June 12, 2003

The Stress of Not Getting Things Done

by Trudy Boyle

The Stress Triangle

My number one stress creator is not completing a task I have set for myself or following through promptly. The stress is compounded when I take on more than I can deliver in the allotted time. And my final penchant, which makes up what I call my "stress triangle" is to ignore the whole lot until the last sixty seconds!

How do I let this controllable stress occur? The honest answer is that I sometimes let my feelings boss me around. One of the puzzling lessons I have learned is that, more often than not, I do not feel like doing most of the things that need doing. I'm not just speaking about cleaning the toilet bowl or doing my tax return. I'm referring to those things that I genuinely desire to accomplish like writing, preparing courses, learning calligraphy. I haven't yet felt in the mood to get out of my cozy bed early in the morning on a dark rainy day, and get started on my goals. The letter writing feeling does not strike me until I'm actually writing.

Pondering why I don't feel like doing what I say I want to do, yet discovering one more time, how great it often feels after I've done it, is just another reliable way to distract myself from the effort of doing the next thing. There is no substitute for "accepting my feelings" (of laziness or boredom, or anxiety, or whatever happens to appear), "knowing my purpose" and then "DOING IT." My stress is relieved almost from the moment I start, and I go to bed that night often satisfied at what got accomplished.

Trudy Boyle is an alumni of the ToDo Institute and currently works with her partner, Gottfried, conducting workshops and training programs for non-profits and businesses in Western Canada.

Posted on June 12, 2003 2:52 PM

Certainly there is much truth in these short sentences. Once we overcome the procrastination then we become new beings. Good stuff T!

Posted by: ebdos on June 3, 2011 3:07 PM

Thanks Trudy.
I've struggled for so long trying to figure out why I don't feel like doing what I say I want to do. (drawing, painting, drumming...all things that give me pleasure). I've decided that I don't need to figure it out. I just ned to take the next action.

Posted by: John Driscoll on September 15, 2009 7:52 PM

Jee thanks for all your helpful advise; I am overwhelmed by my gratefulness to YOU Trudy...YOU.

Posted by: Sheeeeeeeeela on April 2, 2009 12:43 PM

Thanks to Gregg Krech and the principles of the Morita journal process, which I have been doing for years now, I have accomplished 1000% more than i ever thought possible. I thank my lucky stars that in February of 1992 I received the gift of a lifetime of better thinking and acting. Once I write down the feeling,it seems to dissipate with every action I take. Just looking at the journals I have written over the years, seeing my "feelings' offset by actions encourages me to continue with Morita actions.Thanks for your article. and thanks to TODO.

Posted by: Helen on June 26, 2008 10:24 PM

As always, these articles on procrastination are very helpful to me. I have to note the averageness of not "feeling" like doing, but doing anyway. I tend to see others as capable and not dealing with these feelings, and myself as incapable.

Thank you Trudy

Posted by: Kelly on June 10, 2005 11:16 PM
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