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Adulting 101: Pay the Bill, Change the Tire, Call your Mom

This post is going to focus on immediacy. Many people call this "eating the frog" which refers to handling your most stressful tasks first in the workday. However, for today, we're going to refer to it as immediacy to reflect the all encompassing nature of eating the frog even outside of the work day. Immediacy is the exact opposite of procrastination. When procrastinating, you're recognizing and are even mindful in that moment that you're avoiding a task. If you're mindful enough to actually procrastinate to begin with, then you're mindful enough to tackle this task as soon as possible. It's simply a matter of choice, most of the time.

Sometimes we have so many things we need to get done because we're not getting them done right away when we think about them and also have time. You can write as long of a to do list as you want, but continuing to plan and finagle these to do's into your schedule can take up more time than it's worth. If you realize you're planning more than you're getting things done, you might be in a procrastinating/planning trap. Then you might get pulled into several different directions based on your obligations to friends or family. It all starts to build up. Part of this "adulting" thing we keep talking about doesn't mean staying on top of every little thing to perfection, or being super organized. In fact, spending time trying to create systems of functioning for every little thing starts to become time consuming and again, more time than what you'll get on your returns on that time. So instead of spending 30 minutes creating a chore plan for the next 6 months, take a look around your space and intuitively identify what needs to be done right then. You know if you've deep cleaned or not in the last 4 months--you don't need a calendar to remind you on some of these things. Or, create a "boredom" jar where you write down different to do's you could get done. When you're bored like you have nothing to do, go to that jar, and tackle the task you draw.

Is stress keeping you from wanting to face these tasks? Like, paying bills causes you anxiety, you always fight when you talk to family, or you have some repairs or issues around the house you need to take care of but don't particularly like or are worried about? Avoidance is the enemy. Avoidance is self-reinforcing in that avoiding helps you feel better in the moment. Avoiding paying that bill or trying to address HOW you're going to pay that bill feels good right in the moment but inevitably will be met with more stress, which your brain has now recognized avoidance as the primary most effective way to manage stress. Constant avoidance builds more stress-provoking situations and at some point, you're going to hit rock bottom on the avoidance pattern. When you realize you're in avoidance mode, the best way to combat those feelings of anxiety or worry that cause you to avoid, is to face the issue at hand immediately or as soon as possible. Motivation on its own won't manifest itself without being generated somehow, which is usually through action!

If you're looking to motivate yourself, try these tricks:

  1. The 15 minute challenge: Identify something you need to get done but only promise to work on it for 15 minutes. Set the timer. When the timer goes off, if you've build the momentum or motivation to keep going, then keep going! If you feel like stopping, you can feel successful that you faced an obligation for 15 whole minutes!

  2. You can make a mega-to-do list of all the things you need to get done (just don't use planning as an excuse to procrastinate--make sure your planning is effective). Keep checking off this list until it's done!

  3. Set up specific rewards for getting certain things done. Example: If I clean my car this weekend like I've been avoiding for the past 6 months, I can get myself that pair of shoes I want! Yes, sometimes in order to adult, we have to treat ourselves like we are our own children. Which means positive rewards for "good" behavior.

What are your best motivation tricks to help you handle things immediately as they come along or when you think of them? Share them with your fellow vixens in the forum!

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