Do you procrastinate? If you feel stressed around all you have to do or are someone who tends to put things off, I’ve got a mentor tip for you. It’s to create what I call an “ick list,” and it’s exactly what it sounds like.
listen to the pep talk here:
I created this technique when I had a lot of adulting to do that I kept putting off. The ick list is for the tasks that aren’t fun, pile up, and stress you out over time. I see this kind of stress show up for college students or anyone going back to school. You kind of just want to veg and enjoy the rest of your summer, but you also have a lot to do to get ready for the new school year.
Whenever there’s a transition involved, I always feel like it takes a little more energy to do your regular stuff. I believe this for two reasons: one because you burn extra energy in transition. For example, if you’re a freshman going into college you may feel like you’re using a lot of energy in the anticipation of what’s next. There is a lot of mental energy that goes into anything that involves planning or change.
Secondly, I think that sometimes procrastination can be a nervous system defense mechanism. It can be related to fear and it’s a pattern that we can shift.
This is where the “ick list” comes in. I get out of piece of paper and I write out, not type out, all the things I have to do that are bringing me stress and anything I’ve been procrastinating on. I basically write down all the tasks that are making me feel icky. After I’ve written everything out, I take a look at the list and I pick out the three things that are bringing me the most stress. When that’s complete you pick one of the three things and just get it done.
There’s a little bit of mentor self-discovery here too. For myself, I learned that what causes me stress is how long something has been on my list not how big the task is. The longer I put it off, the more stress it brings me.
Also, when you start something, you build momentum around it. Once you figure out what task you’re going to get done first it helps build flow for the others. There’s also alchemy in taking something out of your head and putting it on paper. It can kind of neutralize to some of the feelings around all the things you have to do floating in your head. And that is how the ick list works!