How to Stop Doing Nothing
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Isn’t so easy to just “do nothing”?
I find myself opting out of doing things like dinners with friends, working out, writing or making dinner to just do nothing. I saw a comedian one time who summed this up perfectly – “It is 100% easier to not do things than to do them”. The whole bit is pretty hysterical and I suggest you take 60 seconds to watch it.
If you can’t relate to that – then you might as well x out of this post. Because I felt like dear old John was speaking directly to me.
Recently, I have been in a time where I haven’t done much of anything. I have found enough time to watch several episodes of America’s Got Talent. That is how much nothing I am doing these days. (But also, if you ever do watch that show, let me know if you can get through it without tearing up once. I think it might be impossible.)
Even though doing nothing is nice, it gets old after a while. And I have nothing to show for all my hours of doing nothing. I don’t ever want to get to the end of a period of time in my life and not have made any progress. I always want to go out and do things, like travel or even just go to the park with my family. And most of the time, doing nothing is so much easier that planning and executing those things. But doing nothing is never something that brings you happy memories years later. And I want my life to be full of those happy memories. So I wanted to get better at actually doing stuff.
At the start of the year, I set yearly goals for myself using my Powersheets workbook. The Powersheets really helped me plan out what baby steps I needed to take in order to get where I wanted to go by year’s end. Each month I have set daily, weekly and monthly goals for myself, that line up with my yearly goals.
This past month, I didn’t set any goals for myself. I got a bit lazy and thought that since I had followed my power sheets method for the past six months, I could still carry on the spirit of productivity without having doing the pre-work of actually planning and writing out my goals. So without any plans or targets to hit, I have just been doing nothing. And the thing about doing nothing is that it is so easy to do, it can become a part of your routine.
As much as I enjoy going for walks, writing to you all, and learning how to cook more things, if I don’t have accountability, most likely, I will just opt to watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette (don’t judge. Also, if you love that franchise as much as I do, you need to read these recaps for endless laughs).
So how do you keep from just doing nothing?
First, write down your goals. This can be a simple to-do list, or a detailed step-by-step plan with each thing needed to be done in order to accomplish all of your dreams. Do whatever works for you, but it needs to be written down. Every time I try to keep a mental list, I forget things or they just get replaced by reality TV shows. So get out a pen and write down your goals for the next 30 days!
Next, set a timeline for your goals or to-do list. I have learned that I perform best when I set deadlines. I would imagine that is the same for about 99% of people, so that isn’t really groundbreaking news to any of you. We are all used to deadlines for school or work or swim team sign ups. But a lot of us don’t use them in our personal lives. I often think “I need to learn to cook a new recipe”, but I rarely follow that up with “by next Saturday”. You know how many new recipes I learn that way? Nada. Because if I don’t have a deadline, I can always push it off to the next day so I can watch more Dance Moms (I know I have terrible taste in TV shows, don’t @ me). So take a look at the goals list you just wrote down and add “by INSERT DATE” to each one of them.
Finally, just get started! Routines are critical and when you get used to doing so much nothing, it becomes harder and harder to start doing anything. Start with the smallest goal first and give yourself a win even if it seems minor. The point is just to get the ball rolling. Once you start hitting a few of your goals, or ticking things off the to-do list, find some way to celebrate (use some of my “me-time” ideas!).
I am getting out of my “do nothing” rut just by writing this post to you all. And it actually feels great.
Also there isn’t a Fixer Upper marathon on tonight, so that may have had something to do with it.
Let me know what your goals are (big or small) for the next 30 days! Or even just comment with one thing on your list that you have set a deadline for. Can’t wait to hear about all of the things you are doing!
Thanks so much for writing this post. I’ve been doing nothing for years and I am trying to get out of that rut. I just started using Powersheets last month and that is helping some. I also bought the Simplified planner. My biggest goal over the next month is de-cluttering. I’ve made a little bit of progress and it feels good. I just keep praying to God to give me motivation.
Powersheets and the Simplified Planner have helped motivate me to do more and more things! God will help push you to keep going, but I do think it is important to find some tools that work for you! You can do it, LeAnne!