Posted by: Admin | January 11, 2010

Procrastination

I have always been a stellar procrastinator.   I think it may have been my 2nd post ever on this blog,  where I shared the mantra my father has recently adopted.. “Why put off until tomorrow, what you can put off until the day after.  My dad has earned a life lived by this philosophy… after working close to 50 years he’s finally retired to enjoy a life of leisure.  And, in all honestly the man has paid his dues so if he wants to procrastinate who could possibly blame him. 

As for me, no matter what the task, how big or how small, how important or unimportant, how easy or difficult I will procrastinate.  It’s just who I am I suppose.  I do tend to procrastinate far worse when it comes to personal things than work things.  I even used to argue that I thrive on the adrenaline rush I get when my back is against the wall to complete a project.  I would often say that I do my best work “under pressure” and that I’m my sharpest when my mind is keenly focused because I must deliver on a tight timeline.  Although I still believe this to be true, and I never miss a work deadline.  The deadlines I set for myself at home seem to pass me by without so much as a blink.  

After 6+ months of unemployment I realize that there must be something more to it than that.  I have after all, been given the gift of time (such a nicer way of thinking of unemployment!).  But, what have I done with that time??

  • I have blogged
  • I have watched tv
  • I have slept in
  • I have blogged some more
  • I have job hunted
  • I have surfed the internet
  • I have made phone calls about jobs 

I realized this past week that I have procrastinated about all the things I could have been doing at my house.  I have even procrastinated doing the things that I used to do regularly.  Perhaps this is a result of mild depression from being unemployed or perhaps I’ve hit the peak of my finely tuned ability to procrastinate.  Either way, I’ve made a New Year’s resolution to actually DO some stuff.  So, last week….

  • I spackled and painted a few areas in our home that needed repair
  • I filed 6 months of bills & paperwork (I’m not kidding… since I lost my job, anything new has just been added to an absurd growing “to file” pile in my office)
  • I cleaned out my entire home office (which I’ve barely even entered in since I lost my job)
  • I straightened out my closet (which had turned into the place to hide stuff from people who were coming over –you should have seen the enormous pile of crap that had accumulated on the floor!)
  • I put away Christmas (you’d think that this one shouldn’t appear on this list.. but it was a huge undertaking.. comprising over 10 bins of stuff!) 

Hopefully this means that I’m headed in a better direction this year.  As I look around my house and wonder what I have to show for the 6 months I’ve been sitting here, I realize that my own procrastination has deemed me useless and that, my dear blog readers, is something that MUST change this year! 

What have you done today??  🙂

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Responses

  1. Don’t beat up on yourself too much. Another, much more agreeable way of viewing procrastination (I am talking about chores here, not looking for paid-for-work work) is to think in terms of efficiency and safety. If like me you are badly suited both by inclination and ability to fix anything, procrastination makes a lot of sense. By not doing a chore, you avert injury, while at the same time you avoid doing a poor job, the only kind some of us are capable of. Assuming the task is in some way important, eventually others will step forward and take over, people almost certainly better suited to the task at hand. By correcting the problem, they will experience a boost to self-esteem. And you will be able to take pride in not having screwed something up, and not having injured yourself, which would inconvenience others.
    You might be interested in visiting my two blogs, justbillandthemister.com (a collaboration between man and dog) and http://www.drinksbeforedinner.com (a collaboration between man and wife).

    • bknister,

      I like your line of thinking. The age old, don’t do it well and someone else will pick it up and complete it, strategy. There’s definitely something to be said about this philosophy. I am however faced with a problem: in addition to being a procrastinator I am also a perfectionist, and these two traits seems to, at times, be in direct conflict with each other. I can’t get myself to do it, but I don’t want anyone else to do it either because it won’t be done “properly”. Maybe I need to get myself some therapy???? 🙂

  2. Ostrich syndrome – ignoring ones surrounding in hopes that in doing so it will simply go away.


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