Procrastination. The thing I learned best in school. Why is it that it feels so good to push something onto the back burner that you know you are going to have to confront and get done, that you WANT to get done. To just ignore it. That feeling of accomplishment when you are mentally pushing back on what you should be doing. You feel so independent from your more responsible self. Screw that, I’m watching mindless television!
Sadly, that has been my problem with my blog this week. I am attempting to post something religiously every week on Tuesday at the latest and here it is, Thursday and I have nothing. But of course, I know the reason why. I needed to feel that little bit of control. The control over your life where you can say, “You know, I really don’t have to do this today.” It’s nice and necessary at times. But unfortunately, it can also become a disease.
Which is ultimately what procrastination has become in my life over the past few months. Everything that I have wanted to do, wanted to focus on was on a list in the back of my head, on my own subconscious back burner, and I kept telling myself “you don’t have to do this now.” As if putting it off would somehow make it so I could just pull it forward and there it would be – perfectly seasoned and simmered and ready for consumption. Important parts of my life were shoved back there – health, relationships, family, friends, writing, my career, exercise, money. I was living day by day focusing only on what it took to get through just that one, and not even considering the next.
The result? No progress, a close examination of my self-destructive behavior, and enough stress to produce my first white hair. Not gray hair, mind you. White. Stark white.
So, I decided it was time for a change. While I am a firm believer in that change comes slowly, there are times that require a sudden lifestyle change. On my birthday in April, I made a pact with myself to extract poisons from my life, in all spectrums. I ended a few friendships that had become toxic, I found a new day job, I quit smoking. All in all, a pretty successful resolution.
A few weeks ago, I realized the plague procrastination was putting on me. I needed to extract it. So I did something that everyone says is important to do. I made a list.
I started with things that I wanted to do every day. Then every week. Then every month. Every three months. Every year. I am not going to share this list. Some of these things are embarrassing to have to write down…
And finally, I made a list of all the things I have been meaning to get done. Things like writing letters, visiting cities, cleaning the bathtub. Things I want to do – that I would really enjoy doing. Things I should be doing. Instead of just wasting my time watching the same episode of Friends or Big Bang Theory for the fourth time.
So I took this list and started budgeting time alongside money. Every Sunday night, I plan my week, dollar by dollar and hour by hour, down to an alert that tells me when I need to get ready for bed to be able to get up in the morning for coffee, breakfast, and reading and still not be rushed.
Perry makes fun of me for this. As I’m sure you all are in your heads right now. Don’t get me wrong, I rarely follow this plan. I’m usually good until Tuesday night rolls around. Then the whole thing gets completely off to the point where you could barely recognize my life and my plan were supposed to be alike.
But in essence, that’s kind of the point of the change. I’m trying to see what pops up in life that turns out to be more important than my plan. And what in my plan turns out to be more important than what life is throwing at me.
In the end, no matter what, I’m more focused on what I deem important. And I’m hoping to make sure that I’m not wasting what I have – that when I am mindlessly watching Big Bang Theory, it’s because I NEED some mindless television. Not that I am simply at a loss of what to do with the time between waking up and going to work.
So now I’m actually on time for my internship, coffee in hand. I wear dresses on Mondays. And I might actually finish Nicholas Nickleby before the year is out.