Saturday, November 3, 2007
Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday!!
When I was a child, I was told that there was never a word called "can't". I remember each time I was afraid of facing a certain daunting task ahead of me and I would hesitate, my father's words would come rolling in BIG BOLD letters...."don't give up without trying"... I did do as wished, and was most times successful. Those few times when I did fail, I always looked back at the experience and had a smile on my face. I knew I had tried.
Life's taken many turns, some tough, some so easy, I need to pinch myself to acknowledge that it indeed went past my shadows. But lately I realised, a strange kind of attitude has set in. The belief in one's self is still intact. But there is a certain extent to which there is a "I think i'll keep it aside for tomorrow" There are lots of words to describe it....the most important being "PROCRASTINATION" .
I'm sure if Tys were to read this, I'd be on his list of executables :)
Why do we do it? The most impressive people I know are all terrible procrastinators. So could it be that procrastination isn't always bad?
There are three variants of procrastination, depending on what you do instead of working on something: you could work on
(a) nothing, (b) something less important, or (c) something more important. The last one i'd have to say is one of the most difficult, and maybe good procrastination too...
Should we then put off all things ?
Should we just put off stuff that we consider insignificant or small and work towards better stuff?
Should putting off small menial tasks like making your bed, bathing, shaving , stuff like that before you work on your bestseller , or bending your back on that really important design for your office, be considered procrastination?? I wouldn't think so, but maybe the one who wants these very small stuff done might..and so you land up being his kind of procrastinator...
Errands are so effective at killing great projects that a lot of people use them for that purpose. Someone who has decided to design a house, for example, will suddenly find that the house needs cleaning. People who fail to design huoses don't do it by sitting in front of a blank screen or sheets for days without writing anything. They do it by feeding the cat, going out to buy something they need for their apartment, meeting a friend for coffee, checking email, dropping their kids off to camp. "I don't have time to work," they say. And they don't; they've made sure of that....
Sometimes I feel its us who bring it on ourselves.
But what do you do when you know you're there , doing what you never want to, that is "procrastinate" ?? Do you give up those excuses, start afresh and stop putting things off?
Each time an opportunity crops up where I can work on this putting off things habit...I think of umpteen reasons, that the other friend of mine might have if they did the same task. I also come up with absurd reasons to put it off...." kids, school work, family, health and what not" . You mean to say all the others who are getting all the work done are not having these same issues?? They manage pretty well to do it, its only that they have put things into a priority list, and their list stands out well structured.
The person who puts off his very important issue to handle things around him on a much smaller scale might eventually get a name for himself, that of being a great organiser, a great teammate, a great cook, a great friend (she/he's always there when you need them) but does the person in question really want to be that??
You may feel at this point that structured procrastination requires a certain amount of self-deception, since one is in effect constantly perpetrating a pyramid scheme on oneself. Exactly. One needs to be able to recognize and commit oneself to tasks with inflated importance and unreal deadlines, while making oneself feel that they are important and urgent. This is not a problem, because virtually all procrastinators have excellent self-deceptive skills also. And what could be more noble than using one character flaw to offset the bad effects of another?
I've always been motivated by a dear friend who always never stops to inspire that itsy bit of confidence in me. But I've always put off, stating reasons so absurd now to my own ears. But what am I doing to get there???
Me, I'm taking some time off to have a little chat with the child in me. She's still waiting for her dreams, after all. And I'm learning how to make them. Bit by bit, I'm learning.
And one day, we'll walk tall...., dreams and all