Out of Sight, Out of Mind? Not so Much

out-of-sight…Do you have one thing on your to-do list that you keep avoiding? You know, that thing that makes you stress-out just a little whenever you think about it. Does it keep transferring over to tomorrow’s list?

You may think “out of sight, out of mind”. You may mistake that slight feeling of relief you experience when you set your mind to putting it off until tomorrow as a stressful situation averted.

But I have found that the stress never really goes away until the task is confronted and tackled. It sits there at the back of my neck like a sore muscle. You may be able to get it out of your mind, but your body remembers. At least mine does.

Only true relief is felt when I resolve myself to handle it and just get it over with. And you know what? What I have discovered in the process is that continual avoidance actually causes more stress that actually doing it! Go figure!

Do you find this to be true? How do you keep this stressful cycle from happening in your own life?

7 thoughts on “Out of Sight, Out of Mind? Not so Much

  • December 6 2008 at 8:49 pm
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    Yes! I totally agree! :) This is just what I needed to read to get off my hiney at work next week so thank you. :)

    One little habit that I've been incorporating lately is trying to remember to practice more self love and care. When I find myself in one of those avoiding/procrasting/ (and let's be honest) LAZY moments – I try to remember that I am the "caretaker of me" and it's very "uncaring" of me to put my future self in those uncomfortable, rushed, stressful situations.

    It seems to help me do a lot of things that I've otherwise done a great job avoiding in the past like – figuring out what I'm going to wear to work for the next day, not leaving the office until I've completed those pieces that are going to be most helpful to me the next morning, etc. It also helps me to incorporate mini-prep sorts of steps in lots of corners of my life – kind of like mise en place, but beyond cooking if you know what I mean! I'm not perfect at it, but sometimes it's just the little extra that gets me doing the right thing.

    :) Thanks for letting me ramble!

  • December 7 2008 at 1:55 pm
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    Oh yes, this is SO me…. I am the queen of avoidance behaviors. I think I'll have to put that cartoon on my desktop.

  • December 8 2008 at 8:04 am
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    My avoidance is my office. I just can't seem to get everything filed and the clutter cleaned up.

    I tried placing all the paperwork in a storage basket and keeping it filed on a monthly basis. I just keep putting it off.

  • December 16 2008 at 5:25 pm
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    Oh yes…would you believe that I've got a major gift to MAKE & I've got 9 (that nine!!) days until Christmas Eve. I've been putting it off for a couple of weeks now and am not much closer than I was when purchasing the material. I've convinced myself that it will make itself. Now THAT'S a laugh.

  • December 16 2008 at 5:29 pm
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    It's me again……..I went back & read the original article. It really hit home with me & I thank you. Why did it take that little article to wake me up? Believe me it's a keeper!!!!

  • July 8 2010 at 11:40 am
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    Your statement about "avoidance increases stress" is so true. It took me years to realize that my procrastination was the main reason for my anxiety. Now that I have my days scheduled I have a lot less stress, even with more responsibility. Nice post.

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