By Laura Vanderkam
I got an iPhone in December, 2009. Up until then, I’d been using a BlackBerry, and paying the usual T-Mobile monthly fee. I also had a cell phone which used AT&T, so I switched the AT&T plan to my iPhone. But then guess how long it took me to get around to calling T-Mobile and canceling my service?
If you said “”a few days”” you’d be vastly underestimating my ability to procrastinate a task. I paid that fee for a solid 6 months before I realized I’d blown through more than $200 — which could have paid for a top-notch restaurant dinner, many hours of babysitting, or a big contribution to one of my favorite charities. All of which would have made me happier than service to a BlackBerry I wasn’t using.
So I finally got around to making that one phone call. It was more pleasant than I thought (not too hard a sell to keep the service). That, of course, made me wonder why I didn’t make that one phone call sooner.
I’ve since learned that I’m hardly alone in this tendency to procrastinate simple things. Organization guru Lorie Marrero (who runs the website The Clutter Diet) recently blogged about how one of her first bits of advice to her clients is to figure out which nagging problems are literally just one phone call away from being solved. Some usual culprits:
- Home repairs like a broken shower door
- Canceling a recurring subscription you’re not using (especially if it’s automatically deducted from your checking account!)
- Scheduling a long-overdue dentist appointment
- Getting junk hauled away or transporting donation items to Goodwill
What nagging problem do you have that could be solved with one phone call? Why not make that call right now? Then check in when you’ve done it!
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