It took me five years to spend an hour at the DMV.
That’s how long I’ve lived in NYC with a Maryland license. To make it worse, I actually haven’t lived in Maryland since at least 2011 (depending on how you count it). So I’ve had an out of date license even longer than that.
I knew it was important, even though I don’t drive here.
I knew it would save me money here and there to have a local ID.
I knew it would get me a library card…a LIBRARY CARD! 😍
But every time I went to the DMV website to figure out a transfer, I got scared away in a bout of errand paralysis.
If you’ve never been on a DMV website, know that they’re about as organized, clear, and user friendly as the actual DMV is. 🙄
So every time I made an attempt, I wouldn’t be able to find what I needed, get overwhelmed, and eventually retreat.
The mental paralysis hit.
And I use my ID so rarely, it was so easy to just let it.
Enter…the power of a deadline
It wasn’t until I got a letter that Maryland was switching to a new ID type and my current one would be expiring that I got my ass into gear.
Once I had a deadline (the expiration date) and couldn’t procrastinate anymore, I made the appointment.
At first I was annoyed that the soonest one was a month away, the day before a holiday no less, but it turns out I needed that much time.
Because thennnn came the proofs of identity.
Oy, the proofs of identity. 🙄
You have to bring at least five with you, from a specified list with all these confusing stipulations.
Like, both your birth certificate and social security card are options on their own, but you can’t use both. And you can use a credit card statement or a credit card, but they can’t be from the same card. And yada, yada, yada…
So glad I had that whole month now.
Because it really did turn into a BIG project that involved:
- A trip home to my parents (in Maryland, from New York City) to get personal documents I didn’t have here
- Turning off paperless billing on my bank accounts and a credit card long enough to start getting postmarked mail and bank statements to use as proof
- Climbing up onto my kitchen counter to reach the box of stuff that had my social security card (which Alex could have reached with no climbing, had I remembered to ask him before he left that day…that one’s on me)
So now there was a healthy sprinkling of scope creep on top of the errand paralysis.
Once I realized it was scope creep, I realized this wasn’t just an annoying adulting errand. I realized…
I was a PROJECT.
I can MANAGE projects! 🤓
Errands might not be my jam, but project management and organization are.
And that’s when I started getting things done. 🙌
Releasing the weight of an unfinished project
I started writing this letter in the cab on the way home from the DMV, and I cannot tell you how much lighter I felt in that moment.
I didn’t care that I had to turn in my old license, with one of the best pictures I’ve ever taken on it. 🤣
I didn’t care that I didn’t actually have my new license yet, so technically the project wasn’t finished yet.
I didn’t care that the cab smelled like 6 different room/air deodorizers mixed together.
I had just moved a MAJOR project off my plate.
I mean, I had planned it all out in Notion* (of course 🤓) and it ended up requiring a more complicated dashboard and project plan than any of my ACTUAL work.
And I wanted to share this story to remind you of a few things:
- Errand paralysis is freaking real, and it’s okay if you have a metaphorical junk drawer of chores and errands you’ve been hiding from your brain. Unfortunately…
- Those things still have to be dealt with eventually. Fortunately…
- Having a deadline and breaking things down into steps always helps. Aaaand…
- Once you take even one small step towards getting it done, you’ll feel a huge weight off your shoulders.
Hopefully this encourages you to start chipping away at your backlogged pile of personal to-dos this week. 🙌