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procrastination

Just Do It!

Just do it!  Get more done.  There are two roadblocks to successfully getting things done.  One is not having the things at hand to do the task.  The other is being a perfectionist.just do it

I always have a good reason to not, “Just do it.”  I can justify forever not doing something because I don’t have what I need to do things with.  There are two ways to approach this problem:  1. Make a list of what you need to help do the task and take the list with you when you go shopping and get those things.  2. If you already have what you need to do the task, go get the things from wherever they are that are needed to do it and get started.   That takes care of the primary excuse I usually have which is that I don’t have right in front of me whatever I need.

One thing that is a major problem that gets in the way of my telling myself, To just do it”  is lollygagging.  When it comes to wanting to do the thing right, I can procrastinate forever.  It also doesn’t help that there are controlling people in my life who will welcome the chance to criticize my choice whatever it is.  It is always easier to criticize something after the fact than to figure out how to do it in the first place.

Why did you take so long to just do it? When you do get it done, you may wonder why you did without it so long.  The time spent procrastinating, could have been spent enjoying the end product.  I just put up a new picture of my granddaughter where I can see it when I write.  If I had procrastinated any longer, she could have grown up before I got it done.Just-Do-It-Now

One final thing you can do to help you to just do it is to write down what you have accomplished.  Nothing is too small to put on the list.  We often fail to do this because we say to ourselves that wasn’t anything great that I did.  Yet somebody had to do it, it took time, and somebody will enjoy the results.  For example, take unloading and loading the dishwasher.  You were not doing nothing at the time; you were doing something.

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When You Can’t Seem To Make Up Your Mind

Tax

Tax (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)

When you have mixed feelings about doing something, you almost always vacillate between wanting to do something and not wanting to do something.  What happens is that often the farther away you are from something, the more desirable it seems and the closer you are to something, the less desirable it seems.  This can even be seen in the behavior of experimental rats.  As they approach the desired but feared goal, they begin to slow down while when they were further away from the goal, they went faster.  Take doing your income tax.  You may be motivated to get them done because of the tax refund that you will get.  You know that doing your income tax is a lot of work and potentially involves a lot of frustration. When you get started collecting the needed papers, you may realize that some are missing and have to be found. Finding these papers can be a slow, tedious process which you do not like to do.

Having a baby can also involve mixed feelings.  Little babies are so cute and cuddly and you just can’t wait until you hold yours in your arms.  Then (and especially if you have done this before) the due date gets closer and closer and it soon will be time for the child to be born.  No mother looks forward to the pain and anxiety of childbirth especially if she has done it before. Also childbirth is not something you can back out of at the last minute while with taxes you can apply for more time to get them done.  The only problem is that the longer you put something off, the bigger job it becomes.  Papers get lost or misplaced. Things you need to remember to do the past year’s taxes get forgotten and their place gets taken by new information that you acquire during the current year about the present year’s taxes.

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Facing the Facts

High Anxiety

High Anxiety (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Avoiding a problem makes it grow.  I force myself to open bills and look at them when I get them rather than putting it off.  I try not to put off looking through all the mail (not just the bills).  That is the time to recycle paper, catologs, etc.  If I have access to a computer, I check my bank account and credit card statement everyday.  Current bills to be paid, bills that are coming due in the near future, and past due bills (yes, I have those) are kept in a folder on top of my desk where they can be easily reviewed when it is bill paying time, which is at least twice a month when I get checks.  Also at bill paying time, I catch up with my check book and keep track of upcoming monthly withdrawals.  I also keep an appointment book with important dates and I try to review that at least once a week on the weekend to see what I have going on in the next week and have to plan for.  Things coming up in the next week might highlight some necessary expenditures that might otherwise be overlooked.

Facing the facts is often anxiety arousing for me; but it is better than putting it off to find out later that I have missed an important appointment or have not remembered a bill I have to pay.  Many of us feel that out of sight is out of mind and that way we avoid worrying about things.  In the meantime as time passes and we avoid dealing with the problems associated with these bills and responsibilities, things that were minor irritants become major ones.  Not only do we have more work to do if we put off dealing with these things, there are consequences of missing things like deadlines.  Balancing a check book after a long period becomes a major undertaking and there can be mistakes that have been made that have long term consequences.  The same is true about scheduling necessary checkups.  Little medical and dental problems can become big problems if not caught early enough. A little anxiety in the present can avoid a lot of anxiety in the future. The problem with putting off things is as the anxiety increases with every postponement, it becomes harder and harder to deal with and makes it even less likely that it will be done.

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