I’ve noticed I’m an excellent procrastinator. Even as I type this I should be getting on with my coursework. It’s the last module so I should be racing on to get it finished, but for some reason I keep putting it off. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s just a difficult piece of work to get my head around or maybe it’s something deeper.
But while I’m here I thought I’d share with you some of the highly effective techniques my procrastinating self has adopted:
Firstly I feel some sort of obligation to note that the delay has not been entirely down to me – Oliver did have chicken pox for a week, and then my friend needed my support with a bit of a relationship nightmare, and the renovation work on the house started this week. In other words I have been busy being nurse, relationship counsellor and building work supervisor, as well as the usual housewife, cook and cleaner (I just realised, rephrasing things from stuff-that-happens-to-me to a role-that-I-am-being feels surprisingly empowering and rewarding – hey I am good when I’m procrastinating!)
So after all these external events I decided to ask for an extension rather than push myself excessively. I was told that unofficially I could hand in a piece of coursework two weeks late and this would be fine. Great, I could breathe again. I don’t have to put my life on hold anymore. I could afford the time to catch up on everything else that seemed to have slipped or otherwise needed attention. And the more I put off doing my coursework the more inspired I was at everything else: my daily questions, doing one of the things that give me energy, catching up with emails or calling a friend, cooking, cleaning, washing my hair, even ironing! And it’s at times like these that reason becomes my best friend and worst enemy, as I can very rationally, reasonably and truthfully justify everything I do.
Until further down the line I realise I’ve run out of time again. I look at how much time I have from now till deadline and how much time it would take me to complete the work, and the maths just won’t add up.
So I go back to the college, plead, beg, reason, negotiate and manage to get a final final deadline of the 15th. And as soon as I come off the phone a funny thing happens. It’s like my brain steps up a gear and all these thoughts and ideas start popping into my head – an option of how to solve the dilemma of tonight’s dinner (trust me, without going into detail it was a dilemma), reminder to ring my friend and check how she’s doing, an idea for another friend’s situation, remembering the builder isn’t coming till the afternoon so I can wash my hair this morning after all, a sudden yearning for tea, a call of nature, seeing some post that hasn’t been open, and seeing the words to this post, the one I’m writing right now, forming in my head. I don’t know what’s more amazing, how stubborn and bloody-minded my procrastination can be, or what a powerfully inspiring effect it can have on everything else.
Having said that though, every minute spent on something else, however inspiring, productive, important… however good it is, still means a minute not spent on my coursework, and just because the clock is further in the distance, it’s still ticking.
So I’ll leave you with these thoughts (one more to make up for yesterday):
What are you procrastinating on and what effect is this having?
What do you do to make your life easier, which ultimately makes it harder?