Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Feeling Good

Here's another post from a while ago.  It's amazing how working 6 days a week can destroy any organization your life once had!

I am currently reading Feeling Good by David Burns.  Chapter 5 is called Do-Nothingism: How to Beat it.  This chapter lists several mindsets associated with procrastination and do-nothingism.  Number three is Overwhelming Yourself, and Burns says:

There are several ways you may overwhelm yourself into doing nothing.  You may magnify a task to the degree that it seems impossible to tackle.  You may assume you must do everything all at once instead of breaking each job down into small, discrete, manageable units which you can complete one step at a time.  You might also inadvertently distract yourself from the task at hand by obsessing about endless other things you haven't gotten around to doing yet.  To illustrate how irrational this is, imagine that every time you sat down to eat, you thought about all the food you would have to eat during your lifetime.  Just imagine for a moment that all piled up in front of you are tons of meat, vegetables, ice cream, and thousands of gallons of fluids!  And you have to eat every bit of this food before you die!  Now, suppose that before every meal you said to yourself, "This meal is just a drop in the bucket.  How can I ever get all that food eaten? There's just no point in eating one hamburger tonight." You'd feel so nauseated and overwhelmed your appetite would vanish and your stomach would turn into a knot.  When you think about all the things you are putting off, you do this very same thing without being aware of it.

What's funny about this is that I have thought about all of the food I'm going to have to eat.  I've often said what a pain in the neck it is to have to eat MULTIPLE TIMES EVERY DAY.  Not that I want to eat all of the food I'm going to have to eat in the rest of my life right now, but it would be nice to only have to eat, say once a week.  Think of all of the time you'd save preparing meals and doing dishes.  And what would be even better is if after you ate everything you'd need to eat in a week, you could do all of the sleeping you'd need to do.  Then, you'd have several straight days in a row to get everything else done.  While I'm very good at overwhelming myself, somehow, this example just doesn't work for me!

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