I have had the same half dozen things at the top of my To Do List for weeks... maybe more like months.
I guess I should explain a little bit. When my husband worked for his parents' business he had a little more freedom and he was able to take care of most of the insurance and medical paperwork and phone calls, etc. Well, since he has been at his current job for the past year he does not have the same flexibility he had before. So, those responsibilities have fallen to me. I'll admit something to you all. I have not risen to the occasion... I have cowered.
As some of you may know dealing with Medicaid and Insurance and the medical community is not always sunshine and roses. Often there is a lot of jumping through hoops and filing lots of paperwork and making lots of tedious phone calls to people who claim to know what they're talking about and are supposed to be there to help you but seem to be as tired and frustrated and ignorant as I do. Some days I have felt crippled by the anxiety about the impending phone calls and necessary hoops I will inevitably be jumping through. Taking care of this paperwork and faxing it to this person, who will send it to so-and-so who will be calling me back with questions... its mentally and emotionally exhausting just thinking about it.
So I kept put things off. Among other things, several phone calls needed to be made to get Christine scheduled for outpatient therapy since she aged out of First Steps and cannot continue to get therapy through them. But I've been frustrated and disappointed and disrespected so many times that I just did not want to deal with it. I didn't want another person to treat me like I'm stupid, or tell me that this service or that service is not covered. I just feel like those phone calls suck the life out of me. It puts me in a bad place emotionally. Frankly, it often puts me in pit of depression that it takes days (or weeks) to work my way out of.
At some point I finally accepted that I could not put these off any longer. But I knew I needed a plan to take care of the phone calls without them getting the best of me. So I came up with a few things to help me do my best.
- Prioritize -
I sat down and figured out which items on my list were most important. There were a couple that I was able to rule out as unnecessary or at least something that legitimately could be put off for a later date. The ones that needed to be addressed right away I moved to the top of the list.
- Get Organized -
I created a list of the phone numbers that I would be needing to call so that I could tackle them all at once instead of having to scramble to find this number or that one in between each phone call.
- Write It Down -
One of the things that I was afraid of was not knowing what to say or forgetting something that I meant to ask, etc. So I wrote down a series of questions that I needed answered.
- Get and Early Start -
There were many days when I would try to get up the nerve to tackle my call list all day and finally feel ready to do it late in the afternoon when it was really too late to accomplish the task since business hours often end between 4 and 5pm. Then that would give me another reason to put it off.
- Occupy the Kids -
- Rely on God -
While we should always do our best at whatever we do, we should find a balance and also realize that He is taking care of every detail. Whatever our prayer is God has an answer. Sometimes it may be "no", but if that is the case then its because He has something else (usually better) in mind for us. Take a deep breath and know that our lives are in the hands of the One True God. It is so freeing when we rest in that knowledge.
Here are a few other helpful posts on this topic:
Real Simple - How to Stop Procrastinating
Life Organizers - 7 Easy Ways to Stop Procrastinating
Get Motivated Stay Motivated - How to Overcome Procrastination
Prolific Living - 18 Radical Ways to Stop Procrastination
I know there is no perfect formula and every situation is different. But I hope that these suggestions will help you tackle whatever it is that you're putting off. Because the fear of something is almost always worse than the thing itself.
Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.- Proverbs 12:25