Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Tip: Avoiding Procrastination-Induced Stress Syndrome

LatelyI've been reading a lot of posts of the weeping and gnashing of teeth variety about how the author has (once again) put off holiday preparations until the "last minute" and is now suffering Procrastination-Induced Stress Syndrome (PISS). All this suffering is needless, and could be avoided by simply making certain refinements to the day-to-day practice of the art of procrastination. Believe it or not, I found procrastination to be a highly effective holiday stress reliever back in the day. Oh sure, if I found something that was "perfect" early in the year, I'd go ahead and get it, but for most things I'd deliberately wait until the 22nd or 23rd. Then I'd take the day, and go do my shopping. How does this relieve the stress you ask? I knew you would. So I'll explain.

First, I never stressed over the shopping during the more insane part of the season because I knew in advance I was gonna wait. (Wait. Is it still procrastination if you plan it?) I didn't worry that I wasn't finished or that I needed to get to the House of Whatever before some self-imposed deadline or the world would end. I knew my shopping day was coming so I didn't worry. And breezed stress-free through the month when all around me were losing their effin' minds.

Second, when you wait until a couple of days before The Big Day, many of your more onerous shopping decisions are made for you. Colors? There's one. Sizes? One. Bargains? None. See? All those stress-inducing, agonizing decisions... made. Without me lifting a brain cell. What could be less stressful than that? And every once in a while, I'd stumble into The Desperate Retail Store worried that they were gonna wind up selling out to the Overstock Liquidators. In trying to be proactive and avoid this ignominy, they'd slash prices to the bone. That was always a bonus, and actually made the bane of shopping almost pleasurable. (Almost.) I was even known to occasionally display (gasp!) glee at such a find.

That was back before my boys were grown of course, when it was necessary to find the latest action figure or video game system. These days it's even easier. Cash is one-size-fits-all and always comes in their favorite color: green.

As for decorating, I found that a miniature tree with the ornaments glued in place cut that stress to just about zero. Pull it out of the box, fluff the branches a little and presto! Done. And after the holidays? Squeeze the branches back down, tuck it safely back in the box and the un-decorating is even easier.

See? It's not so bad procrastinating -- as long as you procrastinate enough! And if it doesn't come easily to you at first, just wait a while and it'll get easier.

Now wrapping everything? 'Nother story. Which I'll get to in another post. When I get around to it.

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Vita Stunder said...

You can make money of this!
Start an expensive course! ;) Kiddin'..
But I know it would work.
And I would sign in Zilla for sure.
And.. right.. maybe myself too, but I've started to calm down now.
I even let some of the gifts UNWRAPED! What a riot! *lol*
Serious progress, if you ask me.

LOVE this post!!

maryt/theteach said...

Mojo, as I've gotten older (not too old, mind you) I've found it a lot easier and anxiety-relieving to procrastinate.

Butternut Squash said...

This sounds so familiar. gift certificates all around this year. I'm planning to buy them very soon.

SandyCarlson said...

OK. I saw the acronym straight off and LMAO, to keep it clean.

I hate all this Christmas running around junk.

My first rule: If it isn't at JC Penney's, it isn't in my universe.

My underlying belief: Halloween is better. The kids are REALLY in charge the gifts are CHEAP ($3.99 for 50 pcs. of candy/gifts? That's good mileage on the dollar.)

My second rule: If it's all about the gift with you, go away. We have no future.

Finally: I don't need anything from you; just show up and be kind. It's all good.

lisaschaos said...

You're too funny! That's a way to reduce stress that maybe I should consider. But what about the food - I have to feed this crew. . .

magiceye said...

:) so true!

magiceye said...

in mumbai, india we have a lot many festivals to go out and buy - almost year round so its always, theek hai, if not this one, next month for sure :)

Mama Zen said...

This must be a male trick . . .