Creating Your Sanctuary

Clearing Internal Productivity Blocks

May 17, 2023 Katie Sanders Episode 115
Creating Your Sanctuary
Clearing Internal Productivity Blocks
Show Notes Transcript

What questions can you ask yourself to see what kind of internal blocks that may be holding you back from completing your goals.

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00:13 Hi, this is Katie and thank you for joining me on the My Senses, My Space podcast. And this is a podcast about feeling the world intensely, creating time to evaluate your needs and planning your space and life to fit you.
00:29 Now the last couple episodes have been kind of in tandem with each other and this one will be too. So I guess if there's a, a tandem bike for three people, it's kind of what's just about in my head.
00:44 But the previous episode was about having productivity blocks that were that you could look out outside of yourself and see if there's anything that could help transition you into getting things done that way.
01:00 And then the previous one before that was about maybe you're pushing productivity, maybe you're pushing too hard and maybe it's time to take a step back.
01:10 So on this episode, we're going to continue basing it upon that you do have the energy to be productive and again, productive and being in productivity in general, we're stepping back from the morality of it, like shoulds.
01:30 And having it as part of our identity or anything like that, we're looking at it as I really want to get these things done for myself.
01:40 And I am capable. I'm in a place where I could do that. My body is well rested at least rested enough.
01:48 I know as a parent and being neurodivergent and having chronic illnesses, it's like, I know when I hit a baseline for the morning that I can probably go for the rest of the day, although, you know, things come up.
02:04 So these are types of things that you can kind of examine internally to see if that might help you process and become and try to go through some of the blockages that you may be feeling of like, I just want to get this thing done, but I'm not getting it done.
02:25 So let's dive in. And this will be just kind of a list of a lot of different things. My brain doesn't operate totally linear if you could tell from the last episode, although they kind of strung together.
02:40 This one might be kind of all over the place because the last one I could picture externally as like, Oh, if you're in your home or who here or like picture it better, because these are internally, they're more kind of like questions to kind of look at.
02:56 Yourself. So very first thing, especially with someone with ADHD, are you bored and frustrated with a task? Is it something that is just so mundane and you absolutely hate doing it all the time?
03:14 Is there just this really unlikable part of the activity where you're just like, No, I just I'm avoiding it. I'm avoiding it because I do not like to do it.
03:25 We're not talking about like doing the dishes, although it can be related to that. This can also happen if it's administrative, like balancing your checkbook or things that you might have some some fear attached to as well.
03:42 And we'll get into perfectionism with this as well. There's there can be these avoidances of, you know, I want to get this thing done.
03:54 But something's holding me back in it can feel invisible. It can feel like, Well, I've done this in the past before.
04:00 I have been successful in the past before, even though it may have been more of a struggle because there are things that we're good at and then there's things that we're not as good at.
04:12 So we, but we have to do these for ourselves because we're grownups in this society. So we have to try to look at the balance in our bank account.
04:26 We have to tend to the mail. And there can be fear of getting bills in the mail. There can be a lot of these little fears.
04:35 So, but recognizing, am I super frustrated with it? Is there a fear going on here? Is there something that I can actually name and say, oh, this is why I'm, I have this wall put up whenever I think about this.
04:53 The more that you can directly name what that is, verbally process it, talk to someone else about it, journal about it, have an outlet.
05:05 The more that you can kind of process through it and go, okay, I kind of got those feelings like you can get stuck on the feelings of like, but it makes me angry, but it makes me sad, but it makes me fearful, but it makes me, but there's a possibility also it can make you happy.
05:23 There are other feelings that you can feel is doing the dishes every day going to make you happy. Let me for some people, but for the most of us that's like, I have to get through it.
05:34 So recognizing what that is can then lead you to, well, I'm just super bored during this whole process. I'm just feeling so uninspired.
05:47 So like, it's going to take so much time and it's never going to end that feeling can really help us avoid things.
05:57 So is it possible to listen to a podcast or watch a video on your phone while you're doing this? This is something I do a lot.
06:05 I'm like, okay, I need to tackle the kitchen. I hate doing this. But I know that if I tune into something, I can totally have this kind of out of body experience.
06:17 I extract myself from my body. Some people are like, oh, but you're not living in the moment. It's like, no, no, I don't really want to right now.
06:24 It's okay to extract myself and just kind of live within this story that I'm listening to or this episode of a TV show and just get through it.
