#610 Why “I Work Better Under Pressure” Doesn’t Really Work

#610 Why “I Work Better Under Pressure” Doesn’t Really Work

610 – Why “I Work Better Under Pressure” Doesn’t Really Work

Have you ever said, “I work better under pressure.”

Is that true or is that procrastination as a trauma response?

In this continuation of last week’s episode, Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory dig into the process of procrastination and how it is hurting all of us. In addition to defining the procrastination responses of Freeze and Fawn, they discuss the difference between working under pressure and pre-deciding. Kathi and Cheri describe how they use the concept of pre-deciding to live a life that reflects their values instead of living a life of fear. That’s what they want for you too! Listen for the steps of pre-deciding as well as other ways to break the procrastination cycle, such as:

  • How to permit yourself to not finish a decluttering project
  • How to move the goalpost when it comes to decluttering
  • How to be a good steward of your most precious resource

Sign up here to be notified when the next episode is released.

Would you like to receive Kathi’s Clutter Free Academy newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here and receive the free download mentioned in this episode, The Four P Bullies at a Glance!

You Don’t Have to Try So Hard: Ditch Expectations and Live Your Own Best Life

With honesty and humor, Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory help you take a breather and find reassurance as you face the bullies of perfectionism, performancism, people-pleasing, and procrastination.

Self-assessments and personal stories guide you from panic to peace as you learn to:

  • Pick battles worthy of your time and energy
  • Embrace the freedom of a carefully considered “no”
  • Recognize your strengths and weaknesses in the quest for balance
  • Use authenticity as a weapon to battle bullies
  • Release yourself from the endless pressure of pleasing others

Ditch your feelings of inadequacy and finally came face-to-face with the bold, balanced woman God created you to be.

Order your copy here!

What’s your best tip for avoiding procrastination?

Share your answer in the comments.

Let’s stay connected

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest 

 

Cheri Gregory

Through Scripture and storytelling, Cheri Gregory delights in helping women draw closer to Jesus, the strength of every tender heart. She is the founder of the Sensitive and Strong Community Cafe: the place for the HSP Christian woman to find connection. With Kathi Lipp, she’s the co-author of You Don’t Have to Try So Hard, Overwhelmed, and An Abundant Place. Cheri speaks locally and internationally for women’s events and educational conferences.

You can connect with Cheri at CheriGregory.comSensitiveAndStrong.com, on Cheri’s Facebook Page, and on Instagram.

Transcript

Well, hey friends, welcome to Clutter-Free Academy where our goal is to help you take small, doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life. And if you’re somebody who’s often said, I work better under pressure, my friend Cheri Gregory and I are here to blow up your world.

I’ve heard this a lot from people in clutter free. And here’s what I know, procrastination is hurting all of us and there are ways to deal with it. C

heri, welcome back to the program.

Cheri Gregory (01:01.482)
Hey Kathi thanks for having me back.

Kathi (01:03.646)
Okay, in between these recordings, you said, I could talk about frenzy as a trauma response. And I’m like, whoa, hold on. Wait, that’s a big statement. So do you consider procrastination a trauma response?

Cheri Gregory (01:15.351)
Hehehe

Cheri Gregory (01:25.202)
I think it often can be a trauma response because we’ve already been saying that it’s built on fear. Whether you want to call something a trauma response, a fear response, I mean, back in sixth grade we learned that fight and flight were the two major fear responses. So you can call it a trauma response, an anxiety response, whatever you stress response, whatever you want. But what’s interesting is in the last few years we’ve been hearing more about freeze and fawn.

Kathi (01:41.887)
Right.

Kathi (01:48.519)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (01:53.366)
freeze makes sense, you know, it’s just coming stock still. And then fawn, we recognize to be more the people pleasing response. And a lot of us women have been conditioned into that. But the two that are far less talked about are flock and frenzy. And I really identify with this whole idea of frenzy. Frenzy, as you can guess, it’s the kind of busy, go, go. And I, my natural personality loves being productive.

Kathi (02:20.982)
I know you love seeing yourself in videos.

Cheri Gregory (02:23.342)
and when I procrastinate and then suddenly have to do things under pressure, then I can end up getting that kind of, and you already said, let your cortisol levels go up, the adrenaline goes up, and for a short period of time that can actually feel kind of good. Now afterwards, we crash and we burn and it feels terrible.

Kathi (02:46.422)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (02:47.874)
But one of the things that actually God has been convicting me over the last couple of years is that one of the reasons I have been so rest resistant is because I am so accustomed to living in a frenzy state. And so rather than spacing things out, rather than having a schedule that I can actually handle.

I have a tendency to do that all or nothing where I crash and burn and I cancel everything and then of course I recover from whatever it was and I get bored and I start taking things on again, volunteering, accepting things with a short deadline and then I have to go and push myself again, busy, go, go. Whether or not those actions are in alignment with my values, whether or not those are, and I know we’re going to talk about pre-deciding.

Kathi (03:38.789)
Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (03:39.478)
I’ve been really working on catching myself because in our society, in our American society, productivity is like the gold standard. As long as you produced, you’re fine, right? And for those of us in the church, I mean, churches love a woman who will show up and get things done. Like they keep the church going. And so we’ve gotten a lot of kudos for being the kind of woman who can get things done under pressure.

Kathi (03:48.73)
Yeah. Right.

Cheri Gregory (04:09.234)
It doesn’t necessarily mean that we are living in alignment when our values, when we live that way. And then for me to realize, hang on a second, this is actually living in a constant fear response or trauma response. It doesn’t, it’s not good for me. The chemicals running through my body are hurting me. I don’t want to live this way anymore. So that’s, that’s where that comment came from.

Kathi (04:29.62)
Yes.

