The most recent example: I had to fill out an insurance claim which consisted of several pages of information, a few documents to prove the claim, and a dozen forms. The instrucitons stated: Do not use highlighter, staples or paperclips.” Until that moment, I didn’t realize I was addicted to paperclips. Oh, when I was teaching, I used clips to hold papers together and, as a writer, I clip chapters together but I hadn’t realized I couldn’t NOT clip documents together, that not doing so left me anxious. I couldn’t breathe. My hands shook. I’m also compulsive about following directions so it made me even more anxious to ignore the instructions and clip the papers together. What to do?
After great agony and long consideration, I came up with a plan. I organized the pages in the order listed on the instructions, wrote on the top exactly what the form was because most of the forms were identified only as CLAIM FORM. Then I numbered them all. On the documents with more than one page, I labeled them with A, B, C. All this means that I had one section entitled, “Cancellation 5A.”
And I feel so much better. I didn’t use staples or paperclips (okay, I DID highlight one thing), and followed directions. Victory!
What makes you anxious that you know is silly?