Thursday, 2 April 2009

Do you procrastinate foolishly too?

I finally made the two phone calls that have haunted my to do lists for months ... yes ... months.

One was to cancel a credit card for which I paid fees and never used. The second was to call the Quebec Health Insurance people to get the form I need to get at least part of a $60 physician's fee refunded ... a cost incurred before Christmas. Both were financially beneficial, right? Neither required much more than a five minute phone call. So ... why did I procrastinate for so long rather than making the calls?

I seem to procrastinate a great deal if the phone is involved. I especially don't like dealing with bureaucracies or other behemoths that put you on hold.

I used to procrastinate whenever I had to face my financial realities. It was so bad that I would put off opening a credit card bill for months because I feared a horrible surprise. And of course if you put it off for months, there usually is an unpleasant surprise. But even worse than the interest that has built up is the anxiety that has been mounting ... that fear of the unknown. For several years I have kept track of my spending and so I no longer fear my financial situation. I might not like it much, but it is an enemy I know.

Taxation Canada still manages to surprise me, so each year I am likely to procrastinate rather than facing their confused and confusing forms that could be sold by the pound. This year a friend gave me a wonderful Christmas present. He is going to do my taxes for me. Now if I could only find someone willing to pay them as well :-)

The funny thing I have noticed about procrastination is that when I finally grit my teeth and deal with it, I feel a wonderful sense of relief ... and I am always amazed by how easy it was once I settled down to face it.

What do you hate doing so much that you put it off for months?

Are any of you non-procrastinators? What is your secret?


Tamarak said...

Oh...I am a big time procrastinator...and I agree with everything you say here...the anxiety mounts...the thing becomes much bigger than it really was to begin with...and then...when I finally get around to doing whatever it is that I have been putting off...I find that it isn't as big a deal to do as I was thinking it would be...and I do feel such a sense of relief having done it, that, for a few moments anyway, I actually think that I will never procrastinate again...but I do :)

deb said...

taxes...but I do have that same urge every year to put it off...then I get scared. Three years ago, I did eight years' worth of returns...what a relief when it was over (and paid for). The next year, I did it right on time. Last year, I didn't get it done at all and now I am doing two years' worth. I am getting better, but next year I will file early.

Oma said...

We all have to try to remember how good it feels NOT to ... maybe we should remind one another from time to time.

Tamarak said...

Yes...yes...that taxes nightmare is my worst enemy too! We are up to 2006 finished...and I swore after getting that far that we would be early for 2007...NOT!!!

sassy said...

Taxes, housework - get moved to maƱana all the time.

I don't procrastinate making travel arrangements, perhaps because I don't have to do housework or pay taxes if I am away ;)

NOTE TO SELF - put payment for taxes in the mail before flying out to BC tomorrow