I am not a procrastinator.
The main reason that I do not procrastinate is due to how I was raised. We were taught that you could not "play" until the work was done. No matter what the work was, you had to finish it before you could take off for the day.
Even though I don't really think like that these days---I'm the boss of ME and can do whatever I want---it's an unconscious thought that keeps me on the straight and narrow. All through my volunteer years---I was "chief" organizer---chairing too many events to count. I had many great people that loved to work with me and we all worked well together. I could count on them and they could count on me. What I learned early on is that it didn't matter how long you gave a person to do a task, they usually waited until the last minute. Me, not so much. I usually started right away---thinking things like---"what if something comes up next week and I can't get to it?" Or, "what if I'm sick next week or the week after?" What if, what if what if...
Of course, it's easy to NOT procrastinate if you are really looking forward to a task. With me, that poses quite a quandary. If I'm looking forward to the task it becomes FUN which puts it in to a whole 'nother category.
This week, I listened to a Ted Talk about procrastinating. Ironically, I have had it on my "reading list" for about a year---I procrastinated listening to the talk about procrastinating! Why? Because listening to Ted Talks is FUN! It was so interesting---and hilarious. What I learned was that WE are ALL procrastinators! I was shocked at that thought! When the explanation came, I realized that "he" was right---I AM a procrastinator!
This fellow (I have a terrible memory--that's a completely different problem!) was explaining about the two different types of procrastinators. You have regular procrastinators who procrastinate with just about everything whether they have a deadline or not. And then you have the people like me who never procrastinate when they have a deadline, but procrastinate just about EVERYTHING that doesn't have a deadline!
OMGosh! What a revelation! It made me take a hard look at myself. I AM a major procrastinator. I never thought about it, but that would explain why I never was able to get the ironing done. I had that on my "to do" list for at least 5 years before I just took it off. I never iron! I'm never going to iron! Who am I kidding---I just decided to face that fact and take it off of my list. What a relief---it no longer haunts me. If I need to iron, it's on an "as needed" basis---which is pretty rare. A fluff in the dryer is good enough for me! I used to joke that I just waited until everything in the laundry basket went out of style and then just got rid of it. That's where I came up with the label of "lazy" for myself. Turns out I'm not lazy---just a procrastinator. That seems better. I don't really consider myself a lazy person (my siblings would say otherwise---as they called me that all the time growing up).
I live with a major procrastinator. I always somehow thought of that as a flaw. Now don't get me wrong---he's an extremely hard worker and does all kinds of unpleasant things that I would totally procrastinate myself. But what I am now realizing---he only procrastinates the things I want him to do! Boy, wouldn't a therapist love to get ahold of this one! Now that I know the key to procrastinators is a deadline---I'll be giving "him" deadlines from now on! Then we'll see how things go!
I also realized that my procrastination---although I didn't recognize that---is the reason I live my life on a timeline! I inadvertently SET deadlines for myself in order to get things done. I organize my house---which basically means clean out stuff---every January. This January, I didn't do a thing---using Mindy's wedding as my excuse. Heck no---I was totally on top of the wedding and basically wasted January. Now I have "clean out my closet" on the "to do" list and haunting me. Well, NO MORE! I refuse to have to call myself a procrastinator!! Today is the day. I'm tacking that closet. Yep, I am. You read it here. It's happening! For sure! Well, right after I catch up on some blog reading and my morning tea and a show I want to watch so I can stitch and checking out Facebook. Hmmm, maybe I'll just start on it today and finish tomorrow or Sunday, or next weekend. And my book is so good. What the heck, maybe it can wait until next January. What do you think?
It's going to require a LOT of trying on. A lot! A whole lot. Yes, I'm doing it! Maybe...
What have you procrastinated lately? Come on, now that I know we all do it, fess up!
PS If you are so inclined, here is the link to that Ted Talk if you have a spare 14 minutes. So worth it!