Wish I didn't hurt so bad.
I have a lot to do today.
How am I going to get through my "To-Do List" when I'm in such pain?
Momentarily, crawling back under the covers seems like a good move. But you know you can't. Paring back the "To-Do List" to just what's essential may be a good option -- especially when your pain level is high. But if you put off tasks too often, deferring action may actually become a habit. It's called "procrastination".
If you put off a task because of arthritis pain for a short period of time, that's not necessarily procrastinating. It can be reasonable on occasion. Once procrastinating becomes a way of coping with arthritis pain -- it starts to work against you. Though your reason for procrastinating seems valid, it still works against you. Tasks that you pass on today are still there tomorrow. The "To-Do List" grows and grows -- and it can grow to the point of becoming unmanageable and overwhelming.
Procrastinating is a mindset as well as a habit. If you choose to wait for a day when you feel well, that day may not come soon enough. Waiting for "that day" can actually add to your burden. Negative feelings that accompany inaction or delayed action can linger and add stress.
Once the "To-Do List" reaches the unmanageable stage, you may even lose sight of where to start once you do decide to tackle the list. That's a sure sign you need to stop procrastinating.
Tips to Help You Stop Procrastinating
Prioritize your "To-Do List". The list will become less overwhelming if you do what's most important first. Tasks with deadlines or due dates are your first priority. Tasks that build your stress level if left undone, should also move to the top of the list.
Start With One Task
Once you have prioritized your "To-Do List", pick one task and take it to completion. As you whittle away at your list and move through the essential tasks, multi-tasking may become possible. But as you are making a solid effort to stop procrastinating, tackle one task at a time.
Divide the Task into Manageable Parts
Don't do too much at once. The goal is to get it done without making arthritis pain worse. For example, if you have decided to clean house -- pick one room and start there. See how you feel after that and decide how to pace yourself.
Put a Deadline on "I'll Do It Later"
It's fair to put things off when you are having a bad day -- but realize you can't put it off indefinitely. Determine what is a reasonable time limit and hold to it. Can't get it done today? Give yourself to the end of the week.
Don't Turn Down Help
Though we would like to be able to do things ourselves, sometimes arthritis intereres with that plan. There are things that won't get done unless you enlist some help. Don't resist help -- learn to accept it.
Give It a Try
You may get farther than you think if you give it a try. With a positive attitude backed by the effort to do as much as you can, the task may not be as overwhelming as it first seems.
Bask in the Feeling of Accomplishment (Really!)
Task complete! You dug in, got it done. It wasn't easy but you got it done. Accomplishment itself is sweet but add in a small reward for yourself too. The reward is deserved snd it will serve as incentive to stop procrastinating in the future.