Making Headway

I’ll tell you a little secret that will stun you: I used to be on top of things. Yeah, I know, right? Me? Organized? Hard to believe.

But it’s true. For years there, my to-do list wasn’t so long as to overwhelm me to the point of near paralysis. I was actually efficient. Stuff got done. All my trains ran on time.

I don’t know when I started losing my grip and slowly sliding toward the whirlpool of utter chaos, but here I am. It seems as though staying organized is like treading water. You can’t ever slack off, even for a minute, or you start to sink. And once you start sinking, it’s a lot harder to get your head above water again.

One trick I’ve had to learn over and over and over again is not to give chaos the recognition it craves. Once you’ve done that, it engulfs you. It’s just too much. You become convinced that you’re never going to see your way clear.

No. The trick is to focus on one thing. Just one little thing. Do that. Feel that sense of accomplishment? That’s your superpower. The more you feel that, the more you’re able to do. A friend of mine calls this keeping your eye on the shovel. The shovel. Not the great steaming pile of… stuff that needs shoveling. And before you know it, the mound is a manageable size.

I’ve been really sick for about a month, so I’ve been feeling more paralyzed by inactivity than normal, but the other day I finally got done one thing that I had been putting off for months, and man, was that ever a fantastic feeling! And that gave me the strength to do something else. And I really feel a lot better now.

There’s still a ton of stuff to do. There always will be. But I feel like I’m coping again.

I just have to remember that just as you should never look down when you’re afraid of heights, you should also never look chaos in the eye. He does not have your best interests at heart.

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Procrastination

This will be my 575th blog entry. I haven’t missed a day since I started this project back in December of 2012. It astounds me that I’ve been able to come up with this many points to ponder, but I have loved every minute of it. Because of this blog, my writing has improved and I’ve become much more observant. I’ve also made new friends and have become much more comfortable with who I am. It turns out I actually kind of like me. Go figure.

It really amazes me that I’ve kept this up for so long, though, because I’ve never tackled anything this ambitious before. I could never be bothered. College? Yeah, I always graduated with honors, but that wasn’t really a challenge for me. Education is just something I’m good at. If I could get paid for learning, I’d be a millionaire. This, on the other hand, takes effort, but I adore it. That’s why I never procrastinate when it comes to this blog. If anything, I often put it ahead of other things that I should be doing. That’s what I’m doing right now.

I’m supposed to be packing my apartment for my upcoming move, but I’m so overwhelmed I feel paralyzed. I don’t know where to start. Basically, I don’t wanna. That’s what procrastination is, if you think about it. It’s an internal temper tantrum that you’re throwing because you don’t want to do something that you have to do. Think about it. You never put off doing the fun stuff.

Even though I know that in these situations I always feel much better if I get it over with, that still doesn’t seem to motivate me to get off the couch. I’ll do it tomorrow. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.

Since I know my ability to procrastinate so well, I try really hard not to have more than three unfinished projects lying around at any given time. Before I add something to the to-do list, and thus add to my stress level, I try to get rid of something else. But packing is the mother of all list generators, so I’m a bit of a wreck right now. Having more than three things hanging over my head is making me anxious.

If you are limiting yourself to only three projects a day, I highly recommend that you make one of the three a nap. So off I go, to tick that nasty little chore off my list. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. Honestly, you should be impressed. It’s not easy to sleep when you’ve got so much on your mind. But I’m willing to accept the challenge. I’m a go-getter.

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