Low Grade Fever

Cecilia GormanProcrastination has a mighty hold on us, and we tend to push the things we don’t really want to do hoping they’ll ultimately go away. But they don’t, and neither does the nagging feeling that goes along with them.

I call this feeling a low-grade fever. It’s there; I can tolerate it, but nonetheless drags me down. Just like a real fever.

Unreturned phone calls can cause a low-grade fever. A hamper full of dirty clothes does too.  What causes yours? Scores of unopened email or a stack of bills waiting to be paid?

Everyone has something they ignore and push. I don’t know why we do this to ourselves. We see things need to be finished, we know they need to get done, yet we do everything in our power not to do them.  Some freak flaw in human nature, I guess.

My life changed recently when I made up my mind to do first that which I hated most: clearing my office inbox. It’s amazing the change in my life since I made this a daily priority.

See, when I’d neglect my inbox, everything piled up beyond recognition: first the junk mail, next important documents, to the point where my inbox became a dumping ground for all things paper. After a while, I’d no longer recognize it as a box worth sorting through.

Every time I entered my office, I’d feel the fever begin to rise.  Even though I saw the overflowing papers and knew that I should sort through them, it felt better to procrastinate. But, what I didn’t realize was that any good feelings I got by procrastinating were fueling the fire of my low-grade fever, evidenced by nagging feelings of guilt.

Not so anymore. Now I walk into my office, see my inbox and I sort through what’s in it. It takes 5 minutes tops. That’s it. A mere 5 minutes to avert my low grade fever and I feel great the instant it’s done. That simple happiness lasts the rest of the day and makes we wonder why I tried so hard to avoid it before.

Don’t let procrastination start a low-grade fever in you. Simple tasks, those that take 5 minutes or less, really do succeed in changing your day.