By Sheena McKinney, Executive Assistant at Heinz Marketing

A few months ago (pre-COVID), the thought of extra time and especially time at home would have conjured up a whole host of ideas and projects I could tackle.  You know the kind.

When you’re at work you think of things you need to do at home.  When you’re at home you think of things you need to do at work.  Can you relate?

Now you’re working and home (and have your commute time back) aaaand …. Nothin’?  Where did all that motivation mojo go?

So far I’m not any more productive during this extended quarantine. In fact, I feel less productive.  I even feel a bit like I’m in procrastination mode.  If you can relate, we are not alone.

Current events notwithstanding, we are all procrastinators to some extent… at least for certain things, or certain areas…. or during certain times (like during a global pandemic, for example!).

Regardless of the circumstances, the degree of procrastination often depends on the task at hand, and the person.  Let’s face it, for all of us there are just some disciplines and tasks in life that can only be described as necessary evils—both at home and on the job.

You may love getting outside to work in your yard at any opportunity.  Not me.  Not a fan actually.

Once I get out there, I’m glad I did, but it happened because I overcame my inertia and was externally, not intrinsically motivated.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to emerge from sheltering at home (whenever that may be) having regrets about how I did or didn’t use my time and with a bunch of shoulda coulda woulda excuses.

I’m sure you can think of many things on your shoulda list…Things you need (and maybe also want) to do, but that just keep getting put by the wayside for a myriad of good and/or bad reasons.

Don’t beat yourself up though.

Jessi Kneeland, an iPEC certified life coach, in her article, 5 Ways to Stop “Should”-ing All Over Yourself says:

Feeling guilty and overwhelmed breeds inaction and stagnancy, so the more you feel like you “should” do something, the less likely you’ll actually do it.  Not taking action toward your goals makes you feel worse about yourself of course, adding to your feelings of shame and overwhelm. Which naturally brings about more “shoulds.”

So let’s take some action!

I’m going to draw on something I did (I’m going to date myself now) back before the internet and apps existed.  When I was raising my kids, I used a game to help us divvy up chores and things we needed to do around the house using labeled Popsicle sticks we drew from a can.  Wow that makes me sound old!  We also did it for fun things too.

Now, as an adult I call it My Fifteen Minutes of F.A.M.E….. (Faithfully Accomplishing Most Anything).  From my shoulda list, I tell myself to pick one thing– daily or as time allows, and do it for 15 minutes.  Mostly it consists of ongoing, recurring things (like pulling weeds, ugh) but it’s also great for chunking bigger projects into bite size pieces too (though I’m terrible at that).  It’s not meant to be a daily to-do list (like flossing and exercise– I use an app for that), it’s more for the things I just don’t get to as often as desired or needed and are not time-sensitive.  Your list will look different.

Here’s my home list:

  • Organize printed photos
  • Organize digital photos
  • Share/send photos
  • Edit family videos
  • Send a card/note
  • Weed the yard
  • Trim bushes/trees
  • Deep clean an appliance
  • Do stretches
  • Do the mending
  • Remove laundry stains
  • Go through a closet
  • Organize a drawer
  • Dust the blinds
  • Dust/trim/re-pot house plants
  • File papers
  • Shred papers
  • List sale item on line
  • Polish silver jewelry
  • Tidy the garage

You can do anything for fifteen minutes. Over time, you’ll see the progress and it too will be motivating. It is no secret, dare I say it is not a “novel” concept, to break tasks into smaller pieces, but sometimes, at least for me, a gimmick can help.

So here’s my action idea.  Download one of the many, many decision wheel apps out there to help not squander time!  Most are free, super easy, quick and fun to create and share.  You can also do it online on your desktop and paste the link to a note on your phone or computer.  Here’s my wheel.  I think I’m going to make another one for my honey-do list too.

The one currently on the home page for Wheel Decide has one for things you can do during a quarantine.

Check out this one Matt featured on our blog a while ago for some great ideas for sales teams.

Banchiwosen Woldeyesus, a blogger from Ethiopia, gives a great example about selling in her article Action Begets Motivation — Not The Other Way Around.

Treat taking action as your only option and you will realize that motivation or inspiration or ‘feeling like it’ will follow right behind.

So true!

So, if you’re feeling unmotivated or dealing with procrastination, take action.  The motivation will come afterward.  Don’t wait to be motivated. Don’t spin your wheels, click or tap to spin a decision wheel app instead– and set a timer for fifteen minutes if need be.

If you’re feeling anxious or bored or you just want to use your time well, make your own list, create a wheel for work and/or home and give it a whirl!