06:34 And by the time I'm like finishing up, I'm like, oh, wow, that time just kind of flew by because my mind was elsewhere.
06:43 Sometimes we have to take that tactic. If it's something that you're frustrated and it could be that the method or the way that it's being done could be revamped.
06:55 There's something that maybe bringing in another person to say to them, hey, I've tried it this way and it's not working for me.
07:04 Do you have any suggestions? And they may or may not, but you could also Google around or be part of a Facebook group and hop on there and say, hey, I love, I will plug this a little bit.
07:16 There's a neurodivergent cleaning crew, Facebook group and I'm sure there's others that I absolutely love. I pop on there and I haven't submitted anything, but I love that people are like, I'm stuck on this.
07:30 Does anyone have any ideas on how to do this differently or here's my success. I was avoiding this for so long.
07:38 That can be such an inspiration because I know it's people with minds that work like mine and it can really help to go, oh, they're finding ways through it and they're showing up and showing their struggles too.
07:54 It's like, I've been putting this off for a month, but guess what, I did this one really hard thing. So, I know this is a really loaded one that's the one I started out with, but you can also get some coaching help and seeing if that can help like either if it's body doubling that can help you get through
08:18 maybe taking memorabilia that you have, taking these loved items that you have and you're trying to get rid of them because it's just too much in your house.
08:27 It can be that you need someone by your side to let you feel your emotions and then to also look at your objects a little bit more objectively or to be able to chronicle them to take pictures of them before you let them go so that you do have some of those memories captured.
08:48 Yeah, it's hard. Here's another one. Are your estimations off? So, in tandem, I'm using that one a lot today, but in conjunction with the last one is maybe your thinking that the task is going to take double triple quadruple the time that it's actually going to take.
09:12 Now, our brains aren't good at estimating. It's really hard for all humans to have accurate estimates because life just does life throws a wrench into things.
09:27 I've been a web designer for a long time and whenever, like I've had hundreds of clients and whenever I would go, okay, let's take this template experience and apply it to this.
09:39 Something would come up. Something would be different because humans are different and I was capturing their essence and having them online and since everyone was different and they wanted to do different things with their sites, their needs and wants were different.
09:54 So we can try to have it as a template for washing the dishes and for the most part you're like, okay, I just go there and I put them in the dishwasher but there's always like different messes that pop up.
10:07 It's like, oh, there's this big pot that I didn't even realize I had to soak, you know, for hours or sometimes you have to take things apart and really clean them really well or deal with a bunch of trash there.
10:23 So maybe you didn't even think it was there. So every situation is going to have a different amount of time.
10:29 So what we can do though is actually time it. We can use our phones to just start a timer and try to see how long it takes and this can help our brain from going, oh, that's going to take so long to, oh, that took ten minutes.
10:44 Oh, that took twelve minutes or it took five minutes. And when we see how long things actually take, it can help quiet our brains a bit into that to separate it from this will take forever.
11:00 And I know that's very common. A lot of people I talked to are like, this is going to take forever, but it won't.
11:07 It won't. It may be hard and you may need other supports during it, but there are ways through. Another thing that I know affects me is does it feel efficient?
11:21 So a lot of times, and I see this in my son, I see this in my friends. We won't start something because the method that we have to do it is not efficient.
11:34 It will like we look at it and we're like, this is so clunky, this is going to take extra time.
11:40 If I'm going to do that, then I should do this other task with it. So it's more efficient. I'm doing them both together, like taking donations.
11:48 Like I could take two boxes of donations this week and three next week, but for me my brain goes, I'll just take five next week.
11:57 And maybe that's true. Maybe that would make your whole life easier because this week you're like, it's off my plate.
12:02 I don't have to do it. I'm going to take five next week. So there's some truth to that, right? But if we keep putting it off and off and off because we're looking for that efficiency, that, oh, well, I'll just group this together.
12:18 And it's like time-blocking. It's like saying, I'm going to focus and have this mega session of doing something instead of a little session.
12:27 Then we get into that, oh, but it's going to take forever. See how that kind of loops back. It's like, I could go through all these things and declutter them.
12:36 And then if I do them all at once, then I can do one trip to the donation center. But is that really what is going to be best for your mind and body?
12:47 Is it something that really would be best to take the two boxes this week and the three next week? Because everything is such in a better place, more manageable.
13:00 And that you have the time to declutter some this week. And so it doesn't feel like forever. And then you can do more next week.
