Procrastination in a Hurry

I know I have a tendency to procrastinate, to ignore difficult or unpleasant tasks. I’ve been trying to combat this through awareness. I’ll recognize the feeling and work to power through it. This is marginally effective. Something I have not directed my attention towards is analyzing is my tendency to rush everything, everywhere, all the time. This has always been true but seems to have gotten worse in the age of everything in 140 characters or less.

I had one of those punch-you-in-the-face moments of awareness yesterday when I discovered that these characteristics are related to the same underlying need to relieve tension.

There is tension in the unfinished. Unfinished writing projects, unfinished work assignments, that awful scarf I’ve been crocheting for 2 years, the unfinished “diet,” half marathon training plan, etc.

Once a project begins it’s unfinished until it’s finished. That’s stressful. I think I don’t like that feeling, but I haven’t been aware of this issue long enough to have the awareness to know for sure.

There are three ways to relieve or avoid this tension, as far as I can tell. The first is not to start. The second is to finish and do so quickly. The third is to quit, rationalize it, and never think of it again. I’ve done a fairly even mix of all three of these with the mediocre results you’d expect.

But what if I could learn to live with tension or even embrace it? This is sort of mind boggling to me. Start a project and devote the time and attention it deserves to make it really great, regardless of how uncomfortable the process is. Perhaps I would even learn to enjoy this process.

There’s really only one thing on my bucket list, and it’s been there since I was in 4th grade. I want to write a book. I can imagine this is how books get written.

2 thoughts on “Procrastination in a Hurry

  1. jcdad

    Stress is a continuing form of fear caused by inaction. Once you identify the issue and take action the fear and potential stress disappear. You can use the tension as a motivating force.

    After my surgery, perhaps because of the drugs, I was having what amounted to panic attacks. I heard it described as a free floating anxiety and I used the above knowledge to get through them. I would identify something I should do and go do it, often something very simple like going through my weekly or monthly schedule. The anxious feeling quickly subsides.

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  2. jcdad

    We listened to Brian Tracy a lot and one of his mantras was “I do it now, I do it now.” Always say it as a positive action. If you say I don’t procrastinate your mind only processes the action word, procrastinate.

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