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To ask if you are strong willed and determined how the heck do you do it?

(51 Posts)
MyTeeth Tue 26-Feb-19 11:40:03

Im such a procrastinator, crap at making decisions and just an overall never get anything done/ started type of a person.

There's someone I know who is so strong willed. She sets a goal and she just does it. She's like a dog with a bone. Shes achieved a lot in her work life as well as her personal life. She always seems busy and is working on something or the other. She is super organised too and I can see one of her daughters is very similar to her too.

What is it. Is it being super focussed. Does she wake up in the morning and plan her day/ month / year? Is it about being organised? Is it a mindset? I need to be like this.

I have a million things I'd like to do, none of which even get started. They're just ideas floating in my head and before I know it its been 5 years and I haven't even touched upon it and life has passed me by!

NameChange112112321 Tue 26-Feb-19 16:26:14

I could have written this so I'm afraid I don't have an answer but I'll wait here with you until one of those super organised, strong people come along!

MummyStruggles Tue 26-Feb-19 16:30:05

I'll join you both too...

Littlebluebird123 Tue 26-Feb-19 16:34:44

I'm quite like that.

But I haven't chosen to be. I have high levels of stress and feel quite buzzy most of the time so doing things is natural and makes things work for me. I hate not having a plan. I hate it when my plan doesn't work but I always have a back up.
I'd often like to be more free, and go with the flow, but I find that hugely stressful.

oilLovesChuck Tue 26-Feb-19 16:46:42

I sound like the person you know.

Yes, I literally write a goal and then the ways I can get there.

Honestly, it comes from a mindset. I want to be x, I'm y, I need to do z. Fairly simple most of the time.

There are so many more hours in the day than most people realise. One life-changing thing is to write a cv. It takes 2 mornings and another couple to send it to a lot of potential employees.

Put tick-boxes next to every task you need to complete and write down all of those tasks. Having them down will help you accom;ish them

Make the bed (search youtube)

joyfullittlehippo Tue 26-Feb-19 17:00:37

I am very like that and I'm afraid I was just born like it.

However I also had quite a traumatic upbringing, and I have a lot of anxiety and OCD traits. Being super organised and workaholic is sort of my coping mechanism.

In practical terms, I make a thousand lists. I make to do lists every night, career lists, short term plans, long term plans, everything. I'm just obsessed with making lists to help me organise and structure my life.

PlinkPlink Tue 26-Feb-19 17:08:26

The 5 minute journal really helped me with this.

Also, writing everything down. When I did my teacher training, I had to do this to make sure I got everything done.

Now, I make lists and if there's something in particular I want to do, I write down each step that needs to be accomplished in order to get there and tick it off one by one.

It's harder now I have DS. It tales longer to achieve things but I still get them done 😄

sourdoh Tue 26-Feb-19 17:23:11

im a single parent of three, working full time and dropping balls quite regularly.

im pretty stressed even though DC see their dad two nights per week, he doesnt always complete homeworks/print stuff they need/bring them places without gurning

im at a loss as to how to get myself further up the pecking order. im living a life that is far too passive. Kids are great, ex is a dick.

Going a bit nuts as would like to be more organised but am in teh shit financially due to his inertia and mismanagement. I cant afford to invest in my career at this point in time even though it desperately needs it.

7salmonswimming Tue 26-Feb-19 17:29:24

Get off MM for a start!

If you want to do something more than you want to do other stuff, you will.

If you have millions of nice ideas but none of them appealing enough to actually do anything about, I’d suggest you don’t really want to do them. You just like the idea of them. Nothing wrong with that except it’s a bit of a waste of time that you could spend actually doing stuff

If you want to move forward with your life, stop daydreaming and knuckle down to whatever it is you want to do. If you’re happy as you are - great!

Slowknitter Tue 26-Feb-19 17:33:54

I'd never heard of the 'make your bed' speech - just googled it and read the transcript, but it makes sense.

