I procrastinate so much I even procrastinate about procrastinating. The biggest tool of my procrastination is my Ipad Pro. There are endless things to do on that particular piece of technology that easily distract me from what I SHOULD be doing, like my business taxes or packing that glass order for shipping. I can trace the roots of this way back to my years as a small child.
As a little kid, back in the days when we didn’t have cable TV at my house, I will still able to use the television as an effective way to procrastinate. My #1 go to was , “Just five more minutes then I’ll do ………….”. Usually it was a way to avoid having to go to bed, which I hated. Or it was a way to put off practicing the piano, doing homework, or some other less than enjoyable task. In university I procrastinated on the first ever correspondence course I took, leaving everything until the 11th hour and then going into full on panic mode. That’s the only course I ever failed. 42% in Elementary Logic. How ironic.
Fast forward to my early 40’s and I managed somehow to overcome my nemesis and spent countless hours getting my Masters Degree. I had to be focused, self directed, and a great manager of time. I still don’t know how I did it. Endless hours of mind numbing research, half of my life writing and working with my fellow students. Perhaps this exercise in self discipline wore me out, because I’m back to where I started. Endless Procrastination and the resulting panic when things aren’t done.
You’re likely wondering if I really am a procrastinator, considering that I work full time as a Visual Arts teacher, have my own glass business, and toil on the highways and rinks as a hockey mom. Where would I even find the time to procrastinate? Let me explain. As a teacher, there is no time to procrastinate, because the students are demanding, as is the employer. I can’t do it in hockey either, because the schedule dictates where I have to have my son and when. So, it all boils down to my glass business. At the end of the day I am tired and cranky and feeling anything buy ready to put in another 5-6 hours of work.
Here’s 5 great tips to help YOU procrastinate. They work well for me. You may need an ipad or similar digital device for this!
- Play Candy Crush, promising yourself (or should I say lie to yourself, that it will only be five minutes)
- Check out what’s on Netflix. When you find something you like, once again, tell yourself it will be for 30 minutes, MAX!
- Cruise Facebook to see what everyone is up to. It’s also a good time to “Creep” other pages you are curious enough.
- Grab a great book or magazine and say you’ll only read one Chapter. To legitimize your time wasting, make it relevant to whatever you are avoiding. For me, that means reading something about being an entrepreneur. Technically it’s related to my business.
- Have a nap. Remind yourself how tired you are, and how a quick pick me up will enhance your creativity.
Of course, the problem with procrastination is that the thing you are avoiding won’t go away. In fact, it will grow in importance and urgency from the simplest of tasks to a Mount Everest of an issue. Then everyone is mad. You’re mad for procrastinating, the client is mad when their order isn’t ready, the tax man wants his money and you’ve avoided book keeping for an entire year and now it will take about 50 hours of work to straighten it all out. Not that I’ve recently done that, of course.
What can I say? I’m human, working an inhuman schedule. My house is a mess, my laundry is in a pile, and my culinary skills have morphed into ordering pre-prepared meals that are delivered. So why don’t I cut back? Here’s my best guess. I’m wired a lot of the time and thrive on adrenaline. I’m type A and always wanted my own business. That’s all I’ve got.
So this week, tell me your best strategies for avoiding procrastination. If you’ve got nothing, then tell me ways you procrastinate so I don’t feel so bad.