Thursday, June 2, 2011

Procrastination Fascination

I like to make to-do lists.  It isn't so much that I need the daily reminders, I think it is more the satisfaction I get from being able to cross things off, to see all that I have accomplished in a day.  I have been known to add things to my list that I inherently forgot to add, even though they have already been completed, just so I can feel more productive.  Get gas, cross off list, get a coffee at Starbucks, cross of list, ridiculously simple and stupid feats I might add.  It's like the more things on the list, the more busy I must be; and busy translates to important.  We are a nation of "doers" - we do not like to admit when we are doing nothing.  Phone rings, "Hi Kim, what are you up to?" Me, "Oh, just finishing up some _____, (you can fill in the blanks), work, errands, cleaning, etc.  But really, I am on the couch, sitting, thinking, closing my eyes, resting.  Resting is something but it falls into that category of "doing nothing", along with the likes of watching daytime TV or petting your cat. 

My days don't always include a rest period, but they do seem to have an abundance of distractions.  Self-induced distractions.  I sit down to work or plan to attack my list one task at a time, but I can't.  I don't know why the road blocks, don't know why the stubborn resistance.  But because of this, at the end of the day some things get transferred to the next days list, and this roll-over can go on for months.  For example, call Comcast to inquire about simple basic cable.  A simple phone call, find out some details, decide if I should switch plans.  But I keep putting if off.  There are things on my list, like, renew passport, make dental appointment, visit Jeremy's in San Francisco, check into new Mac computer, exercise, things that just keep getting passed on to the next day and then on to the next month's list.

My to-do list

I know it's not just me, but the agony of the lingering undone is much more painful than the rip it off band aid zinger that lasts only seconds and then it is done, feeling so much better.  The worry and internal nagging related to things unfinished or not even started is much more damaging.  It all adds up, this mental clutter that we have stashed away, thinking it is neatly folded and stored away in some compartmentalized closet, when really it is strewn all over the room.  We keep tripping on it.

Whether it is a relationship that needs our attention, phone calls or emails we still have to return, bills that need to be paid, repairs that need to be done, appointments that we need to make, why don't we just do it?  What is the advantage of procrastination, that old "manana" mentality?  Tomorrow does come, in the form of today, and the list still has the same old reminders of all we couldn't complete or little things that must have much bigger meanings.  It's really not the dental appointment I don't want to make, it is the actual appointment I don't want to go to.  How many root canals this time?  A new crown?  You've got to be kidding!$$$? Is it just because these items on my to-do list fall into the "should" category of life, the one I try to avoid at all costs? 

Now today, I received via email a "to-do financial planning list" from Real Simple Magazine.  It is giving me advice for the entire month of June and sets deadlines for all of these "to do" projects -if you'd like to add it to your own list, here you go, you can download it too
Then just moments later I hear a friendly "you've got mail" and received a "must do" travel guide from Sunset Magazine.  Okay, so now I have my own to do list, my financial planning to do list and my "must do" road trips list from Sunset Magazine.  Wow, my list is like an ever expanding waistline.  Try to make a dent in it, but it is downright difficult.  Might not get all this done during the month of June or even by the end of summer, but then again, before you know it, manana becomes 2012 - and that gives me plenty of time.

1 comment:

  1. Ever expanding waistline as undone to do's You are too funny Kim!!!