One Bag Nation

Anxiety Attack!

Posted on: July 15, 2008

Now that the downstairs of the house is in good shape (and I’m managing to keep it that way) I decided it was time to tackle some paper and files that had been accumulating as I moved my office to get ready for my new job.

I was okay during the first sorting, (before picture on top; after on bottom)

which included making a “to file” stack, throwing as much as I could into the recycling, putting things in their proper place if they had one; making a pile of stuff that needed a home, etc. And then there was the – play Jaws soundtrack here – “to do” pile . . . . .

I’ve tried twice to tackle that pile, but my anxiety gets the better of me. I end up moving stuff from pile to pile and feeling panicky. Just writing about it makes me uncomfortable! I don’t exactly know why; I guess it represents all the “undone” stuff in my life, some of which is important, some is rather urgent, and some I just don’t want to deal with.

I decided that if I have to tackle this project one piece of mail/paper at a time – and no more – than that’s what I’ll do. My very slow pace in the basement has been paying off, and I bet that I’ll be able to handle more than on item at a time once I get started.

Wish me luck!


9 Responses to "Anxiety Attack!"

Sometimes micromovements is the way to go! Just think of how happy you’ll be when this area of your house is nice and organized as well!

Hi Marelisa: Did you coin that term “micromovements”? I love it!

That sounds like a good idea, I find I often get anxious about stuff when I have to make a decision about it.

Good luck! I think it makes a lot of sense to tackle just one paper at a time.

@Kirsty: yes, I think it’s the decision-making that’s hard for me.
@Vered: thank you! I actually made some progress today.

Hi Ann,

Those “to do” piles always are a pain. Just taking one thing at a time is the best way. Little by little you’ll whittle it down, and before you know it, that too will be off your list.

That’s a great feeling! Best of luck!

Ann: I wish I could take credit for micromovements, but no, it’s a term SARK uses. She writes books like “Succulent Wild Woman” and “The Bodacious Book of Succulence.” She’s awesome.

Oh, I love the photos of the nice neat orderly piles. I love nice neat orderly piles. I don’t necessarily end up dealing with them, but gosh they are pretty.

Trick I use: pick a number, a small number, say 3, and deal with the first 3 items in the pile. Then congratulate yourself, and go do something rewarding. Deal with the next 3 items in the pile, more self-congratulations, more rewarding. Repeat process until pile is all dealt with, and you have packed on 5 pounds from all that rewarding chocolate you ate. Oh, or is that just me?

@Panther: aren’t the tidy piles soothing? At least until I start to go through them they are! I’m afraid I use chocolate (and other food) more often as a stress reliever than a reward, though I did have some in celebration today.

@Barbara: I dream of the day when piles won’t accumulate at all!

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