Monday, June 30, 2008

Procrastination


cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com

Cartoon by Dave Walker.



David has asked his readers to answer the question "Do you Procrastinate?" Which is good because I'm short of blog fodder, probably because I actually have been busy . . .unusual for me I'm usually in control and not too fussed about running around like a chook with it's head cut off . . .So do I? Of course but I am a contradiction in terms.

I'm uber organised. I'm never late, I keep track of things at work via a CRM which allows tasking and timing. I plan projects on . . .well MS Project. My files are up to date. I plan meals as best I can given the itinerant condition of my family at the moment. I am ultimately a creature of habit. I am predictable (so I've been told many times) I have my little routines. . . . early morning I check blogs and emails, have 2 cups of Irish Breakfast tea with milk and 1 sugar. I iron the day's clothes, shower, dress and tidy the kitchen. Pat the Princess, plump the cushions and head off to work . . .in the evening, come home, put on my comfies, watch the news, pour a glass of chardy, and then make dinner. I always wash up and sweep the floor before going to bed. I have coffee with my sister ever Saturday (when sport finishes) and do my grocery shopping every Sunday morning. I am ultimately reliable.

So why, when it comes to quite important things do I procrastinate . . just look at this lot!

  • Interior painting - been talking about it for a week but there's still a nasty grubby stain on the ceiling where the valley gutters leaked since torrential rain in April, all I've done is locate my paint tray and roller.
  • Washing my curtains which are decidedly grubby, I think the lounge curtains were last washed in um 2001 . . rather tardy for someone who's a fastidious house keeper
  • Passport application - ready to go. All I have to do is make a booking at the local post office, have the interview and pay the cheque
  • Buy shoes . . I have two pairs of work shoes . . sensible Colorado types but one pair has a crack clean across the sole on the ball of my foot . . why don't I just go out and buy another pair?
  • Photography course, I've missed three intakes and if I don't get cracking I'll miss the next in July!
  • Then there are the things that I know cause procrastination because they're unpleasant . . cleaning the oven, tidying the wardrobe, venturing into DrummerBoy's bedroom and climbing over the tool kits and overnight bags, playstation boxes and piles of clothes to change his sheets! Cleaning the Envyrocycle sprinklers which have become bunged up with mud after recent rain. I even went to Bunnings this weekend and bought a new leaf blower but the hinge on my kitchen cabinet is still hanging off - it didn't cross my mind to buy one whilst I was there.
So yes, I procrastinate . . I've had three balls of yarn and knitting needles in a drawer for three years . . I've had kitchen shears waiting to be sharpened on my computer desk at work for two! It's taken me 10 years to finally realise that I really must do something about my weight . . .It'll take another year before I have the courage to tell my brother that I'm pulling the plug and selling up . . .I still haven't bought my sister-in-law a birthday present, her birthday was in May . . or my sister a birthday gift . . hers was in June! It's not that I don't care, it's not that I'm lazy . . frankly I think it's because there are other things I'd rather do such as talk online or enjoy drinks and nibblies with my son and his girlfriend on a Sunny Sydney afternoon.

So why do we procrastinate? Apparently because:

  • poor time management, often associated with a distorted sense of the time available . . Oh yeah! I get carried away on Skype, Facebook, blogs, emails . . .big time!
  • an inability to prioritise . . What isn't drinking and enjoying lunch in the sun a higher priority than scrubbing the floors?
  • overload of tasks at a specific time OK I'll grant this one . . too much dirty washing on a Saturday, why couldn't he be a tie-wearing executive instead of a mud lumbered landscaper!
  • anxiety about the task, so time is spent worrying rather than doing . . Definitely true of a garden the size of Central Park, even a day's work barely makes a dint!
  • difficulty concentrating . . who me? Oh look at that pretty butterfly!
  • not knowing what is required . . .definitely not . . I KNOW what has to be done, I CHOOSE to not do it!
  • feeling overwhelmed by the task(s) When it comes to cupboards . .absolutely!
  • concern about failing or not meeting your own standards . . .nah . . .I've learned to relax a little about failing . .hey . . . if it happens often enough you get used to it!
  • fear of success and its possible consequences . . Possibly . .maybe that explains the passport thing . . once I've got it, I'll have to use it.
  • perfectionism, often associated with unrealistic standards Probably . . .unrealistic standards but perfectionism has never been a big thing. (I can hear my daughter yelling "W-h-a-t, you have to be kidding" from 12,000 miles away!
  • negative feelings - e.g. "I'm stupid", "nothing ever goes right for me" Oooooh yeah! Bowm Bowm . . chicka chickahhhh . . .
  • being bored by the task DEFINITELY . .what's fun about washing, cleaning, tidying, scooping, blowing . . .I'd rather be . . spotlighting possums with a Maglite
  • avoidance of things which are disliked or difficult . . Ever tried cleaning an oven after three years use?
Actually I think I really procrastinate on a lot of maintenance type things because I don't like doing them on my own. Even if there's someone just holding a shovel or pottering beside me doing nothing much, it's so much nicer doing the jobs you hate when you have company . . .and my 'company' make themselves very scarce when chores have to be tackled! Look, life is like ironing . . once you get motivated to put the board up . . it's all good!

