Today's post hits home for me. Procrastination is something that I've always struggled with. I thank Candice, today's guest poster, for putting how I've always felt down into words. I'm sure it will resonate with many of you as well. Make sure you guys check out Candace on her blog. All of her info is at the end of the post!
RAMBLINGS OF A SERIAL PROCRASTINATOR
I consider myself a pro at this crastination thing.
No one can put important work off like me. I’m the Michael Jordan LeBron James Stephen Curry LeBron James of wasting time, son.
I got my start in 1st grade, which was my first real school experience (I didn’t go to Kindergarten). I remember working away at my math homework, my most difficult subject, getting down to the last and hardest row of problems, seeing that I was almost done and then just never finishing the rest, opting instead to do a little jig to celebrate my progress until my unfinished homework was due the next morning. I’d turn it in, get an incomplete, take my new homework home, and repeat.
Oh yea, I have a procrastination dance. Don’t mess with me.
I wanna say that I like the rush and pressure of working against the clock, and that I produce precious diamonds that would have just been dirty coal if I was better with time management. I wanna say that I am totally ok with my wasteful ways, that I’ve organized my schedule to accommodate them, and that I’m not worried at all this habit has negatively impacted my productivity or quality of work. I wanna say I have six-pack abs and a million dollars in my bank account and Micheal B. Jordan’s number in my phone’s favorites list. I wanna say a lot of things. But I would be lying. I would be extremely lying. Lying isn’t who I am. Dilly-dallying is.
In the interest of professionalism I wanted to share some stuff I’ve done to avoid doing things that are necessary but uneasy for me. My frittering credentials, if you will:
– Scrubbed my tub
– Made my bed
– Folded my underwear
– Cleaned my entire apartment from top to bottom
– Organized the space under my bed
– Picked at my cuticles
– Went vegan (a.k.a throwing out all animal products in my kitchen)
– Went back non-vegan (hmph)
– Researched the health benefits of eating honey
– Called my dad
– Texted my ex
– Shooed my dog for her insatiable cuddling
– Cuddled with my dog
– Rolled my eyes at my upstairs neighbor’s snoring
– Danced like no one’s watching
– Booked a round trip flight to New York
– Attempted to communicate with my mother in broken Creole (no cigar)
– Researched how the creole language came to be
– Ordered creole take-out
– Ordered a family sized serving of fries (they come in a box and I am not ashamed)
– With a side of chicken (still not ashamed)
– Watched old shows
– Watched new shows
– Worked out
– EATEN ALL OF THE SWEETS
– Given myself a facial
– Talked to myself out loud
– House hunted for mansions
– Pouted over all the mansions I can’t afford
– Stared off into space
See? I am pretty talented. Like, embarrassingly so.
Talent like this is not easy to overcome. I’m not sure that my sheer willpower is any match for it. I’ve been lucky enough to have help.
If it weren’t for college professors ignoring my doe-eyed faux-earnest excuses for late work I might never have learned to power through my own resistance.
If it weren’t for my first blog I might have never learned that I must first produce a product in order to produce a better product.
If it weren’t for my last job I might have never learned that perfection doesn’t exist, internal pressure is destructive, and if something just isn’t working and it’s in your power to go, then go.
Thanks to these lessons I was able to leave my unsatisfying job.
Thanks to the free time I had afterwards I was able to think where my talent for dalliance came from.
It was because in the past I was almost exclusively doing things that I didn’t want to do.
It was because I felt pressure to learn things one way and one way only, and do things this way and not to deviate, and that is difficult to stick to when you are creative.
It was because I wanted to please my teachers, my bosses, my parents, and my peers so much that producing anything came with loads of pressure, and so I put making anything off in order to avoid this.
It’s because I was fighting who I was; a massively distracted day sleeper who lives to create and learn in the middle of the night. A thinker of all things impertinent. A chewer of nails. An owner of a dog who will not let me be great. I’m not hopeless. I can do great things the way I am, if I just learn to work with me.
I’ve stopped demonizing myself for being distracted, stopped forcing myself into hyper focus, stopped letting self-pressure delay me. I am learning who I am and how I actually like to work, listening to my body when it needs to stop, and talking my brain down from the overachieving ledge. Putting less pressure on myself to be what I am not (an efficient time-manager) and trusting my own process makes things just a little less intimidating, making doing things a little less scary, resulting in procrastination and distraction becoming less and less of an issue. Phew.
My hope is that one day, sooner than later, I have this thing completely licked.
I could go for some ice cream right now.
Visit Candace’s storytime blog at CandiceLola.com