Today, I met a milestone. I may not be able to sleep tonight because I have crossed off something that’s been on my to-do list for 5 years. Yes, five years of procrastination. Now before I go on, do you know what kind of guilt, anxiety and torment you feel for 5 years when you procrastinate doing something you really want to do, but you just can’t seem to get around to doing it? A LOT! Every time I saw it, I turned my head away. I made up excuses for why I hadn’t finished putting the bricks around my herb garden.
Now, laugh with me for a moment. Bricks around an herb garden? I mean really, just how essential is that to life on Planet Earth? Not at all. That’s actually reason #1 why I procrastinated doing it. Focusing on my family, and other tiny things like putting food on the table and paying the bills- all of them took my complete focus and made it seem like I didn’t have time to bury the last 12 bricks in the ground.
Reason #2 was my phobia of finding a small, harmless garden snake underneath one of those bricks. I don’t like touching scaly things (and that includes my own legs when they dry out)! It was better to just avoid the whole thing rather than screaming and being laughed at by my family if I saw a snake the size of a pencil.
And reason #3, you’ll just love: I hate sweating. There. I said it. Sweating= a sign of hard work and success. But it also means that I’m hot. And not in the beauty pageant sense, the sticky, humid “I’m attracting insects” meaning.
But regardless of how valid my reasons were, I have been beating myself up for 5 years because I hadn’t finished that chore. I felt like I wasn’t successful at keeping my yard in order because my fragrant herb garden didn’t have the bricks installed. Instead, half of them were sitting haphazard around it. And since half of them weren’t buried in the ground, it was a chore to edge around them when the yard is mowed. Thus, making it look overgrown and adding to my guilt of not having the perfectly manicured yard (see, guilt multiplies, especially when it’s paired with procrastination).
And so, this afternoon, I’d had enough. It was time. Armed with a spade and a plastic bucket (and one of my neighbors standing feet away in case I encountered a snake), I attacked those haphazard bricks. And in less than 2 hours, I had buried them in the ground evenly (so lazy edger here can just ride the mower over them, he he he) and had even raked, picked up rotten pecans and started edging around other things! Go figure!
As women, our honor code holds us up to certain standards. Our home has to look a certain way-inside and out. It has to be cleaned from top to bottom weekly (and all of our secret hiding places where we stash our junk should be eliminated at first chance-10 years later). We should put out mums for the fall and plants bulbs for the spring. The gutters should never be full of leaves (Shh! Don’t point out the saplings that are growing in them). And our mini-vans should never contain the trash from last week’s secret drive-thru dinner after soccer practice.
We haven’t even covered your list of secret procrastination “guilts.” Those are just the essentials. One thing that definitely adds to our stress list is procrastination. And, much of it is often over things that we could either DO in a couple of hours or we just shouldn’t care about it in the first place.
Take a moment and determine what you are beating yourself up for not doing. And then determine if the guilt is worth it or not. I bet you could actually do one of those things right now. Seriously. Whether you’re at work or home. Be like Nike, “Just do it. “ (Is that still their tag line?)
And me, wouldn’t you know, I’m beating myself up for not doing this earlier? LOL!
Go attack your procrastination monster-you’ll be glad that you did. Now, what’s the next thing I’ve been procrastinating…
Tammy Whitten is proud to bring YOU the best stress tips everyday- right where you’re at! Follow her on Twitter @WomenAndStress or on Facebook.com/WomenManagingStress to never miss a secret to make your life happier!