How many ways can I procrastinate? Oh, there are many! Just today, for example, I did laundry, and read email. Then I had a whole bunch of errands to run with my husband, since this is a day off for me and two of the boys were in school. One of the errands happened to be upgrading our old cell phones to iPhones, so then I played with that for a while, and entered all of my contacts from my other phone. There’s still a lot I want to learn about my new toy…but that’s another day’s procrastination!
After adding all the contacts, I then made dinner, and started watching a movie with the boys. Now, it’s bedtime, and see how one of the tasks I had set as a priority for myself is still not done.
When I was in University, I often joked about being the Queen of Procrastination and wearing the crown. I regularly left assignments to the last minute, writing papers the night before they were due, studying in the last hour before a big test, etc. Even now I leave planning for my spiritual circle until the night before, or even the day of. It’s not that I haven’t thought about what I am going to do. I just don’t get it out of my head and onto paper. This inevitably causes me extra anxiety and stress that I don’t need.
So why do I do it to myself? I know right now that I have another circle to plan, and it is less than two weeks away. I also know that I will need to write another blog post for next Monday. So why don’t I get started right now…after I finish this post, instead of putting it off until the eleventh hour?
In yet another diversionary tactic, I did a little research. One possible reason is impulsiveness and lack of self-control. Go for the instant gratification today instead of putting work before play. Hmm…yes, at times that does fit me. Like getting the iphone today instead of waiting until next week, or eating the last piece of chocolate instead of saving it for tomorrow.
Another reason some people procrastinate is that they are perfectionists, and they fear not achieving perfection. Guilty as charged. I come by my perfectionism honestly. My mother is also a perfectionist. I don’t consciously feel fear about not being perfect. In fact, there is a part of me that believes I already am perfect. That part gets drowned out sometimes by the nag that says I’m not, so I can see how this would affect me into procrastinating.
Not feeling passionate about what you are doing can also influence procrastination, since we tend to avoid doing things we dislike. That would totally explain why I leave the dishes until there are no clean ones left in the cupboard. (Thankfully, my husband has taken over that chore, and I am EXTREMELY grateful!)
All this is fine and dandy, but what can I do to reduce how often I wear the crown? First, I need to focus on the dream I am bringing to reality. Whenever I am not feeling motivated, remembering that I am working to bring my financial house into alignment with my purpose helps get me going again.
Second, I can break the big things down into smaller chunks. Sometimes I don’t start a task, because I don’t feel I have time to finish the whole thing. But if I break it down into bite size pieces, I can complete it little bits at a time, in those windows I have the rest of the week.
Third, I can schedule those windows of time for myself. Ahh, now here’s a challenge. Remember that instant gratification part? Time management is definitely and area I could improve in. Writing a to do list for each day and prioritizing the tasks may help me there. I could change my mindset and turn it into a fun thing: how can I use my new iphone to help me schedule my time better? I think I will go start entering tasks into my iphone calendar now…