Procrastinating is easy, especially when something is difficult or time-consuming. We let ourselves off the hook now by promising to do the work later. I always tell myself that I’ll get around to it tomorrow — but sometimes, tomorrow doesn’t end up being tomorrow, or the day after, or even the day after that. Sometimes weeks go by before I get to something, because doing a little something isn’t worth it. No time to run a 5K? Then I’ll run tomorrow. No time to write a full chapter of my novel? I’ll write tomorrow instead. Starting and finishing an activity on separate days made me feel like I wasn’t giving it my full attention.
Never mind productivity, that insisting on completion might mean I wouldn’t write a blog post for three months, or that because I wasn’t running at all, I’d gain weight — anything less than complete was partial credit. It wasn’t worth my time.
No doubt about it: stress sucks.
It’s not bad in small quantities. Roller coasters stress your body; athletes play despite the pressure to win; some writers need an imminent deadline to produce work (I couldn’t possibly be describing myself 😉 ). But in large quantities, when lots of problems and deadlines and responsibilities pile onto each other, stress hurts — and it’s unhealthy, too.
It’s easy to say “Deal with it.” It’s harder to say how.
Photo Credit: Flickr user Bernard Goldbach
An employee grinding away at the same menial tasks day after day. An author struggling with writer’s block. A professional athlete in a slump. A self-employed entrepreneur exhausted from constantly marketing their brand/product. A blogger whose posts garner only a few views.
Sometimes, no matter how much you love something, you need a break.
Recently, I took a double hiatus, from writing and my full-time job. Here’s what I learned. Continue reading
I used to spend hours in front of a screen: on my laptop, I did homework and taught myself Russian. At work, I processed electronic invoices and perused the Internet during downtime. When I got home, I spent two to three hours a night watching prime time TV with my mom. My total hours in front of a screen nearly equaled the number of hours I was awake.
It’s no coincidence that I was unhappy.
Do Your Research
Screen time overuse and depression are fast friends — but don’t take my word for it. Try Google searches like “Internet use linked to depression.” Better yet, head to the library and consult a peer-reviewed journal (they’re much more reliable than the Internet). Either way, sources say TV binges and endless Internet scrolling harm our mental health. So why do we return to these screens? What’s there to like?
Screens distract us. They helped me forget how much I hated my first university. I didn’t put any effort into choosing my college; as a result, I ended up at one that someone else chose for me. Spoiler alert: if someone else makes your decisions, you won’t be happy. I sure wasn’t. And instead of trying to fix the problem, I deflated; I hid behind a screen.
Here’s another spoiler: you can’t run away from your problems. My life became a downward spiral: I hated my circumstances, so I spent more time in front of a screen. The more time I vegged out in front of a screen, the worse I felt.