I meant to get this blog written yesterday. Well, okay, I meant to have it done on Monday, but that obviously didn’t happen. I also meant to get a bunch of pages edited on my WIP (work in progress) this week so I can finally, finally ship it off to an editor. But, um, that hasn’t happened yet, either. I have a bedroom I’ve been meaning to paint. A garage I’ve been meaning to purge. Photos I’ve been meaning to organize since, well…my kids were in grade school. Somehow, these things get transferred from one week’s to-do list to the next.
But others get lined up and checked off, pretty as you please. I have yet to miss a meal because I never got around to cooking. (Although that probably wouldn’t hurt once in a while.) I get myself to work when I’m scheduled. Laundry gets done, the house gets cleaned on a semi-regular basis, and the bills get paid. Blogging, writing, editing, all things I love, get done…eventually.
So what’s the difference between one thing and the next? Why do some tasks get checked off, while others will probably still be on my to-do list the day I die?
I’ve given this some thought lately—when I should have been doing other things, naturally—and here’s what I’ve come up with.
Connie’s Top Three Reasons to Procrastinate:
1. The task is too overwhelming.
Whisper the words “photo organization” to me and I want to run and hide under the bed. The very idea is overwhelming, mainly because the task is waaay too big. I need a strategy to chop it into smaller, manageable chunks. If it seems doable, I’ll do it.
2. There’s no clear-cut measurement.
When I’m, say, editing, how do I know I’m “done”? Even if I set a page count, are the pages any good? Do I have to do it again? The not knowing makes me not want to do it at all. I need a way to measure progress.
3. I don’t want to do this.
Sometimes, frankly, I have no earthly desire to complete [fill in the blank], but my [family, friends, boss, mother] thinks I should. Ah, the dreaded “shoulds.” Don’t you hate them? I’m trying to move these out of my life permanently.
There you have it. My top three reasons for putting things off. So, what’s on your list? Better yet, what do you do when procrastination strikes? How do you fight back?