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Procrastination: Confessions of a Perfectionist

by Angela Tollerson


Hi, my name is Angela and I’m a perfectionist. The last time I procrastinated was this morning at 9am.


I was supposed to be calculating the lambing dates of my ewes to reserve the shearer before lambing. But wait! I’ve never finished my April calendar in my bullet journal? How will I be able to note their due dates? I’d better sit down with my pens and washi tape and create the month of April. But wait! I need a good title page for April…


As I browsed through Pinterest for inspiration for April themes I fell into a rabbit hole of sheep, chickens, honey bees and vegetable plant starts. When you suffer from analysis paralysis, a feeling of defeat and weariness settles around your brain like a fog and those little dopamine shots of eye-candy on Pinterest just soothe the struggle of failed perfectionism. Am I right?


Un-paralyzing the Head


I seem to refuse to just make a physical list on paper of my to-dos since my retirement from my career in programming. But I’m finding the older I get (looking 47 in the face), the harder it seems to keep track of lists and tasks in the ethereal. The brain can only juggle four concepts at a time before a fire breaks out. In my effort to put my systematic, data-analytics job truly in the past I belligerently choose to forget how important it is to set timelines and priorities. Giant projects need to be broken down into their manageable small parts.

So, let’s plan my spring together right here, right now. No more paralysis!


I’ll start with the outcome tasks in whatever order they pop in my head. Include the personal stuff! It’s still part of your daily tasks and self-care is part of your productivity!

  • Buy more sheep coats

  • Pick out shearing day and note due dates

  • Vaccinate the sheep

  • Add straw to the mud mess in the winter paddock

  • Organize shearing day and skirting party with friends/family

  • Complete this blog for the Montana Fiber Shed due Feb. 15

  • Get back to a customer about the cost of my combed top

  • Flip the bedding in the chicken house

  • Start the veggie garden

  • Meal plan for my diet

  • Organize the farm shed

  • Build shelves for the new barn

  • Add an inside pull to the barn door

  • Work on my bullet journal so I can put these to dos in it!

  • Check sugar stores on the honey bees

  • Contact my new CASA assignment to meet my child

  • Practice songs for the symphony chorale

  • Prepare for my Free the Seeds talk at the college

  • Submit my honey bee class proposal to the college


Un-paralyzing the Arms


Now let’s arrange these in order of upcoming due date and put those on there even if finding out the due date is a needed step:

  • Add straw to the mud mess in the winter paddock – Today

  • Meal plan for my diet - Today

  • Complete this blog for the Montana Fiber Shed due - Feb. 15

  • Contact my new CASA assignment to meet my child and their Foster family - This week

  • Get back to a customer about the cost of my comb top – This week

  • Submit my honey bee class proposal to the college - Feb. 24

  • Pick out shearing day and note due dates – Next week

  • Prepare for my Free the Seeds talk at the college – March 4

  • Buy more sheep coats - This Month

  • Vaccinate the sheep – This/Next Month

  • Flip the bedding in the chicken house – This month

  • Organize shearing day and skirting party with friends/family - Next month

  • Check sugar stores on the honey bees – Next Month

  • Start the veggie garden Next Month

  • Practice Carmen songs for the symphony chorale – ongoing every day for 15 minutes

  • Organize the farm shed – Spring Wishlist

  • Build shelves for the new barn – Spring Wishlist

  • Add an inside pull to the barn door – Spring Wishlist

  • Work on my bullet journal so I can put these to dos in it! Wishlist


Un-paralyzing the Legs


OK we are almost there! Let’s take the stuff due this week and break them down into their parts so I can act:


  • Add straw to the mud mess in the winter paddock – Today

o Move around excess manure and snow into a pile with the tractor

o Drive to Hedstroms and get the straw bales and spread in the paddock

  • Meal plan for my diet – Today

o Use my favorite recipe book to write down my meals and grocery list

  • Complete this blog for the Montana Fiber Shed due - Feb. 15

o Finish the text

o Reread 3 times for edits

o Take some great pictures to attach

  • Contact my new CASA assignment - This week

o Call the foster parents of my child to set up a house visit Feb. 15th

  • Get back to a customer about the cost of my comb top – This week

o Review all my costs to create the comb top and add reasonable profit

  • Bonus Points while I binge Netflix: Work on my bullet journal so I can put these to dos in it! Wishlist

She Lives!


Now that I have direction and assignments, suddenly these limbs have life! What seemed like thirty things to do right now made my brain and body tired. They visually now have perspective to what is truly imminent and needs attention. I know what to do next with my morning, my day, my week. Finally, this energized farm gal can take what is next without over analysis.


Angela Tollerson is a retired data-analytics programmer turned educator, community volunteer, and sheep rancher. She and her husband own a small flock of colored South Australian merinos in beautiful Kalispell, Montana. Because they use protective coats on their flock, they sell their fine, raw wool fleeces to hand-spinning artisans all over the world. You can find out more at www.foxfarmhomestead.com



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3 Comments


jtomemd
jtomemd
Mar 19, 2023

I love this!!! I too have many "Tah Dah" Lists which lie in piles around my computer. Now that I am retired, I cnnot keep up with them!

Julie T.

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Dell Reistad
Dell Reistad
Feb 24, 2023

Thank you! Inspires me to get my ducks in a row for the coming months now too! But first I must learn about washi tape and look at Pinterest for inspiration on ways to use it! 😉

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Oh I struggle with this same issue, these are excellent tips! Thank you!

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