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Are You Procrastinating?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.
~William James


Many of my most difficult energy drains are caused by my talent for procrastination. For example, I still have not filed my Missouri Income Tax which was due April 15. It just sort of hangs there, over my head, along with a zillion other things I routinely schedule for "tomorrow."

Which reminds me of an old Spanish proverb: Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week. So true. There is, however, this other quote by Pablo Picasso: Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.

Ok.. that makes it a little easier... I'm perfectly willing to die having left my taxes unfiled! So, HA! I'm off the hook on that one! And, actually, I can't think of a single task that I have put off doing that I wouldn't be perfectly happy to leave undone forever! So there!! My procrastination issues have now been resolved. I'm quite content to die leaving a pretty big mess for everyone else to clean up... which doesn't sound very enlightened, or very considerate, or even very nice.

So... I suppose it might be a good day to do at least one thing that I've been putting off. Hmmm... so many tasks... so little time... what will I choose... And what about you? Are you procrastinating something? several somethings? Maybe today would be a good day to get at least one of them done, don't you think?

Here's some good advice:

For attacking those once put off tasks, remember, there is no time like the present. Since you never know what awaits you tomorrow, it is always better to get things done today.

I admit, it is like pulling teeth sometimes to get started on something that you really dread or dislike doing. On the other hand, once you’re done, the dread is over and you can relax.

Whether its dread, laziness or fear that makes you keep your seat, you still have to reach your goal eventually. So, stop thinking about it, and just do it!

On the other hand...

The sooner you fall behind,
the more time you'll have to catch up.
~Steven Wright


Cindy H said...

Am I procrastinating? ROTFL!!! That's my life!

"I was going to procrastinate but I never got around to it."

Procrastination is my life! I totally realize that it's easier to just get it over with, whatever "it" happens to be, but I still do it regularly.

It is definitely a drain in my life! I spend more time worrying about things I'm procrastinating about that it would take to just do it.

So any suggestions or ideas on how to NOT procrastinate?

The main things I procrastinate on are paying bills and making phone calls. I make lists, write myself notes, etc and not all of the tasks are even things I don't want to do - just things I need to take care of. I know in my brain that if I paid the bills within a day or two of getting paid, it would actually be a lot easier task than waiting until I have spent the money on other things.

When I end up paying the bills, I always feel a huge sense of relief, and say I'm not going to wait next month, but then the next month comes around and the whole procrastination cycle starts anew.

Shirley Twofeathers said...

How to NOT procrastinate? LOL! I'd love to help you with that - just not right now this minute... maybe later???

I actually did really well today! I managed to NOT procrastinate 2 things that might have gone undone for weeks... even months... if it wasn't for this particular project and this particular post! So... WOW!

And Cindy, how did I do it? I just made a decision NOT to wait until later. Simple yet hard, I know.

I solved the bill paying problem at my house by having automatic bill pay... now they never get procrastinated. It works for me. And, yes, occaisionally I'll overdraft by accident, but I have overdraft protection, and I also have my bank automatically notify me via email if my balance drops below a certain point.

As for the rest of it? I need an automatic dish washer that takes the dirty dishes out of the sink and loads itself and then turns itself on... same for the washing machine. A vacuum that operates spontaneously whenever needed would be cool, and how about an automatic bed maker, dinner cooker, litter box cleaner, dog feeder...

WHOA!! That sounds like a maid, a housekeeper, a wife, or maybe even a house husband!!

So.. there's your answer to procrastination - get someone else to do stuff for you!!

Anonymous said...

If I'm not mistaken, the Ho'oponopono technique is four statements, not three:
I love you; I'm sorry, Forgive me; and Thank You.

Karla said...

Two words. YARD SALE. I have been storing up STUFF to sell at a yard sale and it's just not happening! Procrastinating? Hmm. Perhaps, but it feels more like life is busy every weekend..I'm either working or we have softball. I had the golden opportunity as our community of about 300 huses has a yard sale day twice a year. Oh how I wanted to participate! Then the baby came and POOF we had PRIOROTIES.

So while I may be in some ways putting this off, I'm going to releae the frustration since life has been so full and happy. Why ruin it? I wouldn't trade seeing my daughter play softball or visiting my precious grandson, right? I'm going to pick a random weekend in July and mark it on my calendar and try again! If all else fails, we donate everything!

Melissa J. said...

I've noticed that I procrastinate a lot on certain tasks at work when I feel overwhelmed by the very thought of doing them - (mostly stuff related to software testing or working with this onerous spreadsheet) - but as soon as I have my mind wrapped around how to go about getting it accomplished, then I dive right in and get it done. If I just let it simmer in the back of my mind for a while, it gets sorted out and the answer just appears, and then I do it. Same thing with my writing - I need a lot of "simmer time" which LOOKS like procrastination time to other people and it looks like that to me too, but it's really just part of the process and I don't beat myself up about it anymore.

shirley said...

Hi Melissa - that's a good point. There is a big difference between procrastinating and simmering... and also waiting for the time to be right.

I think the problem for me is waiting for the time to be TOO right, TOO perfect, for me to be REALLY ready, so that whatever I do will be EXACTLY right... and thus avoiding the thing altogether!

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