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Do you too feel the itch seeing this?

Do you know what it is? Even if you're not an HSP, be careful. It may be a trap. Don't give in. That's how procrastination starts.

Cat hair on the floor, a trigger
When mess bothers you, seeing something like that can trigger an itch to start cleaning. But if you give in, you may not stop there, and you won't finish what you planned

Do you know what is in this picture above?

If you are like me, with a little bit of self-awareness, you will recognize it. It’s a trap.

Someone may say, “not a big deal, it’s just some cat hair, just pick it up and that’s it”, and wouldn’t think about it any further.

But no, it’s not that simple for me. I like things around me being tidy. As a HSP, I physically suffer when something is messy. I’m not extremely pedantic, but those things distract me. And after noticing one thing, if I’m not careful, I will notice another, and another….

Especially when I have some high priority (pressure!) tasks planned. If there is something important, will require some mental stretch, will take long time to finish and/or is difficult. Then the itch becomes stronger.

If I give in in such a moment and tell myself ,“not a big deal, it’s just some cat hair, just pick it up and that’s it”, it will not end well. Because my attention shifts and expands. Did you hear about the Blue Car Syndrome? You buy a blue car, and suddenly you notice blue cars everywhere.

So, I notice more cat fluff on the floor in the corner, and there is this tiny tumbleweed just rolling from under the couch. So I grab a hoover. “It will just take a minute”, I tell myself. But if I’m already hoovering the ground floor, I can quickly go upstairs and do the bedrooms too. Oh, and the bathrooms! Hm, the toilet needs some attention, I’m not liking what I see there… When I’m finally done with scrubbing the toilet, and the shower and sink are all shiny, I hear the dishwasher or even worse, the washing machine making a beep. Oh, the wash cycle ended. I just NEED to hang my washing up to dry, otherwise it will crease. Now, my dog woke up and she needs to go out to pee. And now I’m hungry, I should have some lunch, otherwise my energy drops. All the time I have in my head the one thing that I was planning to do, that I was supposed to do. I start feeling guilty for not doing it, beating myself up for not doing it, getting stressed that I’m not doing it and it will all pile up… again. I eat quickly, determined to start immediately after. And then my phone rings…

Do you recognize it? So, be mindful of the traps. Don’t give in… every time.

I do, sometimes. I pick it up. But then, heads down, I go straight to my important task. Otherwise… the above will happen again.

Sometimes I ignore it but use it as a reward after I finish at least part of the job I planned. No judging please. After I finish what I intended, I give myself the permission to clean the house, or take care of whatever is causing the itch. I may even go crazy and wash the hoover filter after I'm done. Ah, it feels good.

I continue learning how to live with the itch, some level of discomfort. It’s there, and it will probably always be there, but with the time it becomes easier to let go of the need to do things immediately, and avoid distractions. Because important is important for a reason. And procrastinating won’t make me feel good in any way.

To me, it’s crucial to know the level of discomfort I can operate normally with. I test it, check with myself honestly what is causing the need (Am I ashamed that my house is not so super tidy at the moment? Why? Am I “programmed” this way because this is what I was being told? What will happen if I don’t do it now?). And then I act accordingly. I don’t want small things to control me. I am smart enough and knowledgeable enough to control or at least tame the way I think and feel.


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