Task constipation


Tweet; Sorry it took me eight months to respond to your message, someone sent me an email I did not want to read and I could not process any other tasks until it was gone

What is task constipation?

Example. I promise a friend to post an ad on Tradera by lunchtime. Then I spend a few hours on other things. The promised task applies pressure in the back of my head that I'm studiously ignoring.

In the meantime, if my friend texts me, I can't respond or even read the text because I would prefer to have done that task I promised first. So I'm unresponsive and emotionally unavailable.

Then I finally do the task. Freshly clear of "task constipation", I'm free to flood my friend with responses, though they may be much too late to be appreciated.


  • if you decide you don't want to delay responding to people, because it's nice not to delay, then remembering that may make it easier to summon a bit of steel in the stomach and admit "nope, didn't do that yet" even though you're not proud
    • some minimum of self-esteem required
  • if you avoid saying what you plan on doing in the first place, this effect won't show up so much
  • if it's already very late, you can always think whether or not you want to continue being quiet or talk to this friend. that could drive you to do some of the task.

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Created (7 months ago)