This is my winter motto, to go with What Now’s “suck less.” So you can’t figure out where a potentially useful half-hour went and why you’re now late leaving for the gym? Don’t make it worse by stewing over what you were (or were not) doing with that half-hour. It’s not going to get any earlier if you realize how long you spent reading the newspaper. You’re late with some project? Don’t make it worse by letting embarrassment about being late cause further procrastination; get on with it.

Don’t know why you haven’t yet done X, Y or Z with your life? Well, don’t make it worse. If you really want to do those things, get started. It’ll never be any earlier.

It sounds a bit grim (and feels it, too), but it’s better than the stewing.

5 thoughts on “Don’t make it worse

  1. Yes. This is one I have to try quite hard to put into practice, and am slowly improving. Beating yourself up over non-productivity results in anxiety and, hey, more non-productivity.

  2. "Just do it" is way too optimistic, as it assumes the ability to do things. I don't have that much confidence, but I do have considerable conviction that things can, in fact, be worse, and that however little positive power I have, I can make things worse. The mantra, then, is an effort to flip the negativity. "Stop being lazy" makes me want to be more lazy, because it focuses on the lazy, not the effort to turn it around. Sulpicia is right about the anxiety. Not that I knock anybody's positive mantras or anything else that works, but look, it's January, soon to be February, and the best I can manage right now is "don't make it worse."

  3. Yeah, "suck less" continues to be the only mantra that gets me through January! But I think one can eliminate the grimness by having a sense of humor about it — as in, January always sucks, and we suck with it; hey, how about sucking a little less?

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