Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Silently suffering

As mothers we’re on call physically and emotionally 24 hours a day, yet we’re often also the ones who put our hands up to help a friend, or step in for a family member who needs assistance, or volunteer for school activities, playgroups, sports groups – the list is endless.

We are busy, busy, and busy and we still always have time to lend a hand or add something to our list of things to do.

Despite my amazing talent for time management and yes I’ve had many years of managing children, extracurricular activities, work and study I still found myself leaving certain things until the last minute. It could be called prioritizing, or not.

I was at university for six years, studying part time in-between working and mothering and I suffered from an ailment common for many others. Whilst 99% of my assignments were completed ahead of time and handed in by the due date, it was that 1% that always got me.

I believe the problem is that I suffer from put-it-off disease.

This ailment is not new and it’s not even specific to any gender or age. It’s quite unexplainable most of the time as well, because the thing is that a person who suffers from put-it-off disease is often one of the most organised and busy people.

I have no problems with time management, I’m always on time and I meet my work deadlines and my parenting deadlines – you name it and it gets done, so it’s not because I can’t manage my time.

I set goals and I achieve the things that I set out to achieve so I don’t suffer from procrastination either. In fact I’m probably quite annoying in a family of males because I’m a list maker and an action person who once I set my mind to achieving something then I just do it and I drag everyone along for the ride.

The thing is I still suffer from put-it-off disease. It has no pattern, it has no discernable symptoms. It’s not even one specific activity that it relates too. Just every once in a while it raises its ugly head and makes me feel anxious because I have to put something off.

I believe, and please keep in mind that I’m no doctor or expert, that put-it-off disease sometimes attacks the most organised person to remind them that they’re human and that occasionally it’s alright to not be able to do everything.

In some cases the best treatment for this ailment is also in overcoming the fear that what you have to do or say may raise comments from others which makes you feel vulnerable as well.

There’s no known cure for put-it-off disease that I know of and it should never be confused with procrastination. One of the best tips for prevention of this ailment is to remember that it’s okay to say ‘no I don’t have time’, or ‘no I can’t help you at the moment’ or ‘I’m sorry I can no longer do this’.

So do you, or someone you know, suffer from put it off disease? It’s probably more common than you think.

Cheers, Fi
“If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do” Lucille Ball


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