By Kara Richardson Whitely, author of Gorge

I had a lot of things due last week and instead of sitting down at my desk, I found myself somewhere else: my kitchen.

Every hour or so, I found myself with an excuse to grab a piece of fruit, make a cup of tea, rummage through the sweets stash (the dregs of Halloween leftovers so obviously there wasn’t anything left worth munching on).

Since I was really having trouble focusing, I decided to go to the library. On the way there, I wanted to get a snack, even though I had a perfectly healthy one in my bag along with a bottle of water.

Finally I had to ask myself the question: Am I really hungry?

The answer was a resounding no. I was stressed.  A draft of my next book, Weight of Being was due and I had to make some arrangements for a bunch of speaking engagements later in the month. Meanwhile, the kids were on spring break, and I had a ton of projects on the home front, from outfitting our garage with pegboard to trying to organize the massive amount of things that were out there and reseeding our lawn to prepare for spring

This grazing made it difficult for me to track my food. Also, since I was snacking, when it came to mealtime, I just wanted a tiny bit but was hungry an hour later.

And even worse, the pile of work that was stressing me out in the first place wasn’t getting done as I was using my precious time for food prep and cleanup. This stressed me out even more.

So I took a deep breath and wrote out a to-do list, which always makes me feel better. Then I opened my computer and got to work one by one. Trying to put off dealing with things always pumps up my stress level. The more daunting the tasks become, the more I crave foods even when I’m not hungry.

As I worked, I had a cup of tea next to me, but decided when it was empty, that would be it until a certain number of tasks were complete.  I held strong to my desk and with each task that was completed, even writing this post, I felt so much better.

In the end, I finished a number of tasks — returned emails that had been lingering while I was chewing away time, booked my hotel rooms, and dug in and wrote some more on my manuscript and came up with a plan to finish it.

It was a great reminder that “procrastin-eating” doesn’t solve anything. Getting things done does!

Follow Kara on Connect @gorgegirl15
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