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What’s Work Got To Do With It?

This illustration is funny to me because I feel like this on most days. I know I’m not alone, right? This is a topic I’ve touched on before, but I want to revisit it because it’s a big one for me.

I’ve spent  years trying to figure out why I overeat and I’ve come up with two main reasons: dieting and habit. The other part of the equation is productivity and a sense of purpose. I’ve made note in my private journals and word documents time and time again that my productivity is directly related to how often I turn to or think about food.

This has been a trend in school and various office jobs that I’ve held and even when I’m working from home. When I’m stuck, unmotivated, or procrastinating, I almost always overeat or I want to. Now, don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that I overeat every time that I’m not working or when I’m taking a break from a project, but when I’m overwhelmed, procrastinating or stressed, I want to eat.

I’ve discovered that I have a lot of fear when it comes to the work that I do. And I figure I’m not alone here. I worry that I’m not good enough, and I fear  that people will realize that I’m just making it all up and figuring it out as I go along (because I am, this is a little nugget of wisdom you never hear about until way too late in life.) Sometimes when the steps to get a project done are blurry I get anxious and start putting it off and away and then I go find something to eat to make the discomfort of not knowing what to do go away.

This is a pattern I’ve had for a very long time. When I was in school I was so worried I wasn’t good or would never be good enough at art or design, so I would skip class and binge on a box of donuts or an all fried meal at Captain D’s to feel better in that moment. As procrastination goes, I would feel even worse and it would spin out of control.

These days, I’m getting better at productivity and just doing it rather than fretting over perfection, but it’s a tough road to be on. Making mistakes for the sake of learning is never easy. On the days that I meet my set tasks, and face my discomfort head-on I don’t overeat. I just eat and go on about my business. It feels natural and right to me. It feels good and it boosts my self-esteem. Meeting a deadline and being creative is life saving and essential for me.

Here are some of my anti-procrastination tips:

1) Change of attitude. I touched on this in an earlier post, but I often remind myself that if I’m biting my nails over a project, I’m not having enough fun. Once I change my perspective and feel gratitude for my work, I can do anything.

2) Writing down the details. Sometimes a task is vague or feels too big to complete. When this happens, it’s hard to find the starting point. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, I write down every single step it will take to get the task done. I break it down into smaller steps and pick a starting point. More often than not, this just helps me to clear my head.

3) Do it for 5 or 10 minutes. When there’s something I really don’t want to do I will allow myself to just do five or ten minutes of work. I can handle five or ten minutes of anything. I always notice that once those few minutes are over, I can handle more.

4) Rewards. Having a set of rewards is really motivating for me, especially if I’m tough with myself and don’t do it unless I’ve completed said task. For me a reward is watching TV, surfing pinterest, or going on a little trip.

5) Pick tasks at random. On days when I don’t have a pressing deadline, I will write down everything I need to get done on a little piece of paper, fold them up, and put them in a jar. I will pick one task at random and challenge myself to do only that task until it’s completed. This is really helpful for staying focused.

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