Coffee, conversation and procrastination fees

It all started with an incorrect passport and not-so-good health insurance.

Last week as Susan and I had coffee, and then beers when the coffeeshop closed (yes, she’s one of those can-talk-for-hours-together friends), we discussed to-do items. Namely, the type of to-do items that nag away at us and we stress about them far longer than it actually takes to get them done.

I was telling her about how I’d put off updating my passport for 6 years – 6 years, people – to reflect my “new” last name (it was new in 2004.) It was one of those chores that nagged at me. Every time I thought about it I’d get a pit in my stomach, knowing I needed to do it. Every time someone mentioned travel outside the country I would get that “oops, I need to take care of that” feeling.

And finally – I sat down to do it. And it took 20 minutes. 6 years of stressing over a task that took 20 minutes. The ultimate kicker? I had to get a whole new passport. Cost me something around $100. If I’d fixed it within a year of the marriage certificate, it would have been free. A $100 procrastination fee, and 6 years of feeling guilty about it. For 20 minutes worth of work.

Susan’s tale is similar, but she’s more financially motivated. She is paying for health insurance that was good for when she lived in Ohio. Problem was, she moved to New Jersey 3 months ago. So she’s been paying for 3 months for health insurance that would do her no good if she were to need it. More than $100 down the drain, per month, and counting, is her procrastination fee.

So we made a pact to keep each other accountable. To-do lists, consisting of what we needed to do each week, and we would actually do them.

And so I made a list. And she made a list. And we emailed our lists to each other and for 3 days now we’ve been keeping each other updated on what we are doing. I won’t bore you with my whole list, but I’ve taken a cue from Susan and organized it into categories: Daily items first, then the following categories: Cleaning, Working, Dog stuff, and Other Crap.

My to-do list

I’m proud to say that each day I have been able to check off P90x and blogging. And I’ve also been able to check off several work items. And that dreaded Other Crap column? That’s the one that nags at me. And has been nagging at me. And I have officially checked off 5 of the 7 items on that list. Progress!

Hey, look at this – one more item checked off the list:

Wednesday blogging, check!