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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sometimes, doing something really dull pays off in $$$

My husband has been pestering me to do my online health assessment with our medical insurance. This just sounds so, so dull, so time-consuming, and you know how these online things are, sometimes the page loads fine, other times everything freezes up, and you have to start all over. So, I've been dragging my heels on this one. I've got loads of other more interesting projects on my list that'll save us some money. But this one would save us quite a chunk on our annual insurance costs.

After procrastinating for many weeks, this morning, I procrastinated a bit more -- did some painting, got a haircut, cleaned up the kitchen, had an extra cup of coffee -- yep, I was procrastinating big time! Then, finally, I grabbed a handful of crackers (my bribe) and sat down with the computer and went online.

Things I'd rather do than this health assessment

take a walk on the beach, well, duh, who wouldn't rather do that?

play in the garden and dance with the flower fairies

pick fruit,  any kind of fruit

bake cookies

do a jig saw with my kids

even paint the chair that goes with the garden bench

Okay, so I've got the computer in front of me. It took me almost 15 minutes to even get to the health points section, as it had been so long, I could not, for the life of me, remember my user id or my password. I got locked out at one point, due to too many attempts to log in. About to give up and move on to something else, I told myself I'd stick with it for another 5 minutes. And, yes! I finally got myself unlocked, and logged in.

This kind of boring work is difficult for me to do. I'm not terribly self-disciplined. If I can't find some fun in a task, it's very hard to propel myself forward. So, I grabbed another handful of crackers (more bribe), and thought about what we could do with the $500 we'd save by my doing my half of the health points deal. Our marriage is a joint partnership, after all. And I'd be peeved to no end, if my husband would not help me to save some money. So, that thought helped to motivate me. And I kept thinking about fun stuff $500 would buy. Extra fun on our vacation this winter, dinners out, spending sprees of all kinds. Yes, I bribe myself with the thought of pleasures to come, to get myself to do dull work.

And all this bribing (in my mind, as well as with those crackers) worked. I filled out the online forms. It took about an hour (slow loading pages online are frustrating aren't they?). But my part will have helped us to save a lot of money on our insurance. I will still have to go back and add info over the course of the next month, but I've committed myself to doing this now.

This sort of task can be difficult to motivate oneself towards. How about you? Is there something you've done lately, that you really didn't want to do, but you knew it would save you some money, and you just made yourself do it anyways?


  1. We must be twins separated at birth. I hate online forms. Hate them. Most of them I have to do to stay employed. I work on-call so I don't have a reliable, regular schedule, and I commute over 30 miles. I am supposed to have remote computer access but ... so often it just doesn't work, and I have to drive in to my workplace. Bleah.

    On the bright side, your pictures are gorgeous! I'm jealous of your apples. Most of Michigan's crop got wiped out from the too-hot spring followed by freezing temps. Boo. But we can (and will!) hit the beach today!

    1. Hi Kris!
      These online forms are such a pain. I understand, that the forms are beneficial for the organizations that use them. But you'd think that someone would figure a way to make them work better.

      That must be such a pain when you have to drive in to your workplace just to fill out the forms!

      Have a great day at the beach! Today I have just a little bit of volunteer work to do, and my daughters have their last practice for their upcoming song/dance in church (the thing that we needed the very white shirts for). Then maybe we can get out and enjoy one of the last remaining days of summer vacation!

  2. I am feeling like that with my PhD at the moment, and consequently we have lots of home-baked bread and cookies, and the house is clean but I really should spend more time in front of the computer writing. Maybe I need to bribe myself with the cookies I have baked :)

    1. Oh, slogging away at your PhD! That must be tough work at times! I'm guessing you have a lot of moments that you would rather be doing almost anything else! But in the end, you will be rewarded for all your hard work!

      On the positive side, your house is clean and you're well-stocked with baked goods and treats! (And you live in a part of the world with great weather nearly year round!)

      Good luck motivating yourself towards the work you have to do!

  3. My Mom asked me to help her do hers. It was one problem after another and when we finally were able to sit down and do it, there were so many questions that she became bored and wasn't even paying any attention and finally told me to just answer anything, lol. I would rather watch paint dry. lol

    1. Hi Belinda!
      That is so nice of you to help your mom do this task! What a chore! But very good of you to do this for your mom.

      I would rather sweep the kitchen floor with the paint brush! It was that horribly dull and frustrating! But it will save us some money, so I had to just make myself do it. Ugh! It was yesterday and I'm still not happy I had to do it!

      Have a great day!

  4. Congratulations on finishing your forms. When I have a task that I don't want to do, I use a timer. I tell myself that you only have to work on it 2 minutes, 5 minutes, or whatever I think I can tolerate. Sometimes that is all I need to get me started. Other times, I need to reset the timer multiple times to eventually get it done. With forms like you were talking about, I think I would need to reset the timer several times. I hate paper work.

    1. Hi live and learn!

      That's a great tip -- using a timer to get yourself started. I sometimes do something similar. I'll tell myself I only need to do XX part of a job. I will often wind up finishing the whole thing, but it gets me started. Paper work is just the worst!

      Thanks for your comments!

  5. The money probably would have convinced me to slog through it, but I hate pages that take forever to load. Btw, for what it's worth, I'd rather do any of the activities you had pictured than deal with online forms.

    1. Hi livingsimplyfree!

      Yeah, the money saved on the insurance premium is a convincing motivator. Buy wow, these things can be so difficult to get through. Just had to make myself get it done.

      Thanks for reading!


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