Problem Solving Post: What Are Your Speedbumps?

By March 17, 2010General

Speedbumps.

Everyone has them. Those things that always seem to slow us down, break our rhythm or send us off course. They never really do any damage. They’re not big things like sickness, travel, or life changes. They’re little things that daily rob us of time, success and relationship.

The good news is that, if we look carefully, we can find a way around them.

For Example: My Speedbumps

Based on the content of this blog, you might be led to believe that I’m a Type A personality. Organized. Detailed. Thorough.

Sorry to disappoint, but I’m SO not. I’m definitely a Type B, creative, free thinking dreamer. But somewhere along the way I realized that the only way to make those dreams a reality is to try to balance my vision and creativity with organization.

All that to say, my Type B self is constantly battling speedbumps. I’m very easily distracted so my biggest speedbumps are:

Speedbump #1: Facebook/Twitter/Email

I always want new things. I want to see what I’ve missed in the last 16 seconds since I last checked the Facebook/Twitter/Email trifecta of distraction. And then off on the bunny trails I go. Hop. Hop. Hop.

Speedbump #2: Oh, While I’m Here...
I am forever getting distracted as I do things around the house. On my way to put something in the trash, I see a stain on the carpet, so I get out the carpet cleaner, but while I’m getting it I see that I’m almost out, so I go to the fridge to add it to my shopping list and while I’m there, I might as well grab a yogurt, but there are no clean spoons so let me just clean the dishes REALLY QUICK….

Speedbump #3: Contentment
Normally, I’d consider my contentment an attribute, but when it really. doesn’t. bother me that the couch in our bedroom is covered in laundry (wait…that IS a couch under there, right?) I think contentment becomes a huge speedbump.

Solutions

The first step in getting around your speedbumps is to recognize them. So take a couple minutes and write down the top 3 things that keep you from getting up in the morning, or reading your Bible, or exercising, or planning or whatever it is that you want to accomplish.

These can be general speedbumps like mine, or specific ones related to a specific goal. For example, if you want to read your Bible daily, your speedbumps might be:
-I can never find my Bible
-I don’t have my Bible me when I have time to read it
-I don’t know what to read

Let’s Problem Solve Together!

Once you’ve identified your speedbumps, then we can work on creating solutions. If you care to share, please list your biggest speedbumps in the comments. If you have solutions for others, then please reply to their comment. You all have a lot of wisdom to share and this is a great place to share it.

I’ll make sure everyone who comments and wants help finding a way around the speedbumps in their life get some ideas they can put into practice.

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Comments

17 Comments

  • Avatar Julie says:

    TV and facebook are my speedbumps. I am a licensed childcare provider and take care of children from 7am to 6pm. I am usually physically and mentally tired so after work I sit down in front of the computer and TV to rest “just for a minute” but usually once I sit down that’s all she wrote. I am usually up til 11pm or later even when i have the opportunity to go to bed earlier. Because I stay up late I am too tired to get up by 5am. I know that I have to change my priorities and now that I am feeling better that’s what I am going to do:-) I am going to create an after work routine and I can’t get on the computer or watch TV until those things are done. And I am going to set a timer so that I only have 30 minutes on the computer unless I am working on my lesson plan. And if I have the opportunity to go to bed early I will:-) I wish you all the best of luck getting over your speed bumps. Have a blessed day<3

  • Avatar Catie says:

    I could’ve written the first 2 speedbumps.. I’m REALLY bad at getting distracted while cleaning/organizing, etc. Or should I say really good. teehee.

    I’ve been trying to be more intentional about having a quiet time with God, and I was especially motivated after reading your e-book!!! But, I have a hard time with balancing getting enough rest (if I don’t, I’m quite crabby) and quiet time. I have a 1 1/2 yr old and a baby due in July and I know I won’t be getting any sleep then!! I really need to figure something out!
    .-= Catie´s last blog ..Happy Anniversary, Baby! =-.

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Catie,
      You’re definitely in a tough season of life when sleep is a rare commodity. I’ve found that quiet times with God look different in that season. Maybe getting up super early won’t work, but getting up 5 minutes early to spend the beginning of your day focused on Him is doable. Then you can have a more meaty time while the little ones nap. That way, you’re developing the habit of spending time with God first thing, but you’re not sacrificing any sleep.

      Congrats on your July baby! I hope he/she will be a great sleeper when he/she arrives. 🙂

  • Avatar Mindy says:

    The phone! I really try not to be on the phone much at all during the day, but sometimes it’s necessary and I feel like it completely throws off my day. I should really invest in one of those headsets, I think that would help by freeing up my hands.

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Mindy,
      Good idea…I just have a little plugin headset (as opposed to the bluetooth ones) and I love it. I can catch up with friends while doing dishes or picking up. I love it.

  • Avatar Tracy says:

    The Computer! I feel like it makes me a “reactive” person instead of a “proactive” person. I wait until I get an e-mail from someone that needs something done, then I act. As opposed to doing what I need to do and then checking my e-mails periodically. It’s also just a great, general procrastination tool! I need to TURN OFF MY COMPUTER after I check it in the morning and then turn it on to recheck it in the afternoon. Maybe even close the door to my study and just keep walking by!

