Procrastination: Why do I waste so much energy putting off doing things?

Procrastination …

…the act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.

 

Procrastinationing Minions
Procrastination

Procrastination is a bizarre form of paralysis.  Why do I waste so much energy putting off doing things?  Especially things that I actually want to do?!

An example, to show you what I mean – I recently spotted some really lovely, quirky thank you cards (from http://www.huckleberrywillow.co.uk, if you must know) and I thought it would be a grand idea to pop a card in the post to say thank you to my clients for their support over the last 12 months.

Two weeks later, the cards are still sitting on my desk, unwritten, and beginning to take on human characteristics – they are staring at me, accusingly!  And I am really don’t like their tone of voice either!

What’s that all about then?!

Procrastinating
Make tea to avoid making a decision

To solve this minor mystery, and to delay a little longer on the task of actually writing my thank yous, I went and made tea.  It’s a well-known fact that tea is fundamental to problem solving, so cuppa in hand, I sat down to ponder.

 

As I was drawing up my list of excuses (too busy that day, writing too scruffy another day, writing hand too sore following challenging yoga pose the night before etc. etc.) an image of a Facebook post floated into my mind – you know the one, you’ve seen it countless times

Feel the fear, and do it anyway!

Oh my goodness…. I was afraid!  Not of the cards, that would be silly….. although I was getting very concerned about their attitude!  I had a bunch of fears around what my clients might think of me when receiving my quirky little thank yous.  Would they think I was a bit weird to send such a note, a bit too “forward”?  Would they appreciate the heartfelt thanks or see it as something more commercial?  These thoughts were actually holding me back from doing what I wanted to do.

Somewhere along the line between idea and action, my procrastination meant that I had lost the impulse to “do it anyway”.

Procrastinating with biscuits
More tea plus biscuits

This realisation was quite something, and I thought that was it for the day – but oh no!  More was to come!   What if there were other little things each day or each week that I don’t follow through on because of a fear about the outcome?  This was getting serious – more tea, and biscuits, were required.

Was I living a fear based lifestyle?

Was I wasting my precious energy having all these fabulous ideas that I then put off doing or held back from?  Sad to admit, but the answer was yes.  Procrastination was getting in the way of my progress.  In quick succession I was able to think of half a dozen little ideas that had never made it past thought and into reality.  Hmmmm…..how frustrating!

A couple of biscuits later, I made another shocking connection.  My therapy business is all geared around raising energy levels and using coaching techniques to help people move forward.  I have a really effective toolkit to do this, yet here I was realising that my fears over big and little things are zapping my own energy and actually preventing me from doing all sorts of things.

My lightbulb moment was to realise that if I stop procrastinating and just get on with it, if I “feel the fear, and do it anyway” then I can use my precious energy to do the stuff I love instead of wasting it on worry and fear.

More tea, anyone?

If you are procrastinating and struggling to take the first step forward or raise your energy levels – contact me for a chat to find out how I can help (aside from providing tea and biscuits!!)  http://www.reconnectingyou.co.uk/contact/

3 Top Tips to Sleep Like A Baby & Get Your Life Back

Sleep like a baby
Sleep like a baby

Do you sleep like a baby?  For a lot of people, sleep is a challenge.  This is especially true for people living with M.E, Fibromyalgia or CFS.  Some don’t get enough, some wake up a lot through the night and some people wake up feeling just as tired as when they went to bed.

I have 3 top tips for getting better sleep and to help get your life back.  They are straight forward, common sense things that you probably know already.

But…have you put any of them in place?  ~Did you track what happened when you make changes?  What was the outcome and were you able to adjust your approach to see what happened?  If not, then you may not have seen the hoped for improvements.  There are 3 steps you can take to help – link HERE

Getting back to basics

Let’s go back to basics – in order to sleep like a baby, you may need to re-create some of the things that you experienced as a baby or as a parent helping your children to sleep well.

Spend a few moments thinking about your current “bedtime routine”.

  • Do you have a routine? Most of us will go through the bathroom, wash our faces/shower/bath, brush teeth, go the loo, so on and so on.

BUT what do you do before this??

  • If you take a look at the 90 minutes or so before you get into bed, I would like you to consider three areas:

Top Tip # 1 – Avoid Stimulants

Caffeine
Caffeine

This covers the biggest culprit, caffeine (not just tea &.coffee but other caffeinated drinks) but also includes all forms of alcohol and all forms of drugs – prescribed and non-prescribed.

(Please note: I am not making any recommendations at all about prescription drugs as I am not a qualified medical practitioner and not in any position to do so.  You should consult your GP if you have concerns about the impact of prescribed medications on your sleep.)

Let’s focus on caffeine: you know it’s a stimulant i.e. it has a chemical effect on your body that stimulates activity.

But did you know that caffeine has a half-life of 5 hours?  This means that if you drink it now, in 5 hours the level of caffeine in your system will be approximately half.

So what’s that got to do with your sleep?

Well, if you enjoy a coffee after your evening meal at, say 8pm, by 1am there will still be  about half the level of caffeine swimming around in your body like some crazed chemical party goer looking for a nightclub.

You may not feel like the caffeine is having an impact, but there will be some kind of reaction taking place inside your body.

My advice?  Don’t drink caffeinated drinks (including tea) after 2pm for 1 week and see if it makes any difference to you sleep.

If you don’t notice anything, go back to your usual routine, and again, take note of what happens to your sleep and notice any differences.

In my experience, you are more likely to notice the impact on sleep after re-introducing caffeine.  This is because your body will have had a bit of a detox in the week ebfore and you are more likely to beaware of the impact of putting caffeine back into your system.

