Is Productivity All It’s Cracked Up To Be?


This weekend, I did some much-needed grocery shopping, visited the in-laws, and finally added my number to my husband’s cell account. It’s about time this married lady left her parents’ family plan!

I also paid bills, cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom, and watched 3 or 4 episodes of Shameless, which we’re currently binge-watching every day.

And yet…trickery! Here are things I managed to avoid by accomplishing lesser feats:

  • Canceling our pitifully unused gym memberships
  • Filing the mountain of paperwork that’s overtaken my husband’s studio
  • Hanging pictures on the walls (I figure that by the time we get around to do this, we’ll have all of 2 days to enjoy looking at them before we have to take them down and repaint for the next tenants)
  • Fixing the toilet handle (What? Sticking your hand inside the tank ten times a day to manually engage the flapper isn’t sooo bad)
  • Bringing the tub of Christmas decorations to the storage unit (It’s only been sitting in the back of our truck for 2 weeks)

I’m starting to recognize my textbook-procrastinator tendency to excuse the things I’ve not accomplished by patting myself on the back for “accomplishing” a laundry list of negligible chores.

Wash dishes? Big deal—tax season is coming up, so organizing that paperwork is much more important.

Moved my phone number to my husband’s account? It’s good, yes, but toilet flushing probably should have been a higher priority.

But my weaselly procrastinating psyche would much rather browse new phones than waste-removal accessories.

And it’s easier to deal with the dishes, all of which have a precise place in the kitchen. It’s a tedious but fairly mindless task. Filing paperwork, on the other hand? There’s always a couple pieces that don’t fit in my designated folders, and those throw me for a loop.

I put them to the side and continue on with the easy stuff: paycheck, credit card bill, bank statement, etc. No problem! But that notice from AAA that we can purchase cheap life insurance? That seems like something I ought to read carefully and discuss with my husband before I put it somewhere…but this time isn’t for thinking! It’s for finishing! So there it will sit for another two weeks until I either throw it away, pick a folder, or…nevermind, it will never reach the discussion phase. There is no third option. But I like to think there will be.

My life seems destined to be made up of only two options: Things completed right away and Things never completed. The dangerous part is that I kid myself into thinking there’s a third option: Things that will eventually be completed once I accomplish x number of other things. They always end up in the Things never completed pile in the end, but their presence up to that point impedes my ability to make more progress in the Things completed right away pile.

I’m trying not to get down on myself though. I feel like it’s a step in the right direction that I’m noticing these things about the way I think. Now I just need to learn to think with a two-option method and admit that some of those things I want to get to will never make my actual priority list.