Monday, July 26, 2010
Procrastinators Unite! ...tomorrow
“I’ll start writing as soon as I clean the bathrooms.”
“I’ll start writing as soon as I wash the dishes.”
“I’ll start writing as soon as I organize my closet.”
“I’ll start writing as soon as I...”
You get the idea. :)
I’m a champion procrastinator. But, at the same time, I don’t like leaving things to the last minute. So I often get caught between “I’ll do it later” and “Oh crap, there’s not enough time to do this!” It sucks, and it’s taken years for me to even recognize this pattern within myself. Now that I have, I try to keep myself from getting sucked into that whirlpool, but I’m not always successful.
My writing used to suffer as a result, too. I’d fall into the I’ll-do-it-later trap, really *truly* meaning to do it later. The trouble was, it was *always* later. I’d gotten myself into a routine where everything came before writing. And if everything comes before writing, the no writing is ever going to get done. Still, nothing changed, even after I realized this.
You see, I like routines. They’re comfortably predictable. I like knowing what’s going to happen and when, and if I break out of my routine, then that comfort is taken away. My oldest son exhibits these traits, too. Poor kid. :)
Actually, I think many people are this way. I think it’s easy to find habits and routines where everything is the same. It’s reassuring, even if the habit or routine isn’t the greatest or best thing for you. On that same note, I think many people find change very difficult. Change is the unknown, and often the unknown is scary. Even if that change is for the best. That’s probably the easiest way for procrastination to get a hold on you.
And then there’s the fear. Fear of failure, success, inability to finish what you start, etc. Fear can be an excellent motivator, but it can be just as effective as an inhibitor. After all, if you don’t try, you’ll never fail. And it’s easy to talk yourself into things with statements like you never had time, other things always got in the way, things didn’t work out, etc.
Getting out of a procrastination rut can be the same kind of thing. It was for me, anyway. My desire to get published finally broke me out of it, and I created a new routine that included time for writing. I’m still using that routine, but I’ll still lapse occasionally...like I said, I’m a champion procrastinator. :)
Are you a procrastinator? If you’re not writing, why not? And is it something you feel needs to change?
That kind of gets into the next subject: what is not procrastination. But that’s for next week. :)