Kathi (04:33.562)
So much came up with that. First of all, women in the church, we were appreciated without being acknowledged, and we were assumed that we would just do all the unpaid labor. And it’s not just in the church, it’s in any space where women’s labor can be taken advantage of. In the schools of, yes.

Cheri Gregory (04:41.384)
Exactly.

Cheri Gregory (04:47.178)
Mm-hmm. Yep.

Cheri Gregory (04:58.698)
Yeah. And we get called lifesavers. We get called lifesavers. Oh, you’re such a lifesaver and we’re killing ourselves.

Kathi (05:05.474)
Yes. And so we’re, we’re set, we’re setting ourselves on fire to keep other people warm. And, yeah, no more, no more. So it feels like freeze and frenzy are both procrastination responses. One is where I’m scrubbing the tile to not write the devotional. And the, and the other is I’m watching friends episodes to not write.

Cheri Gregory (05:11.656)
Exactly.

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (05:34.686)
the not right the devotional. Why do you think that those two are? How do they demonstrate themselves in different ways? I’m just I’m thinking I’ve been known to do both. Is it a guilt response? Like at least I’m doing something. You can’t be mad at me because at least I’m scrubbing the tile. Or is are we justifying to ourselves? What do you think that is, Cheri?

Cheri Gregory (05:58.135)
Hehehe

Cheri Gregory (06:02.89)
That does make a lot of sense. I’m like we’re substituting one activity. So at least I’m doing something I’m not you know sitting around doing nothing I also think that at least in from the way I experience procrastination Is there’s a period of time where it’s kind of that freeze where I’m like zoned out I’m not producing anything of any value and then the panic kicks in and once the panic kicks in Then is when I’m going to turn I’m going to pivot

Kathi (06:05.354)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (06:09.114)
Bye.

Cheri Gregory (06:28.778)
and dive into the actual thing and work on it like a maniac and either pull it off or crash and burn in the midst of trying.

Kathi (06:36.89)
Yeah, and I just want to reiterate to our listeners, you know, we’re saying this with a smile because we both recognize it in ourselves, but trauma response requires trauma. Something has happened that has, and you shouldn’t be like, okay, we’ll just push past that. We just want you to be able, the first part of recovering from trauma is recognizing what is going on. And so if,

Cheri Gregory (06:49.676)
Hmm.

Kathi (07:07.078)
If you know, I just read an article, Julia Louis Dreyfus, who was part of Seinfeld VP, said that she has been dealing with a trauma response for 40 years after her dad criticized her performance on Saturday Night Live. I mean, right? Right? And so some of these things are very, very deep. And maybe you’re not cleaning your room because it didn’t matter how hard you cleaned it.

Cheri Gregory (07:26.591)
Yeah.

Kathi (07:35.93)
when you were little, it was never good enough, or you cleaned your room and your sister was allowed to just come in and mess it up. I don’t know what the response is, but I mean, I don’t know what the reason is, but the response is real. So, yeah.

Cheri Gregory (07:46.35)
Hmm. Yeah. Well, and let’s go back. So now you’re giving me the answer to the scrubbing, the scrubbing. I know why we scrub. We scrub because it’s something we can control.

Kathi (07:55.154)
Yeah.

Kathi (07:59.167)
Uh, yeah. It’s so true, right?

Cheri Gregory (08:00.642)
Trauma responses are all about control. And so when we’re scrubbing the grout, we can whiten that grout, but we don’t know for sure if we can actually declutter our house. We don’t know if we sit down at a blank page, are the words gonna come, or will our brain have ceased functioning? But we can scrub that grout and we can feel like we at least, we could check that off our list.

Kathi (08:14.606)
Mm.

Cheri Gregory (08:24.21)
And these kinds of responses, they feel very familiar because they’re things that we’ve been doing for a long time. And so when we start to disrupt, when we start to interrupt and try to do something different, it’s gonna feel unfamiliar. And that’s one of the other things that I’ve really been having to learn and sit with is as I have, just again, to use the example, let’s imagine somebody in Clutterfree Academy who’s like, no, I can’t do just 15 minutes. It doesn’t feel right. It makes me miserable.

Kathi (08:30.95)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (08:54.214)
No, Kathi, you don’t understand. I can’t stop after 15 minutes. I have to do everything or I can do only do nothing. Please know you have my sympathy. And also the fact that it’s uncomfortable may simply be that it’s unfamiliar and it could take some time to get used to until you have permission.

Kathi (08:54.335)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (09:03.983)
Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (09:16.878)
to only do 15 minutes rather than you get into that room and don’t come out until you’ve cleaned it completely, young lady, to my standards. So changing, yes, changing these habits takes some time. And the other thing for me is realizing that not having the crash and burn afterwards, like, oh.

Kathi (09:25.838)
Right. The punishing aspect.

Kathi (09:38.51)
Yes, it’s so true. It’s so true. You know, when you talk about, I can’t do 15 minutes because it doesn’t, it’s not gonna be everything. I think that’s when you have to move the goalpost from decluttering the kitchen to decluttering the junk drawer or the utensil drawer. Because yes, I also don’t wanna stop in the middle of something. But there also is some beauty in stopping in the middle because it gives you a depth.

Cheri Gregory (09:52.138)
Hmm.

Cheri Gregory (09:56.746)
Yes.

Kathi (10:08.062)
define place to start next time. And that is a gift for me. Okay, we’re gonna take a quick break. We’re gonna come back and we’re gonna talk about working under pressure versus pre-deciding. And also discovering is Cheri, a big old hypocrite because she took on a very pressure-filled project this week, but I wanna talk about why you decided to do that and how you decided to do that. So we’re gonna take a quick break and come right back.

Cheri Gregory (10:10.306)
Very true.

Cheri Gregory (10:25.826)
Hehehe

Kathi (10:38.79)
Okay, we’re back with Cheri Gregory, and we are talking about why working better under pressure just doesn’t work. And, you know, for the people who feel familiar that like, I can’t do it unless I’m on a tight deadline, or I can’t do it unless the stakes are high, where would the, what is pre-deciding and how would that help in these circumstances?