Hey, slackers of the world UNITE . . . . . . .tomorrow! Procrastinate now, don’t put it off! Here are the top 10 reasons to procrastinate:

1.



18 comments:

Maggie May said...

Wonderful post! I didn't go into so much detail with mine, but you are spot on! Could have easily been mine!!!!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Just came by from Debs' blog. Procrastination is the thief of time as my husband always tells me. Good list and good set of reasons for why we do it.

Loved your Friday Fuckwit post - great title. And you featured that wanker Mugabe. Oh how I wish I had a pistol because it wouldn't take much. This is from a woman who isn't violent, hates the death penalty and so on. But, I would happily shoot that murdering bastard and forget the procrasting UN who have no teeth and no real will to remove him. Diplomacy eh? Doesn't work with despots - they are irrational and on a lower moral and intellectual level than the rest of the world.

Oops, sorry about the rant! Feel much better after that.

Grannymar said...

I will comment...

later!

Nick said...

There was a load of important stuff I had to do, but then I found this really interesting blog post on procrastination and I thought ah, I should read that because it'll explain why I procrastinate and how I can stop doing it, and so I read it, and then I read it again to make sure I'd absorbed all the key points, and then I got to wondering just how much time we waste procrastinating and then....

Well, I guess that important stuff can wait till tomorrow....

Thriftcriminal said...

I have a bad habit of procrastinating, building up a load of shit that needs doing, then getting extremely organised, making lists, ticking off tasks etc. until I am on top of it, and then I start letting it all slide again. My orgainsied state gets de-railed too easily. What I have learned is no task is as daunting in reality as it in in your head, and boring tasks need good music.

Lehners in France said...

Brilliant!!! well done Baino!!! My husband has got me sussed. I'm the practical DIY'er, but since being married to him I never know wher the tools are. Hence the job never gets started. He now asks me what I need for the job, I tell him, he delivers the tools to the rquired location and I do "the job in hand." Perfect couple really. Debs x

Anonymous said...

This is a BRILLIANT post! I must go do that tax I've been putting off for a couple of days. Sitting in the sun for a cuppa with Sis would be a priority though, and do NEED a WHOLE day. Sigh.

Baino said...

Hi Maggie . . I'll pop over to yours on the weekend!

Hey MOB, I've already been to yours a couple of times . . .problem with Mugabe is he has a bunch of cronies that would remain even if someone did top him . .feel free to rant at any time.

Grannymar: haha . . you're too busy making 'fools'

Nick: Man after my own heart. If I'm motivated I'm exceptional, if I'm not, I just put it off.

Thrifty: Welcome back! I don't believe a word of it, you can erect a playhouse in a day and plant a veggie garden at a whim!

Debs . . .tools are for boys. I'll be lost when Ads leaves home, he has all his in a little orange backpack! Put my blower together on Sunday bless his cotton sox.

Oooh yeh tax . . .refunds . . .yayaya! Must get mine sorted too!

Quickroute said...

Ah Baino, you are opening up a can o' worms by asking me that. Can't spill now but yes I am a cronic procrastinator and will spill the beans in a blog post at some point soon. Thanks for the elbow / nudge!

Kath Lockett said...

Fabbo post Baino. I'll add some of your ideas to my own.... I do my best 'work' around the house when I'm supposed to be working on the poota and vice versa. Love the cartoon too.

Baino said...

Quicky can't wait! Big dig, get crackin!

Kath you mean you avoid the puter via the Dyson . . c'mon I know you're eating chocolate for 'research'

david mcmahon said...

You're uber-organised.

I'm uber-organised.

That's two Aussie states taken care of!!

Merisi said...

Authorblog's David sent me over here! :-)

Oh dear,
why am I here,
and not there,
there were the towering ....
ah, help,
could it be?
Procrastinating!!!!
Be back as soon as I have done what I was supposed to do eons ago .... ;-)

Baino said...

Ello Marisi . g'day. Always nice to see newcomers. Loved the idea of spreading a theme. Come back soon!

Lehners in France said...

Well done on post of the day. Debs x

Merisi said...

May I report that your blog shamed me into ironing all my laundry tonight, including a skirt that was still wet?
Now I will get myself an early bedtime, reading the "The Garden of the Finzi-Contini" while listening to Berlioz's "Symphony Fantastique", this one a "chore" from my "pleasures backlog".
Thank you! :-)

Sandi McBride said...

I don't know, I'm looking around to see where you're hiding, because these lists I know darn well I wrote! I especially love the grungey lounge curtains which haven't been washed since 2001...it was 2001, right? I've decided to just rip mine down and put up new ones...they should last well into 2013...don't you think?
btw David sent me!
Sandi

Baino said...

Merisi . . .I don't iron . .do it as I go! I love the idea of a 'pleasures backlog'!k

Hey Sandi, new visitors always welcome. So many blogs, so little time. Actually, my modus operendi is to buy a new oven every five years! 'sweet'!