Saturday, August 22, 2009

Those Who Don't Have Enough Time are Often Procrastinators

To my dear and prudent readers, who themselves have probably never dreamed of procrastinating on anything,

It is not actually an issue of not having the time of day to do something; rather it is the issue of dawdling so much along the way, that prevents me from accomplishing my intended tasks.

This odd disease of which I speak is, of course, procrastination...

When a distasteful task is set before me, it is as though a celestial coin-toss takes place and there are 50/50 odds of me either rolling up my metaphorical sleeves and digging in with gritty determination, or else pathetically concoting a thousand excuses and rationalizations to delay the beginning of the task.

Case in point #1: Scrubbing the back bathroom. For some mysterious reason, I dislike doing this. I am fine with scrubbing the front bathroom, but literally for two months (or was it two and a half months?) I put off scrubbing the back bathroom. I usually clean the house starting from the front (living room, kitchen, foyer), and work my way back through the hallway, office, guest bathroom, and then the bedroom, and by the time I reach the back bathroom I have rationalized to myself that I need to start homework or go to the grocery store, or sift flour or surf, or do some activity other than the heinous one at hand.

Editor's note: I eventually ended up scrubbing the bathroom, but this was only when I decided to start cleaning the house from the back, and work my way forward. One could say I had determined to face my fears in a manner that would make it more difficult for me to escape them.

Case in point #2: Just a mere two weeks ago, I had a short run I needed to accomplish (3 miles). This can be done in about half an hour and truly is not that painful! However, I drove to the appointed spot where I intended to begin, and sat in my car listening to the radio and organizing my purse for half an hour, dawdling, lollygagging, boondoggling, frittering time away ... whatever moniker is affixed to my activity, it all came down to the same thing: procrastination.

Editor's note: I did eventually go on the run, and enjoyed it immensely, and felt good once I finished. Why didn't I just start earlier and save myself the mental anguish of anticipation?

It is far nicer to just skip past all of the pre-activity anxiety and just engage immediately in the task; oftentimes it is not that bad once I begin, and sometimes (such as with running) it is enjoyable and even fun once I begin.

Logically, I know this to be true;

but, dear reader, in my closing remarks I have no sage aphorisms for you and no moral truths to divulge because I feel myself unfit to guide on a path which I have not yet traveled without considerable error. I have no compass with which you can guide yourself unequivocally away from the dark forest of procrastination (although I could suggest you find a coin and toss it to determine whether or not you should dally before an activity). In the world of literature, I understand that all are imperfect and the half-blind are supposed to lead the blind, and that often the "secret" truth is just a trite saying ("Find yourself!") that carries little weight and no meaning past the intitial rush of adrenaline. However, I have no trite sayings, but I could appropriately quote a familiar marketer who is known for their motivational slogans and equipment.

Just do it, people.

With a spirit of encouragement,

Mrs H
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