art is the soul made visible

art is the soul made visible

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

30 Days of Getting Shit Done Revisited

Awhile back I had decided to spend 30 days tackling the various tasks I was procrastinating on doing-I called it “30 Days of Getting Shit Done”.  I didn’t get very far in the 30 days before quitting.  As I sit here with an overwhelming amount of tasks that (still) need to get done -I’m willing to give it another go.  If you have a long list of “to-do’s” as well, then keep reading and consider joining me.

First, let me “out” myself as a very skilled procrastinator.  For me procrastination is part of a stressful, overwhelming pattern.  The pattern goes like this… anxiety over performing a task(s) (or sometimes just being generally anxious) leads to>>> procrastination which leads to>>>the task(s) becomes more unmanageable which means>>>I become even more overwhelmed and anxious about the task(s) which means>>> my general level of anxiety and overwhelm build and spill over into other areas of my life which means >>> life begins to feel very unmanageable and I get stuck in a state of avoidance.  Action is the only antidote to this pattern.  Action is what “30 Days of Getting Shit Done” is about.

So, I made the decision to do this 30 days in the middle of November.  The skilled procrastinator voice in my head said, “You should definitely start this on the 1st day of a month, not the middle.  And you should definitely start on a Monday rather than a Wednesday”.  Tempting, but I know that “NOW!” is the ONLY time to deal with procrastination.  Besides, I want some relief from this stressed, overwhelmed feeling NOW-not on the first of next month.

I will share  how I am doing this 30 days, but feel free to do your 30 days however you wish.

***Instructions for 30 Days of Getting Shit Done***

1.  Make a list of all the tasks that need done that are weighing you down.

  What is weighing you down?  What are you avoiding doing?  Tasks left undone can take up a lot of mental energy and create stress.  Make a list of what needs done for you to free up that mental energy.  For me this is going to be a lot of cleaning and organizing type stuff, but there will also be things like phone calls on my list.  I will be making an exhaustive list, but I am reminding myself that I do NOT need to get all of it done in this 30 days.  Making a thorough list will allow me to see exactly how much needs done and help me to prioritize. I can see where I am at the end of the 30 days and do another 30 days if I want/need to.

2.  Break down tasks into manageable chunks.

I am feeling overwhelmed, so giving myself big overwhelming tasks to do isn’t going to move me into action.  So, I have decided to break tasks down into actions that will take about 15 minutes to do.  For example, I have “clean/organize bathroom closet” on my list.  So, under the task of  the bathroom closet I will have listed “1st shelf”, “2nd shelf”, “3rd shelf”, and “4th shelf”.  Each shelf should take about 15 minutes.  I can manage 15 minutes, but the idea of doing the whole closet in one sitting is overwhelming.  The idea is to  keep the tasks manageable and realistically do-able.

3.  Do one task from the list each day, for the next 30 days.

I can manage 15 minutes of task-tackling each day.  15 minutes is a small amount of time, but over a month it adds up.  If my math is correct that equals 7.5 hours of work done by the end of  the 30 days.  That’s a lot of  time!!  If I were to do that 7.5 hours of work in one (or even over two or three) sittings it would be very hard on me.  Time and energy are limited resources-especially with this autoimmune disease.  I simply can’t do the superwoman thing like I used to.  I used to be very good about staying on top of what needed done, but now I often struggle to take care of the basic tasks of living.   But…I think if I am organized and systematic I can get a lot done in these bite sized chunks of time.


So…what do you think?  Care to join me?  Today my task will be to write my list.  Good luck everybody! xo


  1. So far I have written m list of shit that needs doing. I have a 10 minute rule that I really keep up with of everyday things that need to be done..... If it will take 10 or less I just force myself to do it right then. I am hoping that when everyone leaves for work tomorrow I will be able to cross some things off my list..... I have a stack of things to mail so that is first on my regular to do list tomorrow Walk with Stephanie to the post office. Thanks to you I may dig out an old yoga DVD to try again......

    1. Hi Connie! I love your 10 minute rule, I think I might have to try using that one too. If I could implement it I think tasks would pile up a lot less. Good luck with the yoga DVD if you choose to dig it out! Today is the day I start my fitness plan and I'm committing to walking 5 minutes every day this week (health permitting). The past attempts (since sickness) at fitness have taught me that it's better to start at a snails pace and very very very slowly increase activity. The old me that could easily run for two hours says "5 minutes?! What's the point?!!" but I need to let go of that thinking. Now it's all about just keeping it manageable and not getting totally discouraged. If I can work my way up to 15 minutes of activity a day over the next few weeks, that would be great! But hell-even 5 minutes is more than I'm doing now! Anyway...thanks for sharing! It helps keep me motivated! xo

  2. One thing that keeps me going at the small things is..... It takes three weeks to make a habit... Good or bad..... I walked three miles today and got three items out of the house. Large or small my goal is an item a day. Getting shit done didn't happen again today but I am no further behind than I was yesterday and I made a nice dinner so I get a gold star too.....

    1. Connie-I love that you said "I am no further behind than I was yesterday"-it's a good reminder not to beat ourselves up when we have those days when it just doesn't happen. And YES you do indeed get a gold star!! Actually you get from you and one from me ;) Love your posts, they always inspire me! xo