You know the saying, "Never put off 'till tomorrow what you can do today?" I'm thinking that it might be a saying for a reason.
I've always taken a sort of humorous view on my procrastination. It meant that I really knew how to get things done when it came down to the wire.
Unfortunately, this kind of thinking leads to mountains of stress when the wire arrives. This week, when the stress hit, clarity dropped in, too (and then I felt dumb for not knowing it before): I don't like doing this. In fact, I pretty much hate it.
So why do it?
I stumbled onto this yesterday. I can't believe how much it describes me.
I just don't want to do it. There's a million other things I'd rather be doing. It won't hurt to put off the one thing I don't want to do to go do those other things. Hey, this is probably even beneficial. They say to feed the soul and this isn't feeding my soul at all. Better to let it go for now.
And on the list trails.
2. Fear of Failure
A friend of mine recently wrote about this on her blog. When I finished reading her post, I felt guilty. Because a lot of my excuses are just hiding the fact that I don't want to fail.
If I never start, I can never fail, right?
But, at the end of my life, what will I have to look back on? I'll have never failed but I'll probably not have lived, either.
This one is related to my fear of failing. I want every word to be perfect, every sentence to awe and inspire. So I correct, fiddle with, and mull over one word for three hours. If it isn't perfect, then I have failed.
But that vision of perfection is warped. It's what I think is perfect. My perfection is insane and I know it. It oozes from a dark, wounded part of myself that endured years of psychological and emotional abuse for not being "perfect" in the eyes of others.
For me, perfection is something I have to work to get over. For others, it may be a positive driving force. But, for anyone, it can't be allowed to take over. Perfection is unattainable. I'm not ever going to get anywhere if I'm constantly measuring myself against an impossible goal.
Procrastination is not a boon to the writer. It's a curse.
Even if I wasn't haunted by my own personal demons, it would still be bad. As long as I put things off, I'll never be able to stop running from them.
This week, I told myself that excuses were no longer allowed. Unless I was dead or dying, there was no reason to put off my list of to-dos. I checked. I wasn't dying. I checked again just to make sure. Then, with a sigh, I went to work. Rinse and repeat.
I haven't had much free time this week as a result. But the free time I have had seems so light and airy. My relaxation has even carried into my work. I feel as if I can get it all done now. Knowing that, I get more done.
Stopping the excuses wasn't fun or easy. But I want to enjoy my life, not spend it running away. Procrastination just doesn't help with that.