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Tracy,
      “I feel like it makes me a “reactive” person instead of a “proactive” person.”

      I COMPLETELY relate to this statement. I’ve recently had to go old school a bit. Normally I like to use technology for my lists and stuff, but then when I “check my to do list” I check facebook, email yada yada. I’ve started carrying around a notebook and use that during the day. I’ll print out my overview for the week or my to do list for the day and then put it in the notebook.

      It’s hard to break my old habits though and get used to using a pen and paper. But so far, I’m a lot more focused and I get more done. Hopefully, I’ll stick with it.

      I love your insight. I’d never really thought of it that way.

  • Avatar Amy says:

    First of all I wanted to say that I just found inspired to action a couple of weeks ago. I haven’t read the ebook yet, though I am planning to, but I have really appreciated the tips and ideas here on the website. Thanks so much, Kat, for writing this blog! It IS inspiring!
    As for this post:
    #1 I get distracted very easily

    #2 I procrastinate A LOT

    #3 I am just plain lazy

    When I allow myself to be distracted, things at school (I am a teacher) and at home just don’t get completed/accomplished. Then I start to get stressed about all the work that is piling up/things I am not doing the way I ought to (waking up for my quiet time) so I start procrastinating, which leads to more stress and more procrastination.:( So often too, I just plain don’t want to do what I ought to and allow myself to be lazy.

  • Avatar Kat says:

    Amy,
    Aw…thanks! I’m so glad you like it.

    I read a great book you might like. It’s called “The Procrastinator’s Handbook: Mastering the Art of Doing It Now” by Rita Emmet. I really has helped me to overcome some of my procrastinating tendencies. I think it’s an older book so I’m not sure if they’d have it in the store, but I’m sure you could find it online.

    And honestly, being that you’re reading a blog called Inspired To Action, I wonder if you actually are, as you say, “lazy” or if the lack of desire to do something is simply the result and response to feeling overwhelmed. I imagine you’d be happy to do something if:
    1) you knew it would have good results
    2) you knew exactly what to do
    3) it seemed doable

    I don’t imagine anyone who was truly lazy would even want to read this blog. 🙂

    I have a feeling you’re going to do awesome things…

  • Avatar Jenn says:

    My speedbumps are
    1. Definitely the computer
    2. Yes, I get distracted easily too! Sometimes I just work on one room at a time and that seems to help me focus
    3. Just driving my kids around to school, soccer, basketball, Girl Guides, youth group, and picking up my husband from work. We are a one car family in a small town with practically no transit and I find it frustrating to get things done because the task always gets so broken up with my chauffeur duties!

  • Avatar Jen says:

    I just found your blog tonight (it’s awesome!), and I’m planning on reading your ebook! My speedbump is what I call my “couch trap”. After putting our 3 kids (under age 4!) to bed, finishing dishes, and tidying up, my husband and I head straight for the couch. I don’t care much for tv, but I do like to be sitting at the end of a long day and close to him. The problem is that he likes to stay up late, and I don’t like going to bed without him! So usually I stay downstairs until he is ready to go up, but when I stay up that late I can’t seem to drag myself out of bed to get to my bible in the morning. I have no idea what makes it so hard to just stand up, kiss goodnight, and go get in bed!!? I suppose it’s the fact that I really just love my husband and want to hang out with him and have a decent conversation without being interrupted, but with a nursing baby I just have to get more sleep and I can’t seem to make it happen!

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Jen,
      I’m glad you like it!!
      The “couch trap” – hilarious. I do exactly the same thing. My husband generally goes to bed when I do, but it’s actually probably harder for me to get up and go to bed before him that it is for me to get up at 5:30 in the morning.

      Before we had kids, I would often just fall asleep on the couch and then he would wake me up when he went to bed.

      Maybe he’d be willing to go to bed earlier if he knew you were trying to get up earlier. He could read a book or something in bed while you go to sleep.

      Thanks for sharing and I hope to see you around here often!

  • Avatar Kim says:

    My biggest problem is that I don’t like to get put of bed. Even when I get enough sleep (rarely) I start making excuses to stay in bed as soon as the alarm goes off. Any tips for killing the snooze button habit?

  • Avatar Bridget says:

    The phone is defintely my number one problem, followed by the computer and last I never want to go to bed at a decent time at night. Once my kids are in bed, I just want to enjoy the quiet time. I homeschool so my kids are here 24/7. Makes it hard to have any “me” time. I’ve been trying to stay off the phone until after lunchtime, but even then I haven’t always done everything I need to do. I’m working on it thought. I read your e-book last night and I’m not sure I’ll be able to do the 5:30 thing, but I am definitely gonna start getting up earlier. I was already trying to start my day w/ God, but with your plan it makes it even easier. Thanks for the blog and great ideas! Keep up the good work!!

  • Avatar Tara says:

    1. Computer… I get sucked in all the time! And it always takes longer than I mean it too.

    2. Perfectionist… if I can’t do it properly quite often I wont even start.
    .-= Tara´s last blog ..Hearty Pox =-.