13:09 And then possibly do more that so it becomes more of a habit of doing it every week instead of this giant monster job thing.
13:20 Which can really push our like that doesn't feel safe because it feels like way too much. So think about that.
13:28 Is there are you doubling but like looping back on yourself and going, but it would be more efficient. If I just did this giant thing because that can really really hamper our plans.
13:40 We're just like, let's do this big thing and just get it all done at once and it's just not realistic.
13:47 Speaking of realistic is realistic. Is what you're trying to do possible even possible with just you. It could be that you're cleaning out a garage and there's things in there you can't even lift or you can't move.
14:04 Or you can't reach or you know there's there's bodily things that can get in the way of getting a task done because you are just not capable of it.
14:17 And there's nothing wrong with that is just that you're going to have to ask for help or hire help or find someone to do it for you.
14:27 Or maybe the two of you together can get it done. It doesn't mean you're worth any less. It just means that the plan that you had was just inaccurate.
14:39 And so we can make it more accurate by going oh wait if I look around my space here like just be in the middle of the space and look around and say okay I really want to make this a project.
14:55 In the future it could be next month. But I need to really get like to understand this whole space and imagine myself trying to do the different things in here.
15:07 And if I can't do some of the things let me line up help in advance so that can also be this external expectation of you so that you do stay on track and get that done as we talked about last week.
15:20 But it's thinking about is this realistic do I even have the tools to get it done it could be you could need a literal tool like a drill or something to take something off of a wall or know that there's going to be a like one of those junk trunks junk trunks junk trucks that show up like got junk and
15:45 coming to get all the stuff because like maybe you clean it all out but then where does it go. It won't all fit in your car or won't all fit somewhere where can it go so that you can complete the job.
15:58 Yeah there could be some missing information maybe you have things to get rid of that are toxic that you have to process differently so.
16:06 Trying to take that initial look around and ask questions like what is really needed here and we did kind of talk about this in the last episode of it but thinking about is this realistic does my body had the capacity and the capability to see this through in the amount of time that i'm thinking and
16:24 again that comes back to you know estimating that time. So as you can see these are kind of all very connected to each other.
16:34 Is there like an aversion to it because you've had a bad experience with it maybe the last time you cleaned out this one corner you saw a horrible huge spider held that would be a huge aversion to getting something done.
16:49 So how do we tackle that how do you ask for help how do you come up with a plan or a tool or something that will help you get that job done and I keep thinking about my garage because that's what I think I need to do, but I think it's a really good example of like.
17:07 Of things that could possibly get in our way so there could be a bad experience of taking your stuff to a certain donation center that they keep saying no you can't donate all the stuff here then you're stuck with half of it so can you find another place to donate it to.
17:27 Could it also be that you need to give yourself permission for the project time to run over if it is a project that you're doing for yourself.
17:36 Then you're the one conducting the deadline in sometimes again estimations of that deadline can be off and so when we don't hit that deadline we're kind of go into an all or nothing spiral of like well if I didn't do this I totally failed at getting this done and it's like no.
17:55 You got part of it done you experimented with how much time it took to get it done it's okay that it's not done yet because you were going to keep working on it until it's done.
18:08 And maybe the done is fuzzy because some projects don't have this like hard and date you're always getting rid of things you're always kind of cleaning your house so you're not going to have like a perfectly clean house and it's not going to stay perfectly clean either.
18:26 And it can be kind of disheartening to go I spent all this time doing this yet I still have to do it and it's like well.
18:34 That's because we keep living in the space and the space keeps getting affected by us and in the people that we live with and nature nature comes in and does.
18:46 Nature things and gets things dirty and it puts wear and tear on things and so sometimes we do we have to keep.
18:54 Maintenance up on things but maybe your goal is just to get through a backlog of something. And so trying to get away from that all or nothing kind of outlook on things.
19:08 Maybe it's because your hard your definition of something being hard for you is different than someone else's hard something that's hard for them to do and really looking at like.
19:23 No, this this is what I'm capable of and it may be easy to to do through someone else. I'm sorry to have someone else do it and maybe that's the answer is to hire someone else to do that or have a friend come and help you.
19:39 But also recognizing that certain things may just be hard for you and if someone else is going, we'll just do it.
19:48 Just get it done. It's not that hard. They don't know you. They are kind of stepping on your feelings and your needs at that point and either you can vocalize to them.
20:01 This may be easy to you but it's hard for me. I would hope that you can have a friendship that would be understanding of that.
