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 every place 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.