Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Putting things off...


Ever had one of those days where you just can't dig up the motivation to be a productive, contributing member of society?

...it seems I've been having more of those lately. The results?
  • Piles of clean laundry I rifle through every morning to find something to wear.
  • Checks stacking up that need to be cashed at the bank.
  • Two dishwasher loads full of dishes that I ALONE use.
  • Almost (note the word almost) outright refusal to try to stomach the work projects that I don't want to face.
  • Two clogged drains I can't seem to bother pouring Drano down...
  • A bedtime that has crept frighteningly closer and closer to midnight on weekdays. (Who would have thought I'd be putting off sleep!?)
  • A TiVo with 10 episodes of Jeopardy on it. (Even my leisure time is getting procrastinated!)
  • All of these fun pictures on my this post. Yep, I looked for a good fifteen minutes to find these suckers. I hope you all appreciate my hard work!

And in regards to the above 'putting off' of things, I keep telling myself, "Eh, it's no big deal." At least I'm not in school or something. But guess what's been nagging at the back of my brain? A Master's degree... (Just a thought, people...please no congratulations or freaking out!) Yet I know my procrastinational tendencies would throw a huge wrench in the works and make it more like suffering rather than actual learning. Honestly, I don't know how I survived 17 years of schooling...

What is the reason behind all of this procrastination as of late? I'd like to say that it's because of something awesome like that I am training for a marathon or writing a novel or that I had a garden I looked after or that there were small children in Africa I was helping. Nope. A tiny part of me wishes I could even blame it on a health problem (not that I'm hoping for some disastrous issue to arise...) because I would have some sort of an excuse at least. Nope. I have none. I owe it all to one cause: sheer apathy.

The thing is, I don't like procrastinating. It makes me anxious. I'm fairly certain that my tendency to put things off has a much deeper foundational meaning (deeper than I'd like to delve at the moment), but let's go with some fairly obvious things. Sometimes life is difficult. So we put off the pain. I guess we think that by soothing our fears and anxiety with something numbing or relaxing that it will help ease us away from all the terrors that life has ready to dish out. WRONG. I've discovered that delaying that distress (at least for me) just creates a pit in my stomach whose size corresponds to all of the things that get adding up on my list of things I need to accomplish. What I'm really trying to say here is that I need to lighten up and stop trying to save the world one task at a time. I mean, seriously, no one will die if my wall hangings wait another week or two to go up on in my new place. So why am I letting it make me physically ill?

Check boxes make me feel good...filling in those boxes is catharsis for me. So here's a little trick I learned...no matter how menial the chore, I add it to my never-ending task list. Shower? Why yes, I did, thank you. Check. I've also had to learn, however, that there's always going to be something else I should be doing. And I can either get ulcers about that or learn to be a tad spontaneous and shirk the work for a little bit. See how this becomes a vicious cycle?!


So what's the solution? Get off my lazy duff and get my to-do list in gear? Bribe myself with rewards for even the littlest achievements? Do I just have ADD to some enormous degree?! Can I ever get my life balanced to the point where I don't feel like I'm constantly dropping some sort of metaphoric ball? Obviously something's gotta change...so:

Bob: Baby steps.

Marvin: It means setting small, reasonable goals for yourself. One day at a time. One tiny step at a time--do-able, accomplishable goals.

Bob: Baby steps.


I will think of things in tiny managable segments. No longer can I look at my house and think, "UGH...it will NEVER be clean!" I can clean my kitchen tonight. That will be goal number one. Hopefully that will get the ball rolling...

2 Comments:

Blogger Lindsay said...

Good luck Annie! It's doing the small things that lead to the big things.

August 13, 2009 at 8:16 AM

 
Blogger sarah said...

Dennis thinks I am weird because I like to check things off and complete things like forms. Now I know that it is just a genetic thing. Oh, and I like ironing, it is soothing-kind of like making everything right in the world by smoothing out the wrinkles, yet I have 3 baskets worth to iron sitting in the laundry room so I feel your pain. Love you.

August 18, 2009 at 3:33 PM

 

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