I jokingly say I suffer from Ďone more thing syndrome.í I always try to do Ďone more thingí Ė so I can feel a sense of accomplishment Ė or so I can free up time at a later date. The problem is, even if I DO manage to free up time at a later date Ė Iíll cram it with more Ďone more things!í

Hereís an example: Every day before I leave for work, Iíll squeeze in something extra Ė like, picking up the dog poop from the backyard, folding laundry, washing dishes, cleaning out the junk drawer, checking my email, paying bills Ė the list can go on and on. Iíll always find something I want to do NOW so I donít have to do it later. Which means, Iím always 15 minutes late to work. And even if I get up 15 minutes earlier Ė Iíll just find more stuff to do and Iíll still end up 15 minutes late to work.

Well, as I was researching a story for the radio show on lateness Ė I discovered that my Ďone more thing syndromeí isnít exclusive to me.

In the book ďNever Be Late Again,Ē by management consultant Diana DeLonzor, my behavior is indicative of what she calls ďa producer.Ē Hereís what that means:

ďA Producer needs to get as much done in as little time as possible. She feels better about herself when she's checking things off a massive to-do list. Producers tend to engage in "magical thinking," consistently underestimating the amount of time their tasks will take. They hate wasting time, so they schedule themselves to make use of every minute of the day.Ē

Yikes. Thatís me! So, whatís the solution? DeLonzor says, when I catch myself doing this, I need a recite a mantra like, ďStop it Betsy! This can wait! Drop what youíre doing and leave the house!Ē I also need to practice being on time. If I can get to work on time ONCE, thatís something. I can build on that by repeating those steps.

I also need to be realistic about how long it takes me to do things. I may think, ďIíll just take a minute to brush the dogs before I jump in the shower this morning.Ē Well, brushing the dogs turns into trimming their toenails, giving them a treat for being so good, and refilling their water bowl. In other words Ė 15 minutes I donít have to spare! The truth is, I can brush the dogs when I get home at night. Or on the weekend. I need to break the habit of trying to cram in Ďone more thing.í Letís see if I can do it.

Lesson Expert

Betsy Chase

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