Tuesday, April 10, 2007

About Procrastination

If you can't be a good example,
then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.
Catherine Aird

Or I could just call this the guilt post. Or the too much thinking post.

I have been doing alot of thinking lately about exactly why I procrastinate. I have had a long and deeply unsatisfying relationship with procrastination and wasnt sure exactly why I do it. I am not sure I have figured it out either, I have a feeling the reasons are dependant on what I am procrastinating about. Or maybe I dont want to figure it out yet.

My way of "dealing" with anything like this is to become VERY introspective (if you knew me I am thinking that you would feel this is odd and against nature!). So I hide. I know I hide so I tell myself it is ok to hide, I just acknowledge that some day I have to face it, whatever it is.

And so I have begun a process of "outing" myself.

Example 1. I hate cleaning (hello who does really like it??). What makes it funny is that I am good at it!! Anyway, my house is clean, just untidy. Or rather it was, it is now looking pretty good. The reason? A few weekends ago I refused to make any plans with friends so that I couldnt make any excuses to NOT clean & tidy. What made this time different is that I also admitted to a friend that I not only had an untidy house, but exactly how I managed to avoid thinking about cleaning & tidying it. It felt oddly liberating, admitting to a very successful procrastinating technique. Admiting how I hide things from others and most importantly myself.

How do I hide thigs from myself? The technique I use goes something like this. Picture me, hoping from foot to foot, fingers in ears and eyes tightly closed, while singing "I'm not listening, I'm not listening!" (ok, I am not looking either!)Childish behaviour, yes. I have been successfully using it for at least 35 years! But after admitting my procrastination (and the technique) to said friend, well strangely enough, I felt compelled to clean house!!

In terms of procrastinating and craft, well I have a really bad habit of starting craft projects and then not finishing them. It doesnt come down to ability, hey even BP has said I am fearless when it comes to craft (which is a HUGE compliment coming from her!). And maybe I am when I start, but cant just manage to get it across the finish line. I will just ignore, even erase it from my memory. Pretend it did not exist so that I can not feel guilty.

So there it is. Guilt, an emotion no one likes, especially me. I am going to "out" myself, I will begin to list the things I am working on AND I will update you on how they are going.

But for today I am going to "out" myself about something else. Soulcradler, BP's good buddy was in Sydney for Easter. We had planned to catch up and a few things happened, nothing that was that momentous to stop our meeting, but it did. Or rather I let it stop us meeting. My being stubborn and not wanting to change other plans (and falling asleep on my couch while watching Buffy) meant that I missed meeting this gorgeous creature and may have upset the gorgeous BP (that is guilt and grovelling at it's finest!!). I feel I will have some 'xplaining to do, and some grovelling, and I know exactly how......... (stay tuned)

But for now, here is a litle something for Soulcradler, a congrats for her first term as a teacher. This one is for you!!

ps you may have guessed that my most successful procrastination technique is thinking too much and not doing......... got to work on that one!! :)

pps Need to follow Nora's advice and work on 1 project at a time. I know it's the right thing to do, it just feels so wrong!! :)


SoulCradler said...

Ah, sweet girl, I've no cause to admonish you - you seem to do a good enough job of that yourself!

I just finished 4 years of study, I know all about procrastination.

And I also know that a long weekend is perfect "cave time", so don't feel too bad, we will meet one day (mwahahaha).

My shyness/procrastination thing is not calling people until the last minute. I really hate the phone (yes, I'm female...), and consequently missed out on making a few plans whilst in Sydney myself.

Keep in touch. And thanks for the pretty flower.

2paw said...

I'm a procrastinator too!! I am always putting off till tomorrow what I can do today- especially housework. I can always find time to read a book or watch TV!! Perhaps you work best under pressure- that's how I like to think of it!!!

Bells said...

Hey you - I'm one of those too.

And who has a good relationship with procrastination? Do you know someone who does?

I hid from the world over Easter because the world is a nasty, sucky place and there's a little warm spot on the couch that is safe and mine.

So I hear you. Can you just post a picture of something you're working on, so we know you're making something?

SadieandLance said...

Hey don't freak out about procrastinating from house work - my theory is if my friends don't like the state of my house it's their problem, not mine. Having said that I will do my best to at least take the stinking garbage out before you arrive and sweep the carpet of cat fur and food crumbs off the floor boards - but I'll procrastinate for as long as posasible before doing it.

Embrace it baby, what else can you do?!

Donyale said...

Heh he - once you get over procrastinating about cleaning just pop over to my place and give my house the once over too if you wouldn't mind. ;)

Jejune said...

Hi Shazmina - have enjoyed reading your comments on Bells' Blog, so thought I'd come on over :)

Oh sweet procrastination... sigh. Yup, me too.

I sometimes use procrastination on things I REALLY don't want to do (eg GST calculations for my Business Activity Statement) to get me doing other things I generally don't want to do (eg wash the dishes) - so I'll avoid one nasty chore by doing a different nasty chore.

I gather (from various professionals) that procrastination is often a symptom of perfectionism or unrelenting standards :

(I'm quoting phrases from information written by Dr Jeffrey Young here) -
"Inordinate attention to detail, an underestimation of one's own performance, rigid rules, 'shoulds' in many areas of life, unrealistically high moral or ethical precepts, preoccupation with time and efficiency so more can be achieved... Typically results in feelings of pressure or difficulty slowing down, and hypercriticalness towards oneself and others."

All these can give rise to major procrastination - cos if everything you do has to be so perfect, it's way too daunting to get started on anything.

Sorry - that was all a bit intense for my first post on your Blog! But as you can probably tell, perfectionism and procrastination are things I struggle with too (to the point of getting professional help)...

I love your Clapotis - the colour is just divine! :D