Ring Around the Collar

19 Feb

Step 1: Remove shirt

Step 2: Examine for leftovers, lunch remnants

Step 3. Apply stain stick

Step 4: Throw in laundry basket with the rest of the lonely, neglected articles of clothing

Step 5:  In a few days ask yourself why you didn’t wash your clothes sooner– you need that shirt for work TODAY!

I have a shirt that I wear for work quite frequently– it’s my favorite one. I don’t wash it after every wear. I’m a clean person. But I noticed recently that it has developed a ring around the collar.  It’s white, so of course this is a problem, and an issue that I need to deal with. How come I didn’t deal with it sooner, I ask myself. Now it’s probably too late!  But I massage some oxy clean into the and around the ring and leave the shirt on the washer deciding to come back to it later and finish the job, distracted by something else I remember I need to do.

A week later I’m rummaging through my closet, annoyed that I cannot find my favorite work shirt. It’s the only one that goes well with  my khaki slacks!!

Then I remember. I dash to the laundry room and almost half expecting it not to be there, there it lies, on top of the washer, exactly as I’d left it, waiting patiently to be washed but unable to be worn when I want to wear it! NOW!

How often do you neglect the things you recognize need to  be done now and tell yourself that you’ll take care of them later? Hit the snooze button and say you’ll exercise tomorrow morning instead. You need your rest.  Hit the Hardeez drive thru for breakfast, thinking as you dig for change between the seats of your car that you’ve  been meaning to clean for the last month, that you know you need to be choosing a healthier breakfast.  Arriving to work in an unorganized frenzy, searching for that paper you jotted a note on before you left, and finding it underneath the piles of countless other important documents that you’ve been meaning to file.

Can anyone relate? Time to stop living life in catch up mode, perpetually wearing a ring around your shirt collar, hitting the snooze button of life, and digging yourself out of what has become the disorganized pig sty that is your brain.

Time to develop a new strategy for getting done what you’ve said you need to for a long time and stop procrastinating. One of my biggest annoyances, is hearing someone complain perpetually about something and yet refuse to not put one foot in front of the other to do something about it. Allow me to lay the groundwork.

Step 1: Recognize: If you see it, and you are cognizant that it’s not so effective, move to step 2.

Step 2: Acknowledge: Don’t dismiss it. Write it down. Get it out of your head. Get it on paper. You might forget it in the moment if you don’t. It may be worth coming back to. If you thought it, it could have meaning!

Step 3: Analyze: Yep, this is where the work begins. Ask yourself where this behavior or thought process has come from, where it’s getting you, and if it’s worth changing. Identify the pros and cons for doing so and if it will make a meaningful difference in your life. Assess whether this behavior is congruent with your goals.

Step 4: Manage: Start creating an action plan for monitoring the behavior and taking the steps necessary to develop a new habit. Secure a support system. Identify how you will know when you’re faltering and a system of checks and balances. Have a contingency plan. Identify other areas of your life that you are highly successful in and assess the skills you use in those areas that can be transferred to this situation.

Each night before I go to bed I make a list of what I want to accomplish the following day.  I have not hit the snooze button a single time in my life.  There’s no time to waste.


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