20:13 But that's the reality it comes down to. There are things that I used to do that I can't do as much anymore because it's hard for me to do.
20:22 But then going, okay, but in this new body, not new body, but just like in this current body that I have in my new definition of what I can do, I can do this much then.
20:37 And then I'm going to have to ask for help or figure out a different way of doing something. Is it possible that you're looking or wishing for distractions to keep you from actually doing that thing?
20:53 So we, it may be that we want to research more or get the perfect tool or get the perfect organizing things or have the perfect day set up so that we can do the one thing.
21:05 And if we don't have that all lined up. Well, you know, I can hop on TikTok or I can hop on Instagram and just scroll for a while.
21:15 Like, it, there's always a shiny out there. There's always something to distract us. And when we are in avoidance of something, we may pick the low hanging fruit.
21:28 We may go, okay, no, this is, I'm just going to do all these little things right now because it's easy.
21:34 And I can feel accomplished. And I'll just keep pushing this big rock down the road. But it's, if it matters to you, if it's important to you and it feels really overwhelming, it may be that we take that like big project and we chop it all up into little bite sized pieces.
21:56 So we can get that same feeling of getting things done. But it's just in a smaller bite sized chunks. It can be hard to motivate ourselves to do that because we aren't seeing the instant gratification of it.
22:13 But when we keep searching for instant gratification, when we keep like jumping to, yeah, well, I'll go do this real quick because it's really satisfying.
22:22 And I am being productive, right? But you're not making any headway on the things that really matter to you that you that align with your goals and values.
22:34 So we kind of draw those distractions to us, right? They're just like, ooh, let me, you know that one thing I was putting off though, I'll go do that because that's something that now becomes appealing because the bigger thing is like, oh, no, not touching that.
22:54 And that could be something that works in your favor. You could be like, well, I am being productive. I'm getting this little thing done that I've been putting off forever.
23:04 And maybe that's your motivation of getting it done. Maybe that's your momentum of getting things done. And having those wins really can lead to, okay, I can do something harder.
23:15 But we're not experiencing bigger wins. It's harder to go, oh, yeah, but I can have a big win with that.
23:25 So for me, I know in my personal life, if I do something really big and outside my comfort zone, my brain starts opening up and going, but maybe I could do the big hard thing.
23:37 Maybe it's possible to actually put this big hard thing behind me. But it takes doing other big hard things at the same time.
23:48 It's getting through those at whatever pace works for you, but it is tackling those big things in a small bite size manner.
23:57 Is it possible that you're giving yourself some bad information? Could it be that your mental talk in your head is actually negative about getting the thing done that you want to have done?
24:11 Is it possible that it's wording that you heard as a child saying, you can't do that? You're not good at that.
24:21 You could be so much better if you just did this. Why can't you do that? You're being lazy. Like all of those type of words are not going to help you get things done.
24:35 It's this internal monologue that can really dampen any kind of momentum and things that you want to achieve in your life.
24:46 So try to see if some of those words are coming, bubbling up in your brain. And while you're thinking of this one project that you want to get done, or just if it's a singular hard task that you've had difficulty doing because there's this negative talk, try to sit with that and try to even see, see
25:12 here. Try to hear if that voice is not your own. Try to hear if you're actually hearing those words in the voice of the person that it came from.
25:25 And this can be super hard, but it can be really eye-opening to go wait a minute. That was my parents saying that's, I mean, that is not me saying that to me.
25:37 And if you have children, how would you say that to them? Because it's your voice in shifting it around to something positive of, no, you can do this.
25:47 It is really possible for you to get through this. You may need help, you may need a different plan. You may need a different timeline.
25:56 You may need to space this out so that you have energy, the times that you have available to do this, but you can do these things.
26:06 And which is a totally different way of what you might possibly be hearing it as like, no, you can't. Is it possible you need to learn something?
26:17 Is it possible that you're trying to do a task you have never done before? And I did talk about this a little bit last time, but sometimes it's not learning how to do like use a new tool.
26:29 It's actually learning how to do a whole new process. So whether it's like with finances or just a whole new outlook on making something big happen in your life, it takes a lot of mindset shifts and a lot of learning about how to look at that thing very differently.
26:49 I've done a lot of financial like shifts in my life of going, oh, I understand this a whole lot more now that I have more information on how this whole process works.
27:02 And so now I can take the next steps of getting that done. Is there a lack of confidence in doing it right?
