Treat Every Unwanted Task Like a Trip to the Dentist


Yesterday, I had to go to the dentist, something I, like millions of others, do not enjoy doing. Actually, who does enjoy going to the dentist? Seriously. Even when your dental professionals are awesome people, as mine are. Whoever you are, dental appointment enjoyers, there might be something wrong with you.

Anyway, it was one of those things. No matter how much I talked to myself about how I didn’t want to go, it didn’t matter. I was going.

It got me thinking. Why not apply that attitude to other things in life that we just don’t want to do? I mean the ones that need to be done, not the ones like jumping out of planes, which only needs to be done under very limited, self-evident, circumstances. Those tasks that nag at us, or frighten us, or we simply don’t want to bother with, but need doing.

Like most people, when faced with something I’d rather not be doing, tiny voices assure me that it’s fine, I’ll do it later. And later. And later, until later subtly shifts over to that sneaky category of “never.”

But what if it becomes non-negotiable? In the case of my dental appointment, I didn’t want to wast the time of the hygienist who would be seeing me. I didn’t want to be charged for the appointment I’d confirmed. And I knew on a basic level that I needed to go.

It’s easy to lose accountability when the accountability is to yourself, and yet that’s the let-down that does you the most harm.

Need something to read? Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

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