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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Step 7

Bribe Yourself

I may have mentioned before that I am pretty bad about procrastinating.  I just naturally don't do things that seem difficult or unpleasant.  Some people are awesome at that.  They just suck it up and get it over with.  My roommate in college, Kasey, was really good at that.  She would come back from a trip and start unpacking as soon as she walked in the door.  I'm lucky if I'm not still living out of my suitcase by the time the next trip rolls around!

It takes a little more effort for me to make myself do the not fun stuff, and while I can sometimes just be like, "DO IT, SELF!" most of the time, I have to be a bit more subtle.

I have found that bribing myself works very well.

I am not even kidding about this.  The conversation in my head goes something like this.

"I really need to fold clothes."

"Yeah, but I hate folding clothes.  I'm just not going to do it."

"What if I made a glass of lemonade to drink while I'm folding?"


"What if I made lemonade AND I listened to an audiobook while I'm folding?"

"Well, I guess so.  But only if I set the timer for fifteen minutes, and then I can take a break and do something fun."

I am not at all joking about that being real.  And it totally works.  I think this means I'm really a spoiled two-year-old on the inside, which is probably not good, but since the "just do it" approach doesn't work very well with me, I figure I should go with what works instead of still trying what doesn't.

There are lots of things I like to bribe myself with:

listening to audiobooks
reading afterwards
crafting afterwards
Facebook afterwards
listening to music
"Once I finish this, I'll make lunch."

You get the idea.  I try not to use too much food as rewards, because as a teacher I learned that can lead to unhealthy relationships with food.  Not kidding.  Drinks sometimes, yes.  And I do occasionally use food or snacks, but I really try to use fun stuff instead.

I think the idea here is that I'm giving up on the "I'm a grown-up and so I just do this stuff," idea, which has never worked for me, and going with the, "I'll give you a treat if you'll clean your room," idea which seems to work quite well.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go fold clothes while I listen to my audiobook.

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