"If I get all of my work out of the way, I can properly relax."
I have never been a procrastinator, and while this was beneficial to my performance in classes, education, and keeping a tidy space, it has presented a fair share of problems when the tendency to frontload is driven by anxiety.
For me, this tendency comes from several sources:
deep seated anxiety about forgetting the things I need to do
not allowing myself to rest until my mental inbox of to-do's was completely empty
being a flow-oriented person who is easily disrupted by changes in activity or stimuli
NOW, I am trying to sequester out a few things a day for myself. I get my personally fulfilling art, my freelance work, and my chores out of the way bit by bit, in any order I choose. I don't HAVE to do chores or work first. When I cross out everything for that day, like I did on Monday, I have fulfilled my obligations for today and it's time to RELAX. Today, I'm using my relaxing time to idly write this post. Later in the evening, I'll be going out to get drinks. I'm DONE being productive for today.
Perhaps this format seems obvious to others, but it has taken me a long time to arrive here. For years I was dividing my tasks by what was most productive and piling that on first. It's almost like a person eating only brussel sprouts on a Monday, only steak on Tuesday, only noodles on Wednesday, only pasta sauce on Thursday, and saving ice cream only for Friday. There's a reason we're supposed to eat balanced meals (I'm still working on that too, lol), and the same goes for a balanced day.