Why am I always challenging myself?
Is it to accomplish more than I thought I could and or is it to make a competition out of my ‘to-do’ list?
I read a very thought-provoking article this morning that has me thinking about how I procrastinate, but even more importantly, why I procrastinate.
While everyone procrastinates occasionally, it can easily become a habit for folks with anxiety. “People with high-functioning anxiety love to procrastinate and often think that organizing/strategizing is the thing getting in their way,” Nancy Jane Smith , MSEd, a licensed professional counselor, tells Bustle.
“However, it really stems from a fear of doing it wrong. They give themselves extra challenges and set extra bars, so they can accomplish more and make a competition out of it. Having goals that they can win at decreases their anxiety temporarily and allows them to stay ‘hopped up’ and distracted from what is really happening in their lives.”
Read the entire article here. https://www.bustle.com/p/12-daily-habits-that-are-surprisingly-a-sign-of-high-functioning-anxiety-13126854
There is that energy I can produce to meet deadlines. You know, the college “all-nighters” the push to create, to develop, to turn in a project. I have used this technique with success over the years and so have been rewarded, for the strategy. So, I am still turning to this even though there may be other tools I can use that will achieve the same outcome but be less stressful on me.
To avoid procrastination, I use checklists.
This, I believe, is an organizational tool that keeps me focused on the most important tasks each day. I have a work (my day job) list, a list for my home-office work, and a personal list. Oh, and a list of around the house projects, a “honey-do” list of things my wife would like to see done, and a list of things I am doing for family members.
It will not be long before I have a list of my lists.
As I read Nancy Jane Smith’s excellent article listing 12 habits that are surprisingly a sign of high-functioning anxiety, I identified with her statement that “having goals that they can win at decreases their anxiety temporarily and allows them to stay ‘hopped-up’ and distracted from what is really happening in their lives.”
I get a rush from being “hopped up” on many projects.
I must be very valuable because I have all of this to do. And if I am doing all of this, how can I really be expected to live in the moment, to understand the present? After all, I have a list, I know what I need to do, so I am doing it. When I check things off the list, I get positive endorphins. Sometimes when I do something that is not on the list, I will write it down just so I can cross it off. This is a change from not having any idea what the next step was going to be.
Being busy is a great way to escape from the present.
At my day job, I am the King of MBWA. I manage by walking around. This gives me a chance to interact with many employees, customers, vendors, and assess what is going on in the building in real-time. I walk different ways, go down different aisles, and stop at different departments. When asked what I am doing or if I need anything, I merely say “no, I am just being nosey.”
All that walking around has benefits beyond the fact that I get over 10,000 steps in each day. I get to see what is happening, hear what is happening, and help give input into what is happening, And, because I am always moving, it is hard to catch me, to corner me, to pin me down. I control my interactions to a large extent, and I build my day, unconsciously, with that in mind.
Being in the moment with people requires a lot of energy.
At least right now, for me, it is draining. Interacting with people on a surface level has just the opposite effect. It is empowering, uplifting, and it recharges my batteries. Part of this may be that I have way more experience with “drive-by” conversations than I do with “in the present moment” really listening to understand conversations. I will need to do more study on the difference between these two and how they make me feel.
But for now, I will add it to my list.