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Chapter 15. Get a Social Life—or Change ... > When Your Social Life Becomes a Chor... - Pg. 159

Get a Social Life--or Change the One You Have 159 Putting the Joy Back in Gift-Giving If you'd like to meet some fellow procrastinators, just visit any shopping mall on December 24 or any florist at about 5:00 P.M. on February 14. Like last-minute income tax filers who get a kick out of the carnival atmosphere at post offices on April 15, last-minute shoppers often take a sort of warped pride in their procrastination. They love the adrenaline rush that comes from doing all their Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve or from finding just the right gift five minutes before they're due at a birthday party or bar mitzvah. If you're one of those last-minute shoppers but would gladly get your thrills in other ways, then you have to do just one simple thing: Focus on do dates, not due dates. Of all the techniques described in Chapter 12, "The Secret Formula to Overcoming Procrastination," that's the most important one when it comes to shopping for holidays and special occasions. Action Tactic Eliminate the decision-making aspect of gift-giving by coming up with your one signature gift for each type of occasion. For example, every time you get a birth an-nouncement, turn to your favorite catalog or Web site and order a monogrammed baby blanket. You can vary the gift slightly to personalize it for each recipient, but having a basic idea makes you less likely to procrastinate.