Breaking The Chains

Its been a good week. I think I’ve made tremendous progress in breaking the chains that have been tying my mind up in knots over the last few weeks.

Breaking the chains of procrastination hasn’t been easy, and going through a period of navel gazing , identifying your own personality flaws isn’t an enjoyable process.

The good news is that I liked myself a couple of weeks ago, and I still like myself today even though I know realise that I’m not as perfect as I once thought I was.

Breaking The Chains

The first thing I did after last weeks angst ridden post,  was to finish the Julie Morgenstern book about time management – and realised way before reaching the end of the book, that time management was only a very small part of my overall issues.

So as any chronic procrastinator like me does – I sat down and wrote another list.

What I think my problems are

  •  Doing less than the bare minimum
  • Not getting in front of enough clients
  • Dicking about on the internet for too long
  • Not concentrating on work/earning related tasks
  • Spending too long on little boy projects
  • No overall strategy
  • No business aims or strategy – just rolling with whatever the phone brings
  • No work ethic
  • Not starting tasks
  • Not finishing tasks
  • Not doing what I say I will
  • Being bombarded with mental interruptions – lack of concentration on task in hand. eg, internet search for reset leads me off on a tangent, get up too often to make a cup of tea or to have a stretch, chat to colleagues etc.

What am I good at ?

  • I have incredible knowledge about my field of business
  • I have a specialised licence to trade in a regulated field which if used correctly should be a licence to print money (I don’t work hard enough – so am not making the money) – and no- I’m not saying what the licence is or what I do for a living – so dont ask.

Whats holding me back ?

  1. Fear
  2. Feeling overwhelmed
  3. Lack of vision
  4. Lack of organisation
  5. Being too easily distracted
  6. Not setting clear achievable goals.

Wow – looking at that lot above – what a bum.

How can someone as bad as me own their own home, business, car, have a lovely wife and amazing family – I can’t be that bad can I ?

So – I have a dream – a vision – its in the title of this blog. Get Rich With Me is something thats been smouldering away in my psyche since my late teens. But this smouldering has never ignited into the fire necessary to get me there.

Thats my job now. The fire has been lit.

If I want to fulfill my (many) life ambitions and dreams I’m not going to do it by carrying on the way I have been for the last 20 years.

So on Thursday last week I wrote out the lists you can see above (plus a lot more besides) and decided that it was time to change. Time to start breaking the chains of some of the lifelong lazy traits that seem to have a hold on the way I conduct my life.

The first thing I’ve started to do is to record how I spend my working day. What time I get to work, and what tasks I do each day and how long they take me.) I can then look back at the end of the day and see if I’ve spent my time in a worthwhile manner.

If I told you how often I’ve come to my office and just sat about drinking tea and mooching about on the internet all day you would be shocked. So I’m not.

By writing diarising my work time – I can identify the times that I am most productive, and also see the hours that I spend doing nothing at all. It gives me the chance to look back at the end of each week and see If I’ve been productive or not.

I think this will be the kick up the backside that I need. (its already working!)

I have this massive fear of tasks – that they are beyond me (even though when I do them the give me little trouble) – I tend to try to forget about them in the hope that they will go away – even though they don’t.

Its stupidity really.

Stupidity because if I just get them done, then I will get more done in a working week.

So heres to more productivity, less self induced stress and a happier me.

And to everyone who left such supportive comments on the blog over the last week – you are all very warm hearted and kind – thank you.





  1. Looks like you have a plan! One thing that’s always helped me is to break a large task into really tiny pieces. I tell myself, I’ll do one small piece and stop – and find myself doing some more!

    The first step is usually the hardest.

    • You’re right – its just been the fear of getting started on some of these tasks have ended up on me creating a massive back log that gets bigger and more terrifying as it goes on.
      Once I’ve actually got started and stuck in – its not so bad after all.
      Like you say lots of small steps will get me there

  2. It looks like you’ve re-dedicated yourself and that’s usually one of the largest steps. I think the idea of writing down what you’ve done throughout the day is a great step. I’ve read that for a great deal of people To-Do lists just end up being demotivators and you tend to just pick off the easy tasks and never get to the hard ones – so for many a “done” list actually can be more motivating and useful.

    In my own field of programming we have a strong habit of using “bug trackers” that effectively act as our to-do lists and keep us on track. So for me, my workday is easy enough: look at the list of things our team agreed to work on this two-week cycle and pick one off the queue and get it done. We have priority levels and such, but really the small two-week chunks mean that the priorities aren’t too important – we need to get them all done in that time anyways. Luckily, I’m excused from the actual task of dealing with trying to go through incoming requests, dealing with strong demands from management and distilling that down into the bucket of things we consider for our next two week cycle.
    We also schedule two 20-minute meetings each week to go through the list of new things, estimate how long they might take (in orders of magnitude) and work on making sure we have enough details and break them down enough that we can get started on them when they hit our list.

    • To-do lists were just a big failure for me. I did exactly what you said, just picked out the easiest tasks and ignored the stuff that had been hanging over my head for months.
      Hopefully this new system of accounting for my time will be much more effective.

  3. It sounds to me like you are certainly taking some positive steps…steps that will move you in the right direction and serve you well going forward.

  4. With the plan that you have, taking one step at a time, no matter how slow, will get you there so long as you stay positive. Wishing you all the best.

    • Thanks Jen – I’m now accounting for every 15 minute time period of my working day – I’ve never got through so much work!
      Thanks for your comments – your right – one step at a time is the way forwards

  5. Just a quick tip from a former huge procrastinator. Start really small. Super small. Create a to do list with one small item on it and do that!

    • You know Barbara – I’m now sure I’ve hit on the one thing that has been holding me back all these years.
      I appreciate the fact that you’ve taken the time to comment / give me some support.
      Its very much appreciated

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