Let's talk about it. How trying to make a simple decision takes you all week, because you've made a damn pie chart on all the different outcomes and possibilities. How you think about something for hours on end, until your head is pounding, so like a true procrastinator, you end up closing all your tabs, opening a new one, typing in your Netflix info and watching Law & Order, SVU reruns instead. Detective Benson and Stabler need your help, after all. And it sucks. How do I know? Let's see-- It took me a solid two and a half months to debut (today) this blog AFTER I had made the decision to start one, (sometime back in January) simply because I sat and agonized over every. single. damn. detail. From the name, (I can't begin to count how many names I went through, but let's not open up Pandora's Box) to what platform I was going to use. I almost scrapped the idea altogether. And then one day, I remembered that some time ago, when I was overthinking another project --oh just so you know, this ain't nothing new-- someone told me, "Grace, sometimes 'done' is better than 'perfect'.
And that's when I stopped watching an episode, amidst one of Ice-T's tough guy monologues, (outside of the fact that his name is Ice T, he's also got a major lisp, so it's really hard for me to believe him-- he needs more people) and got to work.
It was really that simple. No one is saying that you shouldn't pay attention to details, but there is absolutely no reason to frustrate yourself into an unproductive frenzy because your mind is on team #doingtoomuch.
So, how did I (and continue to) get through it?
A couple things.
1. Drake-. Yes, I'm serious. Yes, as in Aubrey Graham. Drizzy. October's Very Own. He's such a great motivator. Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm a huge music head. So, anytime I'm about to sit down and do something, that requires a lot of concentration, I have to get pumped with the right soundtrack. It might just be the high energy or that I absolutely believe that he's bae in my head, but from 'Houstalantavegas' to 'Headlines,' Drake records just makes me want to like, get things done. 'Make Me Proud' is the theme song of my life. "I know things get hard, but girl you got it, girl you got it, there you go...." He knows that I went to Howard, and how I be on the treadmill and trying to only eat salad. Then he told me he's proud of me, repeatedly. I'm all like, thanks, boo! Next time, you have a project, do yourself a favor and make yourself a Drizzy playlist and Thank Me Later. See what I did there?
2. Make a list- Now this can be a rabbit hole, so you want to get specific. My list consisted of 3 major things that what I wanted to accomplish with debuting this site/blog, and then I broke those 3 things down further to include how I was going to get each done. This also helped me trim down the unnecessary and irrelevant thoughts that kept me going in circles in my head.
3. Create a deadline and (try my best to) keep it- Mine was the first of the month. Of almost every damn month. I didn't keep to my deadline, and I'll admit that at times, it felt like that small detail kept pushing me further and further away from my goal. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't get frustrated, but it allowed me to use that experience, and what came next, surprised me.
4. Being flexible- This helped me so much. But Grace, I thought you said have a deadline and keep it? Yes, I said that. But sometimes things have to just... come to you. As you write down the list of goals that you want to accomplish for your project, you might see it evolve and change right before your eyes. Embrace it. Grace Period was so many things before I was (semi) content with what it is now. And it still may change. Being flexible also led me to change my debut deadline from the "first of the month," to just...Monday. Those come more often. Like ponytails, jeans, like Karrueche and Chris Brown, --don't force it.
5. Being kind to (my)self--Sometimes overthinking things can produce an awful lot of anxiety. It did for me. Caused me to second guess, and be super hard on myself for not getting things done by the time I thought I should have. For not being "perfect". I had to stop before I drove myself crazy. Honestly, if this happens to you, take a bath and a chill pill. Breathe. Take a break and come back to it. Ambition is a gift and a curse, and mental fatigue IS a real thing. I can't speak for all folks, but I know that I can't produce quality like that. I simply can't function that way. Allow yourself to be a human. A 15 minute, 'you is kind, you is smart, you is important' pep talk, can do wonders. A walk around the block, a cup of tea, a trip to the nail salon-- whatever it is-- use it to get yourself re-centered, and back on task. In my experience, a clear mind is way more likely to be productive and less likely to think about things that are unnecessary. It also helps to remember, that progress is always a work in progress.
Hope you found this useful.
Thank you all for your support, and welcome to The Grace Period.