Cheri Gregory (10:46.807)
Mm-mm.

Cheri Gregory (11:06.326)
You know, pre-deciding is the difference between living out of fear and living out of love. Because this was one of the core scriptures that we used in You Don’t Have to Try So Hard, is this whole idea that when we’re living out of fear, then we are going to, you know, I’ll speak for myself again, as I’ve been re-evaluating certain things in my life.

Kathi (11:13.197)
Ooh, okay.

Cheri Gregory (11:34.694)
when I’m living out of fear and I then look back, I’m like, oh, I violated half a dozen of my values during that time. And the thinking in my head is, well, but as long as, as long as, you know, as long as the house looks okay, it doesn’t matter that I snapped at my husband or I snapped at the chickens or whatever it is. But what if one of my core values is to treat people kindly, then I have violated a core value in service of a fear-based
temporary short-term goal that doesn’t actually have lasting value. Whereas, pre-deciding says, I’ve already made these decisions based around my values. I know who I am. I know what I stand for. I know what my values are. And so I am going to make decisions that reflect those values. And when I find myself out of alignment with my values, I’m going to pause and reevaluate.

and it is an entirely different way to live. It doesn’t have the same amount of adrenaline. And so if we have become adrenaline junkies and we’re used to only being motivated if we have those chemicals that indicate fear, that indicate that we’re going to be in huge trouble if we don’t get it done by a certain time. And again, it’s a matter then of kind of changing our habits so

Kathi (12:39.575)
Right?

Cheri Gregory (13:01.934)
quiet sense of satisfaction that you know you get to minute 16 of the decluttering and you’re like I’m going to stop now and I’m going to enjoy that quiet sense of satisfaction that I did what I said I was going to do. I said I was going to declutter for 15 minutes. I did what I said I’m going to do. I’m a person of integrity whether I did all or nothing is irrelevant whether my mother would approve my father. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t even matter if Kathy Lipp would approve although Kathy Lipp would absolutely approve.

Kathi (13:09.503)
Doesn’t matter. Right. Absolutely.

Cheri Gregory (13:30.738)
if somebody stopped after 15 minutes, but it is slowly developing new habits that are not based on external standards but are based on the values that we know that God has placed within us because of how he created us and our personalities and gaining internal satisfaction because I said I was going to do this, I did it, and now I can stop. Now I can rest. Now I can.

continue to take other forms of good care of myself and stewarding my body, my home, whatever else.

Kathi (14:05.842)
You know, I talk about the four resources all the time, space, time, energy, and money. And what you’re talking about there is being a good steward of your most precious resource. Maybe it’s money. And you’re saying, you know, I need to declutter because I need to know what I have. And so I am going to declutter so I know what I have, so I’m not buying.

Cheri Gregory (14:20.748)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (14:32.574)
chicken when I already have chicken or something like that. But also, I’m not buying things under pressure all the time because just in case living. But maybe energy is your most precious resource. And you say, you know, I can’t afford to say I’m going to declutter my garage today because that’s just not what you’re able to do. Or maybe you’re working full time plus you’re caring for kids or parents.

Cheri Gregory (14:39.959)
Yes.

Kathi (15:01.606)
And you’re like, time is my most precious resource. And the 15 minutes protects your most precious resources. And that’s what I wanna be able to do. Okay, now, Cheri, you confessed to me as we were coming on here that you’re under some pressure this week. So talk about what’s going on, how you made the decision. But when I was talking to you, I don’t even know what the decision was, but you seem…

Cheri Gregory (15:08.339)
I love that. So true.

Kathi (15:31.494)
like you’re good with this particular decision to put yourself under a little pressure. So let’s talk about that.

Cheri Gregory (15:37.918)
Yeah, I got an email this last weekend from my graduate program and it was an opportunity to write a book review that will be published in the Journal of Applied Christian Leadership and the deadline is Friday. And in order for me to complete my program, I have to have an article published in a peer review journal. And so I’ve been wondering how to get this done.

Kathi (15:50.29)
Oh wow. Okay.

Cheri Gregory (16:02.35)
And right now my research is moving forward. My other things are moving forward. But in the back of my mind, I’ve been like, dang it, I’m going to get to the end of this. And then a year or three are going to go by before I figure out how to get this article done. And so what dropped into my lap basically over the weekend was an opportunity to just get it done, to check it off my list. And so I did. I jumped at it and I was like, you know what? I looked at my calendar first and I was like, I can rearrange some things.

Cheri Gregory (16:31.55)
I can move some things that are optional. And here’s the thing, in the previous episode, I think I confessed to you that in college, I once wrote a book review over a book that I never even read and I got an A plus on it. Like, I’m not real proud of that. I don’t wanna repeat it. And here’s the thing, it’s a book I’ve already read that I’m reviewing. Like, so I’m not gonna try to pull that stunt again. I read it last year, listened to the audio book, I’ve done some teachings out of it. But I will say it’s a skillset I feel good about.

Kathi (16:50.582)
Oh nice. Right.

Kathi (17:01.272)
Yeah

Cheri Gregory (17:01.51)
It is not something that’s going to kill me. In fact, if anything, four days, get it done, have it over with, not hanging over my head. It’s kind of exciting, but not in the frenzy sense. It’s like there’s this sense of anticipation. There’s a sense of, yeah, well, let’s bring it on. Bring it on. And go ahead.

Kathi (17:12.661)
Mm-hmm. Right. Mm-hmm.

Kathi (17:21.262)
Right. But let’s also talk about that you’ve set yourself up so you’re not living in that frenzy state all the time so that there was there was cushion to do this. That’s really exciting, Cheri.

