Honey B.

Honey B.

Honey is the founder of OrderlyBee.

Just … Do It?

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Why do we let procrastination get out of hand, and what can be done about it?  The answer is surprisingly simple—and surprisingly complex.

We all procrastinate from time to time.  Doing the taxes.  Grocery shopping.  Taking a shower.  And that’s fine—sometimes.  Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t stop procrastinating.  We allow our tasks to pile up until they seem so big and insurmountable that we’re paralyzed.  We can push unpleasant tasks so far out of our minds that we actually forget about them—even when they’re sitting right in front of us.  And then we’re in real trouble.

So, why does this happen?  If everyone procrastinates, how is it that some people let procrastination get out of hand while others don’t? 

The Answer is Surprisingly Simple

It’s all in the kindness we show—not to others but to ourselves.  More precisely, it’s the kindness we don’t show ourselves that’s at the root of our problems.  

Most people look at a sink full of dishes and think, “Guess I should have done the dishes sooner.”  But some think, “I’m a slob.  Most people look at a pile of unopened bills and think, “I need to get to that soon.”  But some think, “I’m irresponsible.”  Most people look at their dirty dog and think, “Wow, Spot needs a bath!”  But some think, “I’m lazy and selfish.”

Slob.  Irresponsible.  Lazy.  Selfish.  Not kind words, are they?  You’re not being kind.  And you’re not fair.  All people avoid things that make them feel bad.  Ant bites sting, so you walk around their hills, not on them.  Your neighbors yell at you when you throw your grass clippings into their yard, so you don’t do that.

Procrastination is an emotion-focused coping response. We use avoidance to cope with negative emotions. For example, if a task makes us feel anxious, we can eliminate the anxiety if we eliminate the task—at least in the short term. (1)

Dr. Timothy C. Pychyl, PhD

 

When dirty dishes, unopened bills, and a muddy dog make you feel bad, you avoid them.  Which is okay for a short time.  Remember, everyone procrastinates.  But for those of us who tell ourselves terrible lies (“I’m a lazy, irresponsible, selfish slob!”), procrastination isn’t just avoidance of a task, but avoidance of bad feelings.  And that’s where disaster lies in wait, for the longer we allow our tasks to pile up, the more our our bad feelings grow.  And the more our bad feelings grow, the more we avoid the tasks that cause them.  It’s a vicious circle that has terrible consequences:

  • Mental:  Anxiety.  Depression.  Apathy.
  • Physical:  Sleeplessness.  Illness.  Forgetfulness. 
  • Social:  Disappointment, resentment, frustration, and anger from others.

Maybe you’re already dealing with some—or all—of these consequences.  We hope not.  But if you are, we’re ready to help.  Log in to OrderlyBee each morning.  Go to your Launchpad.  Let us support you, break down your tasks into manageable bites, and keep you motivated and having fun.

You’re not a failure.  You’re not irresponsible.  You’re not lazy.  You’re not selfish.  You’re not a slob.  What you are is too hard on yourself.  Let us teach you to be kind to yourself.

Remembering Every Day

So, how can you remember to log in to OrderlyBee, if you can’t even remember to do the dishes? 

First, watch these two videos motivational videos we love.  We’re not alone; they’ve been viewed almost 66 million times between them!  The first was produced by actor Shia LaBeouf and became a famous meme.  Maybe you’ve seen it!  The second is a brilliant remix.  It’s a little campy—but it’s also weirdly inspiring.  We think Shia would approve.  

Second, right after you finish the second video, go write yourself a note that says, “Go to your Launchpad at OrderlyBee!” and put it where you will remember.  Tape it to your mirror.  Your toothbrush.  The coffee pot.  Wherever you’ll see it when you have a moment to yourself in the morning. 

And then … just do it!  We’ll be waiting for you here at OrderlyBee every morning, without fail.  Just do it—because we know you can do it!

 
 1) Pychyl, T. A. (2020, March 4). Negative Emotions Today Predict Procrastination Tomorrow. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/dont-delay/202003/negative-emotions-today-predict-procrastination-tomorrow

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