Day 16: Let the Pressure Build

Megan Mcdonough

Document PileYesterday, I wrote about the danger of the 21-day Challenge – the fact that just when we try to focus on one goal, all sorts of other tasks and challenges arise to push us off course.

Well, there’s another tactic I use to stay on course – and it’s one that arose out of desperation. Necessity is indeed the mother of all invention.

That handy-dandy tactic is procrastination. Mark Twain said it best, “Do not put off until tomorrow what can be put off till the day-after-tomorrow.”

When you focus on a goal, other things take a back seat. Period. End of story. Please don’t fool yourself into thinking you can focus on your primary goal while still focusing on your entire other list. I can tell you now – it won’t work.

When it comes to procrastination, don’t procrastinate on your goal – procrastinate on everything else.

For example, when I took on this 21-day Challenge to write daily blog posts, the house suffered. It’s a bloody mess here on the home front. Dirty dishes fill the sink, the unfolded laundry has sat for days on the dining room table, fresh veggies from our garden sit wilting on the kitchen countertop, and cooking dinner is, well, far from gourmet.

I cannot do it all, and housework is what I am putting off. I must confess that it was easy enough for me to give up since it’s not my favorite thing in the world to do.

There’s no sense of sacrifice. In fact, I was kind of hoping others would step up, but that fantasy is turning out to be delusional. I seem to have the lowest tolerance of messiness in the family. It’s a curse.

Other things I had to give up, though, to stay committed to this 21-day Challenge were a little tougher to swallow.

I have not gone for my afternoon walk with my dog Pearl for too many days – and my body misses it. I don’t put off the needs of my children, but I do ask for more help from my husband, Joe. Emily’s oral surgery, for example, was not postponed. And I can’t very well put aside my work for paying clients.

The trick is I just put off what I can for as long as I can. I’m getting to be a master at procrastination.

Procrastination is not a nasty word – even though teachers have warned us of the evils of procrastination ever since we were assigned our first book report.

As you focus on actions to reach your goal, put off other unrelated and non-essential tasks, letting the pressure build. When you can no longer take it – when the pressure of putting off the task is greater than the effort needed to get it done – take action and get that job done as efficiently as possible.

Here’s a real-life example. I walked into the kitchen the other morning at 7:15. I took one look at the countertop – which I could barely see through the rubble of miscellaneous junk piled on top of it – and decided I could not sit with this mess around me and enjoy my morning coffee.

The family, unbeknownst to them, was going to participate in a whirlwind cleaning session. I had less than an hour before I had to leave to teach a yoga class. In that time, my children and I got the house in some semblance of order. My husband had already left for work, so he missed out on all the fun. I’m sure he was sorry to have missed it. The kids grumbled a bit, but that’s life. In the end, the housework I procrastinated on got done in record time.

I find when I procrastinate, let the pressure build, and then take focused action, stuff happens fast and furiously. There’s just not a lot of time for mental cogitation and fluffy time-wasters. The action you finally do take is laser-like.

So stop beating yourself up when you procrastinate. Watch the pressure build, let it build some more, and – wham! Get it done.

Take the Challenge:

[tags]Megan McDonough, training the trainer program, yoga business, business marketing consultant, 21-day yoga marketing challenge[/tags]

Author: Megan Mcdonough

People with big ideas face a constant challenge: how to transform that vision into a new and better reality. Whether it’s change in your personal life or success in your business, vision needs action (and rest) to manifest.

2 Responses to “Day 16: Let the Pressure Build”

  1. Lorrie says:

    Megan, Wow, your last two entries have really hit the nail on the head. I have been making my phone calls and letting the dishes pile up. I have stepped over the towels in the bathroom and leading down the hallway to my kids room just hoping that someone will understand that I am “back to work” on Monday so others in this family are going to have to step it up a notch. I am able to do this for a certain amount of time and then I “blow” ( having let the pressure build a little too much). And, this can happen on the day that I have had a most wonderul morning meditation. My family is never quite sure when this is going to happen but when it is does they MOVE. My question is always….”why do I have to act like a raving lunatic for anyone to do anything around here”? Then I get some help for a while, I get some work done, and then the cycle continues. So yes, it is a little more complicated than setting a goal and taking some action but IT IS DOABLE. So, all this being said…..your words are uplifting, reassuring and absolutely motivating and thank you so much for taking the time to do this 🙂

  2. Thank you, dear Lorrie, for taking the time to read the words and then share your experience!! Balancing those never-ending household chores (or lack thereof) is, I think, a universal motherhood complaint:-))


Leave a Reply