be planned completely. Sometimes, all that’s needed is some free time left on a weekend for spontaneous choices to go where the mood or day takes you.

3.       Look for the fun

Yes, everyday life can tend towards the mundane and at times down right frustrating. There’s stuff that needs to be done that you don’t necessarily want to do, but sometimes there’s little gems of joy in those chores. I vow to ‘let go’ a bit and let the boys help me with the stuff that needs to be done around the house – even if it takes longer and might seem like we’re getting nowhere. I’ll also focus on the fun I can have AFTER the mundane jobs are taken care of to motivate myself to get stuck in and finish them and go and enjoy my day.

4.       Forget about the chores

And sometimes I am going to flat out forget about the chores for a few hours (or even a day) and focus on time with the family or time for myself. I will remind myself that it’s OK to put my feet up for a little while, holiday-style, and feel the better for it!

5.       Do something new

Holidays are often a time you get to try something new or visit somewhere you’ve never been before. There’s plenty of stuff around our area that’s in my ‘I’d love to check out’ list that are cheap to visit and would be a nice day out for the family, so I’ll be making sure I actually plan to visit them!

What are your tips for bringing the holiday feeling home? Let me know what ones you’re going to try to keep the relaxation going until the next holiday!

Today we made a house

In the last month since starting working again I’ve felt under pressure – all of it self-inflicted. I was feeling the neck strain of looking up to the sky as I desperately fumbled to keep all my juggling balls in the air. The predictable ones fell first – self-nurture, time out and clean floors. I was still keeping the partner ball up there, but only just … it wobbled and threatened to drop as I fumbled and kept juggling. Continue reading

Week in review – the things I never got time to blog about edition

It’s Sunday and I’m sitting on my couch, iPad with keyboard attached on lap with thoughts of a second cup of coffee in my head. The Mr and J are at swimming and my baby boy is on the play mat next to the couch tinkering with toys and practicing his moving skills. I breathe and soak up the sun thats streaming in the french doors.

I haven’t felt this sense of relaxation much in the past two weeks. It’s been go, go and more go and then sleep, then wake up to feed H and wake up in varying states of tiredness and do it all again.

But despite this, there has been a lot of great stuff happening and this week though challenging on a few levels was a pretty awesome kind of week. So, I bring you (drumroll please!!) Belinda’s Sanity Seeking Week in Review! Continue reading

Working from home and a change of s(pace)

I’ve always loved the idea of working from home. The sweet freedom of fitting your work day around the times that work for you, taking the laptop up to a cafe and enjoying a coffee and sweet, sweet inspiration. Well, that’s what working from home would look like in my dreams.

In reality,working from home with two kids looks more like the image above. And that was a good moment. At least he’s not screaming. And relatively still. Continue reading

Return to work, a return to me?

It’s been a busy week here at Save Mum’s Sanity. I made my post-maternity leave work debut on Monday and my little ol’ blog has gotten a slight makeover. Alot of changes won’t be apparent to the naked eye just yet, but it’s been moved to self-hosted wordpress which will give my inner-nerd lots of things to do this week. Expect a few more subtle changes as I continue to tinker away with things.

Anyway, back to the return to work. Continue reading