Monday, December 19, 2011

Question of the Day

How do you make yourself do something?

Something you know you need to do, that you know you will feel millions of times better after doing, that needs to be done like, now? But that you kinda sorta really don't feel like doing and it's been on your list for like a week and at this point it's turned into a Thing and every time you think about you get a shock of anxiety?

Issue at hand: I need to get in touch with two recommenders who have agreed to write me letters as I apply to grad school. But I'm filled with inexplicable anxiety and dread at the task ("I hate to inconvenience them, it's so close to the holidays, what if they don't have time, etc. etc."...even though I know the longer I procrastinate the more inconvenient it becomes for them.) You could probably read some deep psychological tropes into this issue about how I like to be a giver and make things nice and comfortable and convenient for people but then when it's time to ask for something and receive for a change I shut down.

Curiously (or not), Procrastinatory Action Item #2 also involves asking people for things. For one of my jobs I'm doing research on various images and objects that will be a part of an exhibit, and I have to actually get on the phone - with strangers and ask different institutions for the rights to things. I'll even be paying their fees, so it's not like I'm asking for them for free or something. It should be a normal, grown-up, not a big deal interaction, and yet somehow it sends me cowering under my blankie.

What's my deal, people? Any suggestions? How do I clear these hurdles? How do you turn a heinous festering to-do list sore into a thing of the past?

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