>Investigating Procrastination

>I know why I procrastinate. The reason came through this morning while folding laundry, and made me smile of how witty, and innovative I really am. It turns out I am not self-sabotaging and being irresponsible after all.

In July, a woman contacted me who runs a mom’s group of about 65 woman. She had read an article of mine in momtalk.com magazine and asked me to speak- in October. I thought, why sure I have plenty of time to prepare. I am off work the month of August and will put it together then. August came, and I spent it clearing out my home, and having a garage sale. Then September rolled in, and I started back to work. About mid-to-late September I began putting it together. This entire time it was this huge thing out there that I knew I had to do, but wasn’t. However, I will give myself credit I was taking notes.
This weekend, I have devoted to finishing the presentation, power point with guided meditations and all. Today I woke up an hour later than intended, did my usual morning routine, went downstairs to fold and put in another load of laundry- while thinking about the presentation. For the first time since I began this process I didn’t check in with my feeling space to see if I felt like working on it. When the investigation tried to happen, very quickly I thought- It doesn’t matter if I feel like it or not, it is going to get done. And then I understood.
Prior to this a-ha folding laundry moment, I had been curious why I put off working on something until right before it is due, hardly giving myself enough time to even finish, although I always seem to. This putting off has been a long standing habit of mine. I wondered, is it because I was born late, and just can’t help it? Or was there a way I could actually finish a project before it is due, and have that time to unwind, relax and prepare for the presentation of it? And if so, how? All I knew is I had a subtle desire not to be confined by this is what I do, so this is who I am, so this is what I do- wait until the last minute- mindset. Again, I wanted freedom, which allowed for this:
I “procrastinate” because the pressure, which builds after waiting so long provides a deep focus and resiliance I don’t have when I still think I have enough time. When I still think I have the luxury of- do I feel like working on this today? This focus and resilience is what I like to see in myself, and apparently don’t give myself permission to use it unless it is absolutely needed. What if I told focus and resilience, I need them more than I don’t (especially in light of all I want to do)? What if I made space for them to show up, and allowed for the pressure and anxiety to dissipate? How might I create, as Cicero suggested: The pursuit, of even the best things ought to be calm and tranquil.”
The good news is I have never procrastinated for so long, the project never gets done. If this is the case, I think there are deeper issues, which I will not take time to investigate now. I have a presentation due on Wednesday, and my focus and resilience is strong.
What are you putting off what you could choose to do today? What are you telling yourself about yourself putting it off? Are you calling yourself names, or are you being forgiving? Are you curious about this behavior, and do you want freedom from it?
Insight into ourself, and our mysterious, and sometimes annoying ways, always provides freedom, if we listen and take heed.

The Soul Reporter, who will report again after presenting her finished product.

3 thoughts on “>Investigating Procrastination

  1. >The art of procrastination is in knowing when the last moment is that a project can be started and then done with quality. It requires skill in estimating the scope of the project and the time required. Sometimes I have calculated well and sometimes I have underestimated. I am a true procrastinator. I enjoyed your blog.

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