Monday, October 11, 2010

Procrastination


If you've followed along for awhile, you know that I am a procrastinator. I am. It's not that I like waiting until the last minute, and in fact I try - really try - to work ahead and prepare in advance and get things done before it gets really stressful.

But somehow, there is always a crunch at deadline time, and I realize that I just didn't get enough done earlier and now there's a whole pile of stuff left. The adrenaline rush makes me work extra fast and sorta more efficiently. It also makes me crazy - making stupid decisions, missing important stuff, making mistakes, which isn't so efficient after all. So I've been working at this procrastination problem. And I think I've done a much better job this year.

One of the little quotes that I cut from a magazine long ago and keep in my little stack of goals and to-do's and stuff is this:

"Procrastination is a way for us to be satisfied with second-rate results; we can tell ourselves we'd have done a better job if only we'd had more time . . . If you're good at rationalizing, you can keep yourself feeling rather satisfied this way, but it's a cheap happy. You're whittling your expectations of yourself down lower and lower." - Richard O'Connor, PhD, in Happy At Last: The Thinking Person's Guide to Finding Joy (St. Martin)

This quote, when I read it, made so much sense to me. I realized that I was starting to get a little too comfortable with the "well, it's good enough for now" thinking that I was doing. But if I was honest with myself, it really wasn't good enough. I had bigger goals, higher expectations. Not perfection, but not the rushed and sloppy bits either.

It's all probably a lot deeper than just a habit. There's really only certain things that I put off - other things never get affected. I suppose I should be spending time figuring out what and why those particular tasks are bothering me.

While I was working through some long forgotten piles last week (it was suuuuper slow over at Group Health last week which was both bad for sales but good for my getting work done) I found this little scrap tucked into the wrong folder. I loved reading it again. Just thought I'd share it in case you're in the same place.

Monday morning - I worked a lot over the weekend and was all ahead of the game today. Ran out to do some banking and drop off all the orders I packed ahead. Oh yeah. It's a flippin' holiday today and those people all have the day off. Arrrgh.