Thinking about my time, it occurred to me that I do a lot of "busy work" in relation to my OCD. In fact, my compulsions are busy work incarnate. I remember being in school, and teachers giving out worksheets to keep us quiet, that didn't actually lead to learning anything, and compulsions are similar way to keep the OCD quiet, except of course it manages to come back squawking! Yesterday, I was in a store with a whole aisle of picture frames, and I felt a wave of anxiety that I needed to make sure I didn't miss one that was the right size, so I'm glued to the shelves, picking frames up and putting them down, and the frame I eventually bought doesn't fit anyway, not to mention that there was no real urgency to get a frame, except in my own OCD mind.
I came home and did some of the things I really needed to do. My husband was going to do a craft show by himself this weekend, but since I'm not going to the IOCDF Conference, I am going with him, and needed to pack up for that. I was wiped out by the time he got home from work because I crammed all the necessary tasks into 1.5 hrs, and my back ached. But I am still grateful that I have this much awareness of what is going on. 15 years ago, I volunteered to do the mailing list for a group I belonged to, and I sat at the computer trying to figure out how to merge mailing labels, and entering addresses, until my shoulder was throbbing, and completely baffled with myself. I could see that it made no sense to keep sitting there typing in names, but I had an overpowering urge to finish, and no understanding as to why.
I'd noticed this need to complete things, to hit every chapter in a book, including the pages with roman numerals(my husband tends to skip introductions, which was very alien to me), footnotes, appendices, indexes. A sense of dread would envelop me if I skipped a page, or didn't understand a particular sentence before moving on. My love of reading was more powerful, in part because reading itself was a compulsion, and also a distraction from whatever was going on in my life, that I would manage to consume large quantities of books in spite of being slowed down by the nagging anxiety that I wasn't thorough and complete.
This is part of why I procrastinate--the fear that once I start something I will feel compelled finish it, no matter how useless an activity it turns out to be, or whether it causes me bodily pain. What kind of busy work is your OCD handing out?