Do you ever feel like you have a sudden burst of productivity when you are running out of time?
The thought of “Why didn’t I do this earlier?” is at the forefront of your mind and you kick yourself for not doing something before, even though it has been on your radar for weeks.
I can certainly relate to that feeling. Something that has been on my own mind is to get on with a book I’m writing.
While there have been times to sit down and work on the book in a spare 45 minutes here and there in between client work, I tell myself this isn’t enough time to truly focus on my writing.
So I don’t.
Instead, I use those smaller pockets of time to get other things checked off the list such as podcast recording. Nothing wrong with that, you might say.
The trouble is that I’ve not touched the book for weeks, so now I need extra time for my mind to get back into the zone of where the hell I was last time I wrote anything.
The less time I spend doing it, the harder it gets to do it.
But now there’s an urgent deadline looming. Suddenly I’m becoming productive, but in a slightly panicky way.
It has got to a point where I feel I will be writing over sleepless weeks to come because I have left things too late.
However, I also have no time to think too hard about what I’m writing. I just need to get words on the page.
And that can be freeing.
Ease up on yourself
You may wonder why I am sharing details about tasks I have left until the last minute.
The underlying message here is to not be too hard on yourself.
This advice applies to anyone, but when we’re in the throes of menopause anxiety we can double down on ourselves more than usual, ramping up the self-criticism around procrastination and not getting something done by a certain time.
You may feel like you are the only one not getting X, Y, and Z done, and start pulling your hair out over it.
More anxiety creeps in and you end up either doing a worse job than you would have liked, or adding in so many hours to your working week that you have no energy left for anything else in your life.
And that is not good.
It is important stop being overcritical about leaving things until the last minute. It’s all about switching your perspective.
Shifting your mindset
The reality is we all have moments when life is more organised and structured (hard to remember in menopause, but hang on in there!), and then we have times when it’s not.
Next time you have those thoughts creeping in about something you should’ve done, but haven’t yet, take a moment and give yourself some credit.
Have a look at your to-do list and celebrate the things you have done. Make sure you include all the things you did which didn’t appear on the original list!
If you’ve delayed a task and are now under pressure to get it done, it’s just feasible that you will do a better job than if you did it as previously planned.
If you’ve done something that is planned out meticulously, then it can be tempting to go back over it with a fine toothed comb, start to doubt yourself and repeatedly amend and edit.
There are moments in life when you don’t want to overwork something and just need to get stuck in without overthinking the outcome…
..because you and I both know that when you’re experiencing menopausal anxiety, you will focus on the worst-case outcome.
This will lead to analysis paralysis, decreasing the likelihood that you will get the job done at all and further increasing your mounting anxiety and negativity.
There’s always a flipside
The importance of having a change in perspective shows us that leaving things until the last minute is not always bad.
Sometimes you will actually do a better job by giving yourself no time to correct and edit. You will have to tap into creativity, instinct and flow.
There’s always a flipside to what you are doing.
If you’re reading this and recognise that you are someone who beats yourself up over last-minute work and procrastination, remember that leaving something until the last minute doesn’t necessarily mean it will be bad.
It’s just how life has turned out in that moment.
If you’d like to explore how to free yourself from the negative impact of menopause anxiety on your business, relationships and career, why not schedule a free menopausal freedom assessment today.
Or maybe you’ll procrastinate and do it tomorrow.