I'm not super-organised or super-motivated, but it's really true that if you just start with committing to the first task on your list, the boost you get from completing it will help you to get the next thing done. Success breeds success. This is what happens when I'm in my organised phases!

blueshoes Tue 26-Feb-19 17:35:50

I am a procrastinator who manages to get things done but maybe not as efficiently as if I was not a procrastinator. This means I might be slow to get off the blocks but once I get into the zone (typically late at night and when there is time or other external pressure) can belt it out.

I am quite detail orientated and thorough and like to consider all options and prepare the groundwork. I think the procrastination is a way of getting to grips with a lot of data but letting it swim in my head and touching and letting go and coming back again but it does eventually come together and I can implement fiercely. I too make lots of lists and have systems to monitor that things don't slip through the net even if I am not productive.

itsbritneybiatches Tue 26-Feb-19 17:57:58

I make a list everyday then I delete the items as I go.

I like having an empty list

CherryPavlova Tue 26-Feb-19 18:17:27

I am a bit driven and determined. It’s often a strength but also has a downside and you need to learn to balance it.
Determined =stubbornness and not necessarily ssaa team player.
Single mindedness = Arrogant, bullish blinkered
Super organised = inflexible, unempathetic, unresponsive

People who are procrastinators tend to be thoughtful and consider wider implications.
People who want to discuss everything are often a safety net for the team. They bring different ideas and innovations.

Be careful what you wish for and recognise your strengths.

Norrisskipjack Tue 26-Feb-19 18:18:28

You could have written that about me and my mum. Both of us appear extremely motivated, well organised and ‘on it’ all the time. We’re both high achievers and generally always have been... however..

It’s entirely motivated by fear. My DM is terrified to run out of money/ be in debt, hence forged a career which meant she’d never have to face that. She’s also terrified of being thought of as lazy by other people, so her house is immaculate and she never lets anyone see her sitting down. If you visit her house, she’s always ‘busy’ doing something and can’t sit down and join you for a cup of tea or a chat, lest you think her lazy.

I’ve inherited the fear/ anxiety, but mine is about different things.

In terms of goal setting, again it’s motivated by fear. It helps if you have a big, overriding target you have a real urge to hit. For me, I had an income goal I wanted to reach before I had kids, and I want to have kids before I’m 30. This is because of my 2 biggest fears: poverty (thanks mum!) and infertility. My income target was £40k (I live oop norf) as that meant I could afford a 4 bed house in our town as well as children without considering DH’s salary. My other fear is reliance on people. I hit my income goal 6 months ago and we complete on the 4 bed in 2 weeks time grin. I’m 28, so 2 years to make a baby wink

It’s a double edged sword. The anxiety can overwhelm you and it does regularly, but it’s also often the thing that pushes you on. It’s a funny thing.

MyTeeth Tue 26-Feb-19 18:22:52

oilLovesChuck ok so it's a mindset. But how the effing hell do you cultivate that type of mindset. I just don't have that determination or drive. I really do want to do some of these things but the daily grind of everyday life kind of takes up too much space- timewise as well as my head space so I feel I don't have the energy or the fire in my belly to work on other stuff.

* oyfullittlehippo* your lists that you make. Ok I get the daily everyday to do lists but what about all the other long term lists like career, 5 year plan etc. How do you deal with it? Its too far in the future to be on my to do list for today. Its these types of things I lose track of and don't end up doing anything about. I remember making a long term list once and then found it a few years later. I'd done some of the stuff on it and other stuff I still want to do.

holkein Tue 26-Feb-19 18:25:42

PlinkPlink what is this journal you speak of! How did it help you?

MyTeeth Tue 26-Feb-19 18:27:25

joyfullittlehippo I missed slept your name

ShabbyAbby Tue 26-Feb-19 18:28:16

I run on the fear that if I stop I will not start again
It's like when the cars nearly out of petrol, if you stop at all it will go kaput whereas if you keep the engine going you can (usually) make it to the garage.

MyTeeth Tue 26-Feb-19 18:30:05

Could you please explain your systems to me. What is it that you actually do

MyTeeth Tue 26-Feb-19 18:32:02

joyfullittlehippo I missed slept your name

I've misspelled that!

