Monday, June 8, 2009

Just One Thing

One thing I've learned about pacing my activities is that you can compromise between the feeling of complete procrastination and doing it all (and suffering from a flare). I have named my compromise "Just One Thing".

For me, knowing I have a long task list is stressful, and we fibromites know that stress is a big contributor to our symptoms. Without going overboard to do everything at once, I can settle for doing "just one thing" instead.

For example:
I walk into our messy kitchen after a full day's work, frown and sigh at the time and effort I imagine it will take me to get it all cleaned up. After the initial shock and disappointment of it all, I remember my philosophy and pick one thing that I can do right at that moment to help reduce the overall load of the bigger project. For instance, I can empty out the dishwasher and put away the clean dishes. After the dishwasher is empty, I may be tempted to go ahead and do another thing, like loading the dishwasher with the dirties. Depending on how I feel, I may or may not, but the pressure is off. I will first consider the effort I've just spent and whether or not I should take a break to prevent a flare. The dirty dishes will wait until later or tomorrow if they must. Then, when I can, I do "just one thing" again and make a little more progress.

If you tend to get overwhelmed by the chores and tasks ahead of you, pick one thing to do today. It takes the pressure off and grants you that peace of mind that finishing any task can give.