27:10 So this is where we get to perfectionism. Perfectionism is really about a fear of failure and looking at your failure.
27:23 It's observing that whether it's art with us a project, whether it's not getting something done. There's possibly something visual about it that to have those mistakes reflected back at you feels very, very uncomfortable.
27:39 And so we try to execute everything at a higher level of like, well, I know that my standard for getting this done is higher.
27:52 And so I want to hit it to that high point right away. But it's not really practical or it's not really, it's very hard to achieve.
28:05 It's very hard to, all of a sudden, I've never played baseball in a home run, you know, but that's what I'm expecting of myself.
28:16 So what we need to get comfortable with is experimentation and seeing our failures staring right back at us. Seeing our, and even relabeling them is not failures, but these experiments.
28:30 So you try some new art technique or you try a new financial product or you try something else. It's all about trying and you're going to receive so much more information back about like how to do something if you experiment.
28:52 And you can still have your high standards and say, but I want it to be up here, but you're still going to have to start lower.
29:04 That's okay, because I have a lot of high standards in my life and I do push to meet those higher standards when I have the energy and when I think my energy is worth that time to put into it like if I am cooking dinner.
29:19 And I messed up on part of it. I am not going to at least, you know, going through a lot of therapy and healing, not going to get down on myself because it didn't quite turn out or even like half turnout how I expected.
29:34 That was a learning experience and so I can say to others like, well, that's not really what I was aiming for.
29:39 That's not really how I wanted it to turn out for everybody. But now I have more information where the science of cooking food didn't turn out how I expected.
29:51 And so I need to take that reflection and go back and go, okay, how can I change things. But if I dwell on, oh, I just totally messed that up and I have kind of either or kind of thinking on it.
30:07 When I have really rigid thinking about it, then I'm not actually learning. I am just like either I did it or I didn't.
30:21 And there's no learning in that. There's just like trying to aim for it and then giving up now. I totally support people who are just like this is not for me and I'm not going to go in that direction.
30:34 It's not something I'm good at. I don't really want to put my energy into it. Yes. Knowing what is right for you and wrong for you or when something is hard is like the key to it.
30:46 So something that you want to push through the hard and learning at Batterat is going to take time. It's going to be looking at our quote mistakes going to be looking at our experiments and saying, this is okay for me to observe to get input on and no one is judging me on this.
31:07 It's part of that judgment of someone coming and saying, oh, you did this totally wrong. You must be a failure.
31:14 That's what we fear. But really what learning is is trying. It's trying to do part of it and seeing how our bodies can do the thing, like how our drawing skills are.
31:33 And in its possible, we may never achieve what we're really wanting to do. Sometimes we can put the huge amount of hours into something and learn it as a skill and get really good at something.
31:49 And other people, it can be innate. It can be that they have this innate skill of scale and layout and colors and stuff that just kind of resonates in their brain better.
32:02 But there's nothing against you learning it and acquiring the skill over a long period of time. And that's when the is it for me.
32:32 And that's something that is on my list anymore of things that I want to achieve in my life. And lastly, knowing your why, knowing why you are intentionally putting your time and energy into something.
32:48 I'm doing this project to bring art into my life. I'm doing this project to clear out a garage. I'm doing this project or I'm doing the dishes because I'm going to feel so great with a clean kitchen afterwards.
33:03 I'm doing this because I care for me and I care for the ones that I live with. I'm doing this because it helps my brain get clarity when things are more organized or put away because then I can look around and go, okay, I can bring it a little bit and move forward.
33:26 And knowing that that thing is checked off and move on to the other thing. Allowing for rest in there though because you can't just keep going going, you're not a machine.
33:38 And lastly, knowing yourself, knowing what your values are, knowing this clicks right into the why, knowing yourself, knowing what your goals are, knowing what matters most, knowing that volunteering for that thing is going to be precisely what you want to do.
34:00 And if something's getting in the way of that, hey, I need to tend to this first or working hard on something that you're volunteering for, brings meaning to society and yourself and your friends and your community, knowing that if you do this, it's going to bring a lot of joy to yourself or other people
34:26 , knowing that you will grow from the the experience as a beautiful thing. So I think this is long enough and I'm going to hear, I'm sure there's a lot more.
34:40 If things pop up, feel free to email me through the description. If something kind of popped up in your mind, I would love to do maybe a part two to this.
34:49 And I'm sure as soon as I'm going to think of some more. But until then, thank you for joining me on the My Senses, My Space Podcast.