Bugsymalonemumof2 Tue 26-Feb-19 18:33:22

As someone else said I'm very strong and determined but I also had an awful childhood and left a horrendous DV relationship so it is very much a coping mechanism for dealing with my mess of a life.

Nacreous Tue 26-Feb-19 18:41:38

I never think of myself as organised, or as not procrastinating, but I am someone that I know others think of like that. (Though I'm definitely not in my home life, and people are always surprised by how untidy I am!)

I think I try to use the mantra "don't get it right get it written" and "why do a 100% job if a 70% job will do" for lots of things. So I just start. It doesn't matter if the first draft is crap or wrong or anything else. It can be changed. And the end result doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to do what I need it to do.

Within that, I have a lot of lists. Some of them I don't think of as lists, but at their heart they are.

So it might be that I want a new job (recent example). I sit and I think about all the things I will need from a new job (closer to home, variety, control, pay etc), then I'd write them down. Then I'd update my CV to "okay" - not to perfect. Then I'd look for some jobs, automate some alerts to keep the effort as low as possible. And then when those alerts come through, I've got the criteria to assess it against, so I know what looks good, and then when a good one comes through, I've got my CV sorted, so I can just polish it up, and send it off.

At work I've started using a card based list system which I actually really like. Each card has a "To Do" on it - that might be a complicated mulitstep process. I write down the steps I know of in the process. I can always add more later - i just get to a point where it's okay for now. I can then look at the cards each morning and discard what I don't need to deal with now, or ones where I'm awaiting input from someone else, and focus solely on the ones I can deal with now. That then means that I'm not busy worrying about what I can't fix currently, but they also don't get lost. I've never stuck with a to do list system for work before, so I'm pleased with this.

I don't do this everywhere though! Once I've got to a "good enough" point, the nice to haves (e.g. I'd quite like a wood burner and to recarpet the downstairs, but not really enough to do the required research and put up with the resultant disruption) can sit unfinished for a good while because I'm always so busy with family stuff, or voluntary stuff, or work etc. But that's okay, because if I really wanted them, then I would have prioritised them. And I haven't, so I don't.

Norrisskipjack Tue 26-Feb-19 18:42:40

I really don’t think there is a one size fits all system, I think it’s down to your actual motivation for doing something. I strongly believe there’s only ever 2 reasons to do anything: it’s either through fear or love.

If neither of those 2 things are the reason you’re doing something, then unless youre good at manufacturing motivation naturally (box ticking and routine setting are good ways to do this), you’ll never stick to it.

Big goal first, what is it you want to achieve and why, is that why motivated by fear or love?

Then you set little goals which ladder up to the big one. So, I want a new career, first step is deciding what I want to do. Second step is research, 3rd is application and so on. If it helps to write it down, write it down but not everyone does.

Personally, i have 10 minutes in bed before I fall asleep in the quiet when it’s dark and I’m ready to sleep. In those 10 minutes I go back to my big goal and think about it, and then work out all the little steps I want to make to get there. I’ve done this since I was a very very young kid and the goal has always been the same: Marriage to someone lovely, comfortable life, children. As I’ve gotten older that’s become more specific and I imagine it will change a lot in the future, but the steps to reach it are largely the same.

ElspethFlashman Tue 26-Feb-19 18:52:11

I get shit done despite being quite a woolly fluffy person by nature.

I never got shit done when single. I've had to develop it cos of getting married /buying a house/paying bills/builders etc/going back to college/changing careers/having kids. Basically having to do apt of adulting.

Lists. Lots of lists. I have a special notebook. I write down all the shit I have to do, including things like "supermarket" "petrol" etc.

I write down all the account numbers for broadband/phone etc in the back along with the customer service phone numbers and the price I'm paying this year. I write down next to them when the 12 month contract is up (so I know when I have to ring up and renegotiate a good deal). Same with house and car insurance. I check it every month or so so I always have a vague idea of it. That's the most practical thing I do probably.

MissB83 Tue 26-Feb-19 20:48:26

Like a number of people have said up the thread, I appear very self reliant and organised from the outside but it is mainly driven by fear. I get terribly anxious about things going wrong (particularly now I have a child), and being very organised and planning ahead is how I cope with the fear.

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