Thursday, April 17, 2008

Why Do We Procrastinate?

Yesterday, I touched upon my issues with procrastination. I feel that is one of my most undesirable character traits. Often times I blamed it on my special type of “OCD” or that there weren’t enough hours in the day and that there was always tomorrow! Of course, tomorrow would arrive and I would scramble around making another batch of excuses to combat why I was delaying what ever project I had on my calendar. It could have been something simple like washing my car, doing the laundry or exercising but I would still convince myself that it wasn’t something I had to do right this second and I could push it aside.

Lately, I have been struggling hard with this procrastination issue. But instead of making excuses, I’m handling it and doing my best to get to the bottom of the issue. The fact is, is that I’m afraid. I’m afraid that if I stop procrastinating that the divide between me and supposed failure will be that much thinner and part of me wonders if I can handle it.

I’m afraid to fail, I’m worried that it might not be what I want and I’d have devoted all this time to something that didn’t get me anywhere. I don’t think I’m good enough to be what I really want, I’m even AFRAID to figure out what I really want to do.

So instead, I procrastinate…I push it away, out of my head for that hour, that day, month or year; but it always comes creeping on back in. I have tried out sleeping it, out drinking it, out – well, you get the idea; I have pretty much tried everything humanly possible to stop these thoughts that plague my brain.

I have even used my lesser procrastinations (i.e. washing my car, laundry, etc.) as tools to blow off the bigger things that I know I should handle. Which worked just fine for me, until this year, I can’t explain it really. Something went off inside me and I knew I couldn’t just coast on through my life having private trepidations hold me back repeatedly. Not when I have so much I want to do, not after losing my mother in a span of one month and being powerless about it. I can feel my potential but I was too scared shitless to utilize it.

I couldn’t keep doing this to myself. I wouldn’t allow myself to be a supporting character in my own life and if I wanted to accomplish anything, I couldn’t wait for it to happen. I had to get off my comfy arse and get too it!

I started reading self help books, travel books, writing books. I renewed my passport; started running took up dance again. I got out there, I got involved in my life and I’m still adding new things to do. It’s not about being great at everything now because I know that I can’t be but I’m never going to know where my strengths are until I get out there and try.

So what’s in store for me?
1. Writing, this blog and my book
2. Losing the last stubborn bit of this weight
3. Travel off the East coast by myself
4. Video blog
5. Apply to graduate programs both here and in London

What gets in your way? Have you been able to conquer it? If you are a former procrastinator, I would love to hear your insight!


Aleta said...

"Hello, my name is Aleta, and I'm a procrastinator"

Well, at least with some things. Exercise is one of them. If I have work to bring home, I procrastinate with that as well. I think, "I'm too tired to exercise." and "I can do the work tomorrow."

I'm a work in progress and this is something I need to focus on. Thanks for blogging about it.

jen said...

I'm also working on procrastinating. There are two main things I put off--exercise and creative writing. I've noticed that I don't put off working on my blog because I think that people will be disappointed if I don't write a post. Maybe I need some kind of accountability system for writing and exercising...