One of my worst habits -- or, I should say, one of my most self-annoying habits -- is that I hate to make appointments.
I dislike using the phone. I dislike adding commitments to my calendar. I dislike getting my haircut or my teeth cleaned. Etc. So I find it very, very difficult to make myself pick up the phone and call to make appointments.
I know this perfectly well about myself. So while I was on vacation in Kansas City last week, I vowed that I would use the Strategies of Monitoring, Scheduling, and Clarity to make a bunch of necessary appointments.
In my book Better Than Before, I describe how I use "Power Hour." Each weekend, I make a list of chores that I've been putting off, and I dedicate an hour to completing them -- but Power Hour doesn't work for appointments, because most places are only open during the week.
So I used a special installment of my weekly "Power Hour" to get myself to tackle this dreaded task. At 6:30 a.m. this morning, I made a list of all the appointments I needed to make. And at 10:00 a.m., when I figured that everyplace would be open, I called.
Within the hour, I made appointments to:
-- get nasal flu vaccines for my daughters and me (I've tried to do this before, but they kept running out)
-- get my hair cut
--get a dentist appointment
-- get an eye doctor's appointment for my daughter (this required two calls, and I was very impressed with myself that I made the two calls, back to back)
--get an annual check-up for my daughter
Well, I must say, this list doesn't look terribly impressive, now that I type it up, but it took every ounce of my strength and habit-formation knowledge to do it.
Phew! Funnily enough, I dread making the appointments more than keeping them -- even something like going to the dentist.
Those little tasks, left undone, drain my energy -- and even though I know that, still I delay.
It does come in handy that I wrote a whole book, Better Than Before, that covers how to form habits, how to fight procrastination, how to adjust for myself and my quirks, etc. But still: physician, heal thyself. Even if I know what to do, I still have to do it.
How about you? Do you struggle to complete some simple, ordinary task that other people seem to find easy?
Get monthly newsletter updates from Gretchen.
Dive into The Blog
More Posts For You
Find out if you’re an Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, or a Rebel.
The Four Tendencies explain why we act and why we don’t act. Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so understanding your Tendency lets us make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress and burnout, and engage more effectively.