Cheri Gregory (17:38.686)
Yeah, yeah, I literally just swap some things out on my calendar and so I had the time to do it and my evenings are still free and my you know, I’m not I’m not going to kill myself to do it. I’m absolutely not. So yes, I’m sort of a hypocrite, but not really.

Kathi (17:56.358)
No, you are, I declare you not a hypocrite because you have made good choices along the way. And here’s the thing, when we first start to live by pre-deciding, by saying, I’m not gonna take on things just because there’s an open spot on my calendar. I’m not going to wait and say, okay, for two days straight, I can do nothing but dot dot. What you’ve done is you said, I can say a good yes.

Cheri Gregory (18:20.145)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (18:25.914)
and turn down a bad yes, because there are lots of bad yeses out there. But you can give a good yes to something that not only serves somebody else, but also serves you. And it’s a win-win, right? You’re not resenting them from it. You’re not being angry that they asked at the last minute, this was an opportunity for you. So no hypocrisy whatsoever. It’s…

Cheri Gregory (18:37.87)
Mm-hmm. Yeah, absolutely.

Kathi (18:53.89)
And you know, I’m still building some of this into my life because It’s it’s a new habit for me And I say that because I’ve lived 56 years So I’ve only been practicing this maybe in any real way in the past 10 years So there’s a lot of ingrained in me that still wants to put things off and still wants to do but I

Cheri Gregory (19:05.976)
Hmm.

Kathi (19:19.226)
You know, this past encourage article was the first time I think I’ve ever turned it in a week in advance I’ve turned it in a day in advance Or a couple days in advance, but I just saw You know, there was going to be some things happening that week and I didn’t I wanted to be present for somebody I loved I didn’t want to have to be typing, you know and editing In the midst of all of that. So yay to us for making some good. Yeses happen by

Cheri Gregory (19:25.173)
I love it.
Kathi (19:47.422)
turning away some bad yeses that would have made somebody else comfortable for a minute but would have built resentment at least in me. I can resent people for things they didn’t force me to do. I can and friends this is why you know when we know that we’re going to be hosting people or things like that when you tell me that you’re starting to declutter a couple of

Cheri Gregory (19:49.48)
Absolutely.

Cheri Gregory (20:01.927)
Hehehehe

Kathi (20:16.342)
I’m like, that is somebody who is going to be present and available for their friends who are coming to visit. That it’s not going to be about impressing them, but the impression that they’re going to be left with is that I was cared for and loved. And that’s what I want for each of my clutter-free people. Cheri this was such a valuable little series, our micro series. Thank you so much for hanging out with me and all your wisdom and your hard work, one knowledge.

Cheri Gregory (20:44.906)
Well, thanks for having me, Kathy. It’s been fun.

Kathi (20:47.994)
And friends, we talked in the last episode about our download about the four bullies. If you’re part of our newsletter community, you’ll be able to receive that in our newsletter. We’re gonna make sure the download link is there for last week and this week. So you’re definitely going to wanna take advantage of that to really understand how you can start to be kinder and gentler to yourself. Friends, you’ve been listening to Clutterfree Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. Go create the clutter-free life you were always designed to live.

#609 The Myth of Productivity Under Pressure

#609 The Myth of Productivity Under Pressure

609 – The Myth of Productivity Under Pressure

Do you find yourself putting off uncomfortable tasks?

Maybe you tell yourself that you work better under pressure…but does the work you produce under stress turn out better, or is it just done?

In this episode, Kathi and her three-time co-author Cheri Gregory discuss the “pressure paradox.” Listen in as they rethink the myth of productivity under pressure, as well as discussing:

  • Is procrastination based in fear?
  • Priming your brain for your project
  • How to avoid living in a state of constant triage

Sign up here to be notified when the next episode is released.

Would you like to receive Kathi’s Clutter Free Academy newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here and receive the free download mentioned in this episode, The Four P Bullies at a Glance!

You Don’t Have to Try So Hard: Ditch Expectations and Live Your Own Best Life

With honesty and humor, Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory help you take a breather and find reassurance as you face the bullies of perfectionism, performancism, people-pleasing, and procrastination.

Self-assessments and personal stories guide you from panic to peace as you learn to:

  • Pick battles worthy of your time and energy
  • Embrace the freedom of a carefully considered “no”
  • Recognize your strengths and weaknesses in the quest for balance
  • Use authenticity as a weapon to battle bullies
  • Release yourself from the endless pressure of pleasing others

Ditch your feelings of inadequacy and finally came face-to-face with the bold, balanced woman God created you to be.

Order your copy here!

What’s your best tip for avoiding procrastination?

Share your answer in the comments.

Let’s stay connected

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.

Subscribe on iTunes or subscribe to our newsletter now.

Meet Our Guest 

 

Cheri Gregory

Through Scripture and storytelling, Cheri Gregory delights in helping women draw closer to Jesus, the strength of every tender heart. She is the founder of the Sensitive and Strong Community Cafe: the place for the HSP Christian woman to find connection. With Kathi Lipp, she’s the co-author of You Don’t Have to Try So Hard, Overwhelmed, and An Abundant Place. Cheri speaks locally and internationally for women’s events and educational conferences.

You can connect with Cheri at CheriGregory.comSensitiveAndStrong.com, on Cheri’s Facebook Page, and on Instagram.

Transcript

Kathi (00:01.306)

Well, hey friends, welcome to Clutter-Free Academy, where our goal is to help you take small, doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life.

 

And if there is a correlation between any two habits, clutter and perhaps procrastination is one of them. Now, I grew up with a mom who told me all the time that she just worked better under pressure. And I took that on as my own mantra. And I have to say, that has not served me well. And I’m here to talk with a fellow procrastination

a consumer, no that’s not a good word, a fellow procrastination person. We’ll just call you a person that we have both figured out that procrastination has not served us well and we want to talk about, okay, how do we actually get out from the habit? You guys, it is my frequent co-author, one of my best buddies and fellow sufferer, it’s Cheri Gregory. Cheri, welcome back to the podcast.