Top Tip #2 – Check Out Your sleep space

Calm Bedroom
Uncluttered sleep space

We are vulnerable when we sleep.  Psychologically, our mind finds it difficult to shut down if we do not feel comfortable, safe and secure.

Just think about how well you can you sleep when:

 

  • your room and bed are cluttered?
  • you are wondering whether or not you shut the door/set the alarm/what the dog is up to?
  • your bed isn’t comfortable?
  • the curtains aren’t pulled tightly together?
  • your bedding isn’t wrapped around you/smoothed out around you?

These are all examples o fthe sort of thing that our subconscious mind is aware of.  That awareness “niggles” at us.  If the niggle is strong enough, it can prevent us from falling into deep sleep because our subconscious is not able to switch off.  It feels vulnerable.

Most of us don’t recall poor sleep as a child as it’s usually something that developed in teen years or adulthood.  Think back to when you do remember sleeping well – what did you have going on around you in your sleep space at that time?

Now compare that sleep space to your current sleeping space.  If things are different, then try to re-create the environment you had back then.

Top Tip #3 – Pre-Sleep Prep

Bedtime routine
Bedtime routine?

As a small child, you would have had a bedtime routine of some description.  It may have been something like tea, then play, followed by having a bath, reading a book, maybe having a drink of milk before actually settling down to go to sleep.  One of the reasons for the routine was to calm you down so that you could go off to sleep.

Think about what your typical routine is nowadays…does it look anything like the routine described above?!

My experience is that most folks spend the time immediately before they go to be doing things like

  • watching TV
  • using social media
  • gaming
  • working on laptops

Then they go through the bathroom and  hop into bed.  There isn’t usually any time built into the routine to decompress, relax and become calm.  It’s little wonder then that we don’t sleep like babes anymore!

Spend a some time thinking about what you would love to experience in the hour before you go to bed as part of your new bedtime routine.  (My suggestion would be that it doesn’t include gadgets (at all!) but does include things that help you to really chill out.)

Now that you have a routine in mind work towards putting it in place.

How can I help you?

All of the above is really simple stuff – the tricky bit is making it happen.  That’s where I come in!

I work with people wo are tired, exhausted or living with a chronic fatigue condition.  Togeter we tackle all and any problems that are part of their fatigue and poor sleep is a common issue.  If you would like some support on this side of things – follow this link HERE.

If you prefer the self help route – take a look at Tired But Wired by Dr Narina Ramlakhan – link HERE .  It’s a brilliant book packed full of ways to help sort your sleep out.

Sleep Issues: 3 simple steps to tackle poor sleep

Sleep Issues
Sleep Issues

Sleep issues are causing major problems for many of us.  Did you know that one in three* of us suffers from poor sleep?  This statistic comes from a great page on the NHS.gov website where you can find lots of other scary stats about how significant an impact lack of sleep has on our health and wellbeing – LINK

How lack of sleep impacts our bodies

Our bodies can cope remarkably well with short periods of poor sleep but over the long term, a sleep issues can lead to:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Increased weight gain
  • Impairment of mental ability
  • Increased likelihood of developing diabetes, heart disease and infertility
  • Lower sex drive

I think most of us get it.  We understand that sleep issues such as poor sleep, lack of sleep and disturbed sleep leave you feeling grumpy and slightly at odds with the world.

So, enough with the depressing stuff….what the dickens are we supposed to do about it?!

Make some changes

Well, like loosing weight or getting fit, we have to make some changes .  It’s not very likely that our sleep issues will just suddenly decide to correct themselves.  This is especially true if we have a pattern of poor sleep for some period of time, perhaps even since childhood.  It’s going to require a bit of effort in order to achieve better sleep.

Do something different
Do something different

I very often see this quote popping up on social media and I think it’s 100% accurate – I you keep on doing what you have always done, you will keep on getting what you have always got.

So, we need to change something.

Great!!

I repeat….what the dickens are we supposed to do about it?!

The easy way to tackle sleep issues

The good news is that tackling sleep issues it isn’t rocket science.  It breaks down to three steps:

STEP 1 – Get to grips with what happens when you sleep and understand why sleep plays such a vital role in keeping us healthy and well.  Learning a bit about ourselves is really useful because change is easier to handle when you understand the reasons for it.

STEP 2 -Change stuff!  There are a lots of really simple changes that you can put in place that will lead to a rapid improvement in your sleep quality and quantity.  Not only will you feel better, but you will be minimising potentially horrible consequences on your long-term health.

STEP 3 – Have a plan and a cheerleader to support you.  This last bit is crucial.  It’s why people go to slimming groups and work with personal trainers.  Change is really hard, especially if we are trying to change something you may have been doing for years.  You are likely hit challenges that will undermine what you are trying to achieve, even if your motivation level is high.  Working with a plan and having some support keeps you on track.

Rocket science
Getting better sleep isn’t rocket science!

If you would like to know more about how I can support you to change your sleep issues, contact me on the link – HERE

I am a fatigue specialist, working with people who have fatigue in all froms from tiredness, to exhaustion to chronic fatigue conditions like M.E, Fibromyalgia or CFS.  I help people to get their life back, and go on to live healthy and vibrant lives.  If you have fatigue, and recognise that sleep issues are part of the problem, then get in touch – CONTACT

Contrary to popular opinion, it is 100% possible to get your life back!!

* Taken from NHS research with NHS Choices – https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2018/01/30/is-lack-of-sleep-affecting-your-work/