It’s the same every day.
I do exactly the opposite of my plans, of what I’m supposed to do.
I’m suppose to write a short story. I’m suppose to write on my story Whatever. I’m suppose to draw. I’m suppose to do chores. I’m suppose to write for this blog. I’m suppose to exercise. I’m suppose to work.
So at work I do my internet, I may or may not write something and I might work.
At home I will sit down and watch tv (whether it’s from my cable or laptop, doesn’t matter).
I have alarms to remind me to do chores, else I probably wouldn’t do those at all. Which would result in not having clean clothes, dishes and a clean home. My life is full of reminders and this results in ignoring most. I’ll get to that later. I promise myself all kinds of things. Fine you’re not doing what you’re suppose to do now, but after Criminal Minds/Lunch/an hour/this one thing, you will do it! But when that moment arrives, I just make a new promise with myself.
As said it doesn’t matter if it’s a hobby or work or chores.
Am I lazy, undisciplined, not prioritized? As my mom likes to rub in. “You just need to kick yourself in the butt and do it!” “You just need to set your priorities straight.”
Or is this procrastination thing a whole other problem?
I could argue back and forth for both arguments really. My mom argued with me enough for that.
But what if I would say it’s both true? It’s an issue and it’s being lazy.
Yes kicking yourself in the butt and doing it works. Don’t think, just do. This works especially well with chores. Not a lot of thought need to go into those, you just need to do them. You don’t want to, so it’s more about being lazy. The other things in life need thought, inspiration and all that. And it’s really scary to suddenly have to invent things. It’s fear holding you back.
Then the argument “I will do it another day”, will become, “I will do it another day, I’m not very inspired, I’m drained from everything else”. You can add your own argument to that. And then maybe the underlying thought would be, “I’m afraid to screw up”, or your inner critique arguing, “you’ll never pull it off, so why bother?”, “It’ll be a disappointment anyway”.
The underlying messages are usually hard to hear. I mostly know because it sounds solid and logical, and maybe on occasion I hear those words. Most often I just cut off at, screw this, I don’t want to.
Sometime ago I read a guest post by Lisa Rivero on Courage 2 create called “Long Live The Introvert! Why Being “Anti-Social” Is Also A Skill“. It was as if the start of the post was about me. Yes I’m an introvert, I just never realized that all I do totally drains me (especially social media). So of course getting home from work leaves me in a state of “I don’t want to”, because every fiber in my body is screaming “I need energy”. I’m usually fittest for anything a few hours after waking up. I’m most likely to do anything productive around my house right after getting home (guess when I do my chores).
This information is vitally important for curing my procrastination. To cure yours, you need knowledge about yourself. When do you peak, when can you focus. Write down your daily schedule and how you feel at moments during the day. For me it was a matter of writing down tasks and scheduling those and then tweaking that. I’m still tweaking that. Do be careful not to plan your day too much/too full, this will make sure you’ll be overwhelmed with the day ahead and is a guarantee you’ll procrastinate. I’ve made that mistake often. I’m still making myself too overwhelmed, look at my “I should” list up there. Definitely don’t try to plan everything and focus on what’s important, or necessary.
Aside from chores and exercise, the most important things to do for me are weekly things:
Saturdays: publishing a short story.
Sundays: publishing a post on this blog.
Or monthly things:
The 18th of every month: publishing a chapter of Whatever.
I realized that a big part of my procrastination is due to a lack of a deadline. If I have forever to do something, I will take forever to do something.
The moment I committed myself to finish a chapter of my story each month, I suddenly started writing and working on it!
This post used to have my daily schedule as an example. As proof of how I keep tweaking it, it has changed about 3 times since I first wrote this post. Recently I have been changing it a lot.
I’ve been trying to find a balance between spreading things out and doing a lot at once.
Anyway I manage my schedule with alarms, using the Errands app on my iPod. I will forget them otherwise.
There’s a big trap to scheduling though: inflexibility!
No matter how you schedule and plan things, there’s always life to screw them up!
Prepare for that. Because most things happen suddenly on weekends, I have left those rather unplanned.
This also means that when I fail to do something during the week (for whatever reason), I have time to catch up in the weekends. I have this a lot with my laundry, I tend to forget to turn it on, despite the alarm.
All of this doesn’t cure my procrastination. Not the issue, nor my laziness. It does help. I procrastinate less, and when I do, I’ve rescheduled things.
Are you troubled by procrastination? How serious is the issue in your eyes? What are your methods to beat it? Share it in the comments below! I’m sure together, with some hard work, we can slim the procrastination monster.