Cheri Gregory (01:26.09)

Hey Kathi, thanks so much for having me.

Kathi (01:28.802)

I was recently telling somebody, you know, Tonya is my go-to when we want to talk about, okay, how do you declutter your kids’ tights? But when you want to figure out why you need to declutter your kids’ tights, I go to Cheri Gregory. So, because, yeah, because it’s deep work, right? These things that become memes or…

Cheri Gregory (01:42.655)

I love it. I will receive that fully.

Kathi (01:53.29)

topics of sitcoms when it comes to procrastination or clutter or perfectionism. There’s a lot underneath that. And they become these tropes because so many of us suffer with it. And it’s, it’s really interesting. When we were starting to write our book, You Don’t Have to Try So Hard. We were talking about different types of perfectionism and you really advocated for that procrastination needed to be one of the areas of perfectionism. Can you talk about that?

Cheri Gregory (02:30.502)

Yeah, it’s so funny because I know when I’ve spoken, I’ve literally heard women walking away going, I never thought of procrastination as a form of perfectionism. And really what procrastination ends up being for many of us is a avoidance of even getting started because

Kathi (02:41.252)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (02:51.098)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (02:52.134)

If we get started, then we’re committed and we’re all in. It’s that all or nothing thinking, whereas the perfectionist dives head into the all. The procrastinator is like, I’ll just go with nothing. I’ll do other stuff first. Of all of the forms of perfectionism, I think procrastination is the one that’s most socially acceptable. We can

Kathi (02:58.94)

Yeah.

Kathi (03:02.658)

Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (03:14.73)

We can joke about it and people will tell stories at dinner parties about how they, you know, they put something off to the last minute and then they pulled it together magically and they got away with it. Like I was just, I was just remembering kind of fondly, um, years and years ago in college, I pulled off a book review of a book I didn’t even read and I got an A plus on it. Um, and I did it the day before, you know, like totally wrong lesson learned.

Kathi (03:18.062)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (03:38.602)

Oh my goodness.

Cheri Gregory (03:43.978)

And yeah, that’s a fun story. The stories I never tell are when I put things off and I died. I put things off and they were terrible. I put things off and let people down. Those aren’t funny. We don’t tell those stories at all.

Kathi (03:46.94)

Mm-hmm.

 

Kathi (03:51.431)

Right.

Kathi (03:59.891)

Now, it’s so interesting that you were able to get away with that. And that can reinforce our procrastination cycle. Well, I got away with it before, so I must do better when I know everything’s up against me. Everyone is expecting me to fail, but I can show them. And so…

Cheri Gregory (04:08.011)

Mmm.

Kathi (04:26.638)

It’s almost, it’s so many weird things. It’s like a martyr complex. I’m already so busy. I can’t believe somebody asked me to do this. And instead of me saying no, I said yes, because well, they were in a tough place, but I was already in a tough place. Why did I think that would be okay? And it also kind of feeds into…

Cheri Gregory (04:31.069)

Mm-hmm.

 

Cheri Gregory (04:41.378)

Hehehehe

Kathi (04:52.742)

our superhero complex that like if I just try hard enough I can make things happen but I think the things that we forget about is what does that cost us what does it cost our jobs that we already have our relationships that we have all of that so let’s really define what per what procrastination is you is the word

Cheri Gregory (04:54.571)

Who?

Kathi (05:19.806)

perfectionism in that or is what how would you define it?

Cheri Gregory (05:25.246)

May I read from our book? You Don’t Have to Try So Hard.

Kathi (05:28.523)

I think so because I cannot remember what we wrote, but I’m sure it was brilliant.

Cheri Gregory (05:34.022)

What it says here is, procrastination is the practice of doing what is less urgent but more fun before doing what is more urgent but less fun. And so it’s putting off the thing that has discomfort associated with it as long as possible and doing the things that don’t feel quite as bad or scary.

Kathi (05:41.716)

Oh, okay. Yeah.

Kathi (05:56.098)

Yes, okay, because here’s what I will say. The only time my grout gets scrubbed is when I have a book deadline. And…

Cheri Gregory (06:01.838)

Mm-hmm.

And I had to install grout because when we when I first started writing I lived in a house with no grout and so I couldn’t even do that so I had to install grout so I could then scrub it to avoid writing.

Kathi (06:09.874)

See, you couldn’t even.

Okay, now there is also a trope that is going around, and I think that this is really funny, of a woman, there’s a couple, and they’re getting ready to have a family birthday party or something like that. And so she’s running around, frosting the cupcakes, scrubbing the inside of the fridge, those kind of things. And today is the day he decides to blow all the leaves off the roof. And it’s…

 

Cheri Gregory (06:41.969)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (06:44.226)

It’s almost like I want credit for doing something, but I’m not going to do the thing that really needs to be done I i’m the queen. I am the queen of that. Okay, so So we tend to procrastinate because we don’t want the pain. I also think I tend to I can do painful things. I know I can But I tend to procrastinate because I don’t want to fail yet

Cheri Gregory (06:48.184)

Mm-hmm.

Mm-hm, absolutely.

Kathi (07:13.01)

Does that make sense? Okay.

Cheri Gregory (07:14.262)

Oh, it makes total sense. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it’s an avoidance of risk and that this is where there can be strategic procrastination. You know, when I was teaching in teaching as an English teacher, I noticed a huge difference between my students who wouldn’t even pay attention to the assignment. Like they wouldn’t read the assignment. Usually was an essay. They wouldn’t look at the rubric for how to be graded. They wouldn’t do any of that until the night before.

Kathi (07:19.111)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (07:25.503)

Mmm.

