Now that’s actually quite a mouthful isn’t it? The reality is that I’ve been meaning to write about my one of my worst vices and I’ve been putting it off again and again. You’d never guess what it is, would you?
I read a really interesting post about procrastination the other week. You can read about it here if you like or put it off for a for another time: http://youarenotsosmart.com/2010/10/27/procrastination/. Admittedly the big technical words made it a somewhat challenging read that only half penetrating the fog that is my head but I did get me thinking.
Why do I procrastinate?
I procrastinate because I’m scared of ‘failing’. I’m so scared of failing that I can talk myself out of it better and faster than an expert negotiater can release hostages. Ironically however my behaviour just gets me taken hostage! I am trapped by my refusal to do things and my fear of failure only means that I do ‘fail’. Vicious circle really.
I procrastinate because I can visualise the end result and see it in all its perfect glory. I set myself impossibly high standards, I demand perfection of myself. I would be a perfectionist if I only didn’t put myself off! So yet again my procrastination provokes failure, I am a failed perfectionist. If I don’t think I can do it as well as want to then I don’t even bother trying.
I procrastinate because I burn myself out. I am day dreamer. Maybe day dreaming is linked to procrastination. As I said I can see projects finished in absolute perfect glory, I can visualise every potential what if, scenario and option. I burn myself out. I don’t have the energy to complete the task at hand. Or I tire of the project, like a toy that has been overplayed with and has been boredly discarded. Unfortunately I never get to play with the toy. Or options one or two kick in!
I procrastinate because I believe in that better future me. That future me who lives in a rose tinted world of day dreams and perfectionism can achieve all things far better and faster than I can. I am a sodden cotton wool headed lumbering mammoth who is clumsy and disorganised and is struggling with either the symptoms of Fatigue or the lethargy and motivational issues of Depression. I either can’t be ‘bothered’ to get on with something or I’m scared that it’s beyond my current energy levels. Cue nothing gets done. Cue yet more vicious circles.
It’s like writing these posts, I’m not sure how many of you are actually reading this stuff. I dream up a spectacular post, witty, informative, profound, on a regular basis. It’s a masterpiece of prose. You’d really be impressed. However these words only come clearly to me during the wee dark hours of the night when I can’t sleep.
Surely you do agree that in this situation procrastination is a sensible course of action? I’m not particularly keen to fling off the covers and leap into the cold night, tripping over things that I couldn’t be bothered to put away the day before , to switch on the computer and compose an opus when I’d rather be committing my energy to attempting to be asleep. That does seem rather reasonable doesn’t it?
Of course when day eventually dawns and I struggle from my bed these words have magically erased themselves from my head, gone, as if there were never there in the first place. It’s a little bit disconcerting. So I rack my brains (or what remains) and then, like the last couple of days have been, the more I try to think of something the more it goes. So do I sit down and write a post, knowing that of course it will be in no way comparable to what I can compose during an insomniac night of unbridled genius?
I have a fear of failure, you may know that now. Combine that with the nasty vice of procrastination then you can probably work out what the answer to that previous question is. I don’t write anything.
Of course when it comes to blogging then this isn’t an entirely serious matter, no offence to you my readers of course. Not really serious as compared to all the many things that I do procrastinate doing on a daily basis such as filling in vital forms, dealing with urgent correspondence etc.
I think I’m going have to read back over that article because I want my life to be good now not in the future, or worse yet, in some dream fantasy land. I’ll keep you posted. Maybe I won’t even leave it so long between posts the next time, you never know.