Thursday, April 10, 2014
Dishes and Brain Tricks
I have procrastinated my way to where I am today. If life is about maintenance one might argue that my life is less than half-lived. On the other hand, if life is actually about binge watching television shows on the internet, my life is full beyond measure. It's all a matter of perspective, a trick of the brain. I have been tiptoeing by a very large pile of dirty dishes for some time now. When this happens I generally approach the task through one of two routes: I take a weekend day and tackle them while blasting NPR or I set a timer for 10 minutes on random mornings and wash as many as I can in that time. Usually I will end up taking more than the 10 minutes and get them all washed. At other times, I do 10 minutes worth and then just wander off and dirty more dishes. Last night I pulled a different trick on my brain. As I walked by them feeling all the shame and guilt I said to myself, "Yanno, doing those dishes will make me feel better. It will rid me of these feelings of guilt and shame." It was not a statement that is in my usual repertoire of motivational and demotivational pep talks. In the context this novelty was enough to get me to do the dishes. And I did feel better. We shall see if this becomes a new tool in my motivational toolbox or was merely a fluke.