Kathi (07:39.743)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (07:42.75)

Like that is the, you know, that’s classic procrastination. Then I would have students who, as soon as I assigned it, they would read it, they would look at it, they would open a Word document on their computer, they would read the rubric, they had done a few ideas, and then they would put it off until later. Can I tell you, there was a world of difference, a world of difference between the end result those two different groups of students produced.

Kathi (07:46.771)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (08:05.264)

Hmm.

Cheri Gregory (08:10.054)

even though it seems like nobody was really doing too much of anything, but the second group they at least engaged in and started their the wheels turning and started getting their mind working on it. And you know what it’s like, you know, as you’re living life, let’s say, you know, you have a devotional coming up for (in)courage, right? If you at least are like, I think I’m going to do it on this verse, or I want to start with this story.

Kathi (08:33.161)

Yeah.

Kathi (08:37.453)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (08:39.098)

and your deadline isn’t for a little while, like as you’re living life, oh, this comes up and oh, this song lyric and this conversation with a friend, I will not say it writes itself. I know better than to ever use that phrase, but things come together that give you some momentum, even if it feels like you might still be procrastinating, whereas if you had never even started it, if you didn’t have the slightest idea.

Kathi (08:47.401)

Right.

It does not. Right.

Kathi (09:03.066)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (09:08.286)

At that point, it’s, I’m not going to say it’s hopeless, but there’s just so much less to work with.

Kathi (09:15.242)

We’re gonna take a quick break and we’re gonna come back. And then I wanna talk about the pressure paradox. Like why do people believe they work better under pressure and how this is killing, especially our clutter free people. We’ll take a quick break and we’ll be right back. Okay, I am back with Cheri Gregory and we are talking about the myth of productivity under pressure.

And you made an interesting observation that the people who at least loosened the ketchup bottle, maybe the ketchup wasn’t coming out, but they at least got the lid. It is so true. If I spend 15 minutes understanding the project, it does two things for me. You’re right. It gets the back of my brain working on the problem. I don’t even…

Cheri Gregory (09:54.862)

Hehehe

Kathi (10:13.974)

have to be sitting down with pen and paper or looking at my computer screen. It’s just things start to pop up that are helping me. And the other thing it does, because I think procrastination is a lot about fear. What if I find out that I can’t do this? What if I find out that I don’t have everything I need? And if I can just spend a few minutes looking at, okay what’s going to be required?

Cheri Gregory (10:28.777)

Absolutely.

Cheri Gregory (10:42.047)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (10:42.358)

Or if I can just spend a few minutes, like your example of writing a devotion, saying, okay, I need to have a verse, I need to have a story, I need to have a point, I need to have the semblance of an introduction. If I can, when I first get assigned that thing, if I can at least do a sentence on all four of those things, it has…

Cheri Gregory (11:08.991)

Yeah.

Kathi (11:10.894)

It has half written itself because my brain is able to work on it. And it gets me over the fear of it’s not going to be good enough. You know, I’ve written, I don’t know, 40 of those devotions for (in)courage. I’ve written a bunch of devotions for our book. But, you know, this will be the time that I can’t do it. This will be the time that I won’t have the story. This will be the time. And if I can just say, you know what?

Cheri Gregory (11:13.224)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (11:17.769)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (11:31.778)

Yeah.

Kathi (11:38.01)

I’m gonna trust myself that if I can get these four things, even if I start on it, because oftentimes, I’ll write down a story and a better story will happen or a better story will come to mind. And so it gets me over the fear.

Cheri Gregory (11:47.07)

Yes. Yep.

Kathi (12:14.062)

Okay, so Cheri, I wanna talk to you about the pressure paradox. And I wanna talk about the reasons why people think that they work better under pressure. So for me, it was a legacy from my mom. She’s still to this day, she will be 80 years old and she still believes that she works better under pressure. And I wonder where that comes from. I know for me,

Cheri Gregory (12:30.561)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (12:42.062)

I have learned that that’s not true. I get things done under pressure because I’m a people pleaser and I don’t want to disappoint people. But my work is not better, it’s just done. And I think there’s a big difference. Yeah, go ahead.

Cheri Gregory (12:47.171)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (12:58.346)

Yeah, well, and I used to, you know, I used to have students tell me that in class, they were like, I work better under pressure and I’d be and I’d count on like, no, you only work under pressure. That’s the only time you actually work is when you put yourself under the gun. And so often they hadn’t actually experimented with doing it any other way. You know, you were, you were talking earlier about, you know, at least getting going to finding find out what you didn’t have, you know, when I got in my office, a few months ago.

Kathi (13:07.814)

Yeah.

Kathi (13:16.417)

Mmm.

Cheri Gregory (13:26.066)

One of the things I needed to do was I had all these binders that have the place where you can put a spine insert and a cover into them. And I had over a third of my binders didn’t have that. So I needed to sit down, get on the computer, print them out, cut them, put them in. And I had blocked some time out to get it done. And then I thought, hang on a second, rather than sitting down and forcing myself to do it and possibly come up against, you know, abject failure.

Kathi (13:37.677)

Mmm.

Kathi (13:45.127)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (13:55.178)

Maybe I should spend that time just looking and seeing how many binders do I need to work with and do I have the materials I need. And it turns out I didn’t have a paper cutter. For some reason, I got rid of all my paper cutters and so I was like, oh, well, clearly I’m not going to use a scissors for this job. It turned out I had, well, I’m not going to tell you the number of binders I needed to do, but it was dozens of binders. I’m not going to sit and cut by hand.

Kathi (14:01.14)

Hmm.

Kathi (14:08.147)

Oh.

Kathi (14:15.241)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (14:19.55)

Yeah, right.

Cheri Gregory (14:21.33)

And so, you know, what I was able to do that day is I was able to shift in what I actually put on my schedule. I shifted it from, you know, finished binders to figure out what I need to do in order to finish binders. So I could still feel successful, right? And so I think part of the issue is we look at a task and we’re only focused on the end result, right? And the pressure of producing that end result

Kathi (14:38.081)

Ooh, yeah.

