Friday, May 11, 2012

Do you think I procrastinate?

(SYLC 18)

"Do you think I procrastinate?"

I asked my dear friend P as we drained a huge pot of tea at Saturday breakfast. I'd been thinking about this all week and already knew the answer was yes. Like everyone, I procrastinate. I put things off I don't want to do in favour of more pleasurable activities. Hey, I'm human.

Or that's what I thought the extent of it was. But his answer actually totally took me by surprise. It's not the small things that he thinks I drag my feet on, but fairly big life decisions. He gave me numerous examples, including the following.

For years I was quite unhappy with my living situation - I was sharing an apartment and it was really getting me down. I really wanted my own space. Even though I had the means to get out I delayed the jump for another three years, alot of that time feeling miserable and wanting out. 

Why did I wait so long? I know the answer to that now question. It was fear – fear of not making the right decision, the best decision, the OPTIMAL decision. In this case if I lived alone it would cost me more and I didn't think I could afford it. What if I bought and it wasn't the perfect place? What if I rushed and made a poor decision? 

What I didn't realise at the time was what the current living situation was costing me was far more expensive – damage to my emotional state and hindrance to my personal growth. When I did get out the first thing I thought was "Why did I wait so long to do this?".

I have to thank P for sharing his insights with me. He's right of course, and I've learned something very valuable about myself. If something doesn't feel right, or isn't working, procrastinating on a change is not really an option. Delaying what will be inevitable can mean wasted time (years in my case), and damage that can take time to mend. As as I've been reminded lately, time is short.

There is no more perfect time than now.
Postscript: This week's challenge also reminded me that delaying the inevitable can only make matters worse on the small things also. I've been putting off a presentation that I need to put together for a conference next week because it has seemed huge and I was a bit stuck on how to structure it. I decided to delay in writing this blog (what I really wanted to do with my spare time) until AFTER I completed a presentation. I procrastinated on the presentation all week… but it's almost done, so here's my post :-)

Postscript: and the final presentation




4 comments:

  1. It is so interestimg reading everyone's stories - 1 person procrastinates/ over-thinks on big decisions and others do it on the little things day to day. we are all different but we do all have some things that we put off due to stress, fear, overwhelm etc. (Glad you got your presentation done too!)

    deb @ home life simplified

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  2. Congratulations on getting your presentation done before your blog post and for getting them both done :) I procrastinated on my blog post this week because I hadn't given myself time to sit and even read the topic properly. Instead of finding 5 mins to read and sort out what I might like to write about, I kept putting it off. Tonight I decided I was just going to do it!! So now it's 2.09am and I really need to get to bed. Lucky tomorrow is Mother's Day and I get a sleep in :p

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  3. Well done getting most of the work done on your presentation! Always harder to do the hard things before the fun things! I hope the presentation goes well!

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  4. From a fellow procrastinator, well done to having completed your presentation and the blog post. I too delay decisions even when I know I will be better off once done.

    Stacey-Lee :D

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