Kathi (14:46.922)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (14:50.058)

And when we can backtrack and go, okay, what is this process going to look like? Like assessing whether I have the materials. And then it ended up taking me a lot longer than I wanted it to just because it did. And so, you know, I broke it down into, okay, part one, part two, part three, part four to allow myself to feel successful with it. And I think part of it, I think part of procrastination is a

Kathi (14:54.18)

Yeah.

Kathi (15:00.266)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (15:15.738)

either a desire for things not to actually be as hard as they are or take as long as they do or require as many steps as they do or just a really, and I’m going to use a hard word, an immature belief that I am the exception to the rule. Everybody else might need to, you know, go through this kind of a process. Like everybody else might need to declutter for 15 minutes at a time.

Kathi (15:24.296)

Yeah.

Kathi (15:30.521)

Mm.

Kathi (15:36.726)

Right.

Cheri Gregory (15:46.17)

I alone am the kind of person who’s going to get it one and done, but just not today and probably not this week. And I know you have people talk to you and they’re like, yeah, I can’t do the 15 minutes. I’m too much of a perfectionist. It’s like, yeah, and you’re also a procrastinator, you know, or in the case of, you know, the writing we do. I mean, one of the things I told you that’s become so important for me, it’s actually been the thing that’s really broken my procrastination is realizing that I need to iterate.

Kathi (15:51.447)

Right.

Kathi (16:00.675)

Right. Yeah.

Cheri Gregory (16:13.03)

I need to keep circling back around, circling back around, circling back around. And the more often I can iterate, the more I can get started, get something down, hit a wall, walk away, leave it alone, not worry about it, not think about it, not stress over it because I’ve given myself enough time that I expect that this is going to be part of the process. And then, sure enough, in the shower, you know, right before I fall asleep, whatever it might be, conversation with you, whatever. Oh, another idea comes to me. And when I give myself enough time.

Kathi (16:28.756)

Yeah.

Kathi (16:34.151)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (16:37.723)

down.

Cheri Gregory (16:42.77)

When I give myself time and I have the assumption that I am a human being like everybody else and things are going to take me longer than I think they’re going to take more steps than I wish, you know, that whole fear that this will be the one time that I can’t pull it off or that I ain’t got nothing, you know, like I do my best and nothing shows up. As long as I give myself time to go through a good process. And really, to me, that’s what has helped break the procrastination cycle for me

Kathi (16:48.112)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (16:58.724)

Yeah. Right.

Kathi (17:11.426)

Mm-hmm.

Cheri Gregory (17:11.99)

Um is i don’t enjoy the pressure of procrastination nearly as much as I enjoy a good process like okay maybe it took me two weeks but wow i slept every night of those two weeks yeah okay i can’t brag that i pulled it off without any effort. But it is done it’s done well and often there’s some wonderful discoveries along the way that would never have happened if it was.

Kathi (17:16.092)

Yeah.

Kathi (17:25.256)

Yeah.

Kathi (17:32.102)

Yes.

Cheri Gregory (17:40.202)

you know, the night before something was due. We don’t make good discoveries during that time.

Kathi (17:45.866)

We’re gonna talk about that in our next episode. We’re gonna talk about pressure versus pre-deciding. Because, yeah, there are two different things. But I’m gonna leave us with this thought today that came up while you were talking. Is that, you know, when we say we work better under pressure, what we’re saying is we are living in a constant state of triage.

Cheri Gregory (17:52.97)

Ooh, I love it.

Cheri Gregory (18:14.026)

Yes.

Kathi (18:14.898)

we are triaging the situation. I have to clean before my in-laws come over. So am I making good decisions during that time if it’s the night before? No, I am triaging, so it looks good to them, but then I have to clean up from that mess. And I never, it’s the idea of triage versus working towards health.

You know, if I am getting stuff out of my house, you know, sometimes we have to triage things because emergencies do come up. But if we live in a constant state of emergency, we are never gonna get to the place we want. And I will in fact say, if we do something under pressure like that, we are making the situation worse. We’re not just making.

ourselves, our cortisone levels go crazy. We’re not just for me snapping at my husband or snapping at the chickens, I never snap it loose. But I’m snapping at somebody. We’re not just doing that. We’re actually making the kitchen that I just quote unquote organized worse because I can’t find the things I need. And we want to get past that. So in our next episode, I wanna talk about

strategies going from I work better under pressure to I work better when I pre-decide and what that looks like. Cheri, this is so good. Thank you so much for doing this. And we actually have a download that we’re going to offer to our friends who are part of our newsletter community. Cheri, can you explain what that is?

Cheri Gregory (20:03.05)

Sure, it’s called The Four P Bullies at a Glance and it goes along with the book, the first book we co-authored, You Don’t Have to Try So Hard. And it’s just, it’s a one sheet that goes through perfectionism, people pleasing, performanceism and procrastination and kind of helps you understand the difference between them and helps you identify which bully might be beating you up at any given time.

Kathi (20:22.342)

And you don’t have to have the book to understand this. This is a really wonderful, simple guide that we will share with you. Cheri, thanks for being here today. And yeah, next week we’re gonna talk about, it’s our favorite word, pre-deciding, and how this can actually help you to not live under pressure all the time. You’ve been listening to Clutter Free Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. Now, go create the clutter free life you’ve always wanted to live.

Cheri Gregory (20:27.021)

Yes.

Oh, thanks for having me. Can’t wait to come back next week.

 

#526 – Are You Worth Decluttering For?

#526 – Are You Worth Decluttering For?

526: Are You Worth Decluttering For?

 

 

Have you ever felt like you could only enjoy something after you’ve decluttered a certain space? This mentality is at the heart of Kathi’s discussion with Deanna Day Young and Grace Church. All of them have, at one point, felt unworthy of decluttering. Today, they are sharing some of their best advice for how to overcome these feelings of unworthiness, including:

  • Why it’s so important to live with margin
  • The benefits of being intentional
  • How to find and invite beauty into your life

You are worthy of living a joyful, adventurous life right now. Don’t wait to start embracing your worthiness or the beauty all around you; choose to invite it in and see what wonderful moments await you today.

The Clutter Free Home: Making Room for Your Life

 

When it comes to your home, peace is possible…

Longing for a place of peace from which you can love others well? The Clutter-Free Home is your room-by-room guide to decluttering, reclaiming, and celebrating every space of your home.

Let author Kathi Lipp (who once lived a life buried in clutter) walk you through each room of your house to create organizational zones that are not only functional and practical but create places of peace that reflect your personality.  Kathi will help you tackle the four-step process of dedicate, decide, declutter and “do-your-thing” to reveal the home you’ve always dreamed of, and then transform it into a haven that reflects who you truly are meant to be.

ORDER THE CLUTTER-FREE HOME

 

 

What area of your home you are ready to take the next step and tackle today? Tell us below!

Let’s stay connected

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Meet Our Guest 

 

Grace Church & Deanna Day Young

Grace Church and Deanna Day Young are both an integral part of the Kahi Lipp team.

Every week you can find them giving encouragement in Clutter Free Academy and Clutter Free For Life. They are gifted Christian communicators who inspire others through their unique messages. To follow and join in their journey, find out more about Grace and Deanna here:

Grace Church: Rise and Write Blog

Deanna Day Young: Joy in, Junk out

Transcript

One Simple Way You Can Prevent Procrastination

One Simple Way You Can Prevent Procrastination

I’m not a procrastinator.

I’m a Driver personality, and I have the lists to prove it!

I am constantly in production mode: check. Check. CHECK!

You won’t catch me putting things off until later. I’m not a putter-offer. Nope, not me. I just wait until I’m ready to do certain tasks.

And some tasks require me to wait for weeks. Months. Even years.

<Ahem.>

Recognizing Procrastination in Hindsight

I can’t tell you how many projects I’ve started with great gusto, certain I’ll finish them in no time, only to have them drag on forever.

The project that forced me to recognize that I am an unintentional procrastinator was my MA degree. I started it in 2005 and should have easily graduated in 2007. But I didn’t get my diploma until 2013.

Why eight years to finish a 2-year degree?

For the longest time, I had a laundry list of reasons:

  • The big move from southern California to the central California coast.
  • The new job teaching ESL, which I’d never done before.
  • Both kids becoming teenagers.
  • Launching a speaking and writing ministry.
  • My mother’s decline into Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • And so on.
  • And so forth.

But in writing You Don’t Have to Try So Hard with Kathi, I recognized the real reason I failed to make progress on my MA for so many years. Every time I thought about working on my MA again, an overwhelming worry would paralyze me:

I don’t know what to do next!

Which is, of course, a statement of fear. But my #1 response to fear isn’t fight-or-flight.

My go-to fear reaction is to freeze.

And tell myself I’m just waiting until I’m ready.

The Problem With Putting Projects Aside

Here’s the thing: when I’m in the midst of working on a project, I do know my next steps. But then life happens, and I have to set it aside for a few days (or weeks or … you know the drill!)

By the time I pick the project back up again, I’ve forgotten where I was in the process. So, I have to spend hours and hours getting back up to speed before I can make a tiny step of progress.

And then, when I finally get some momentum going, life happens again.

Which means that the next time I have time, I’m going to have to spend hours and hours, again, figuring out where I was, only to move forward another little bit.

As a Driver, I don’t have that kind of patience.

I can’t keep doing the same things over and over again. I want to do things once and move on.

I have to see progress.

One Thing That’s Working

Right now, I’ve got multiple projects “in process,” and to keep myself from stalling out on any of them, I’m doing something startlingly simple.

When I’m done working on any particular project for the moment, and I’m not sure when I’ll be able to pull it out next, I grab a Post-It Note.

On the Post-It, I write out my next 3 steps.

Then I tape it to the spine of my project binder, like this:

I use tape so the Post-It doesn’t fall off and get lost. I put it on the spine so I can see it at a glance.

When I need more details than I can write on a Post-It note, I type up the list, print it out, tuck it inside the binder, and tape a Post-It on the spine that says “1. Read notes in binder.”

I’ve been using this method for several years now, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the results. It’s increased my project completion rate while lowering my stress.

The “Next 3 Steps on a Post-It Note” method can do the same for you.

One little Post-It note gives you confidence: I DO know what to do next!

It creates momentum: I AM ready right now!

And it means that when you have a pocket of time, you can pull out a project and make progress on the first item on the Post-It note.

Think of progress as the pin that pops the Procrastination balloon.

It’s not too late! Join us for the You Don’t Have to Try So Hard Book club and kick procrastination to the curb!

You Don’t Have to Try So Hard – Let Go of the Unreal Expectations and Find Freedom

You Don’t Have to Try So Hard – Let Go of the Unreal Expectations and Find Freedom

You Don’t Have to Try So Hard – Let Go of the Unreal Expectations and Find Freedom

Have you struggled with perfectionism? How about the need to perform perfectly so that everyone thinks you’ve got it all together? Or, is people-pleasing kicking you in the can? Do you procrastinate until you are a stressed-out hot mess?

You are not alone. So many of us let the bullies of perfectionism, performancism, people-pleasing, and procrastination beat us up. Enough is enough. Cheri Gregory and I are thrilled to be able to announce the release of our book, “You Don’t Have to Try So Hard.” There is freedom to be found in Christ and we want to help you find it.

Check out this video of my conversation with coauthor Cheri Gregory: