Archive | February, 2013

Procrastination

1 Feb

Started Tuesday, January 22, 2013 – completed Friday, February 01, 2013

What is the definition of procrastination? Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary gives the following definitions for the word “procrastinate”: 1. To put off intentionally and habitually. 2. To put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done.

I chose this as my subject this week because I am a master procrastinator. So much so, that I half-expected to find a picture of myself next to the definition! Why am I a procrastinator? I have a little bit of an idea. How do I stop being one? That is the quest I am currently on and am open to any thoughts you may have to help me beat this thing.

Let’s go over one of the reasons that I am a procrastinator in the hopes that it may help some of you out there who have the same affliction. I saw a counselor when I was in my twenties to deal with some depression I was having. During one of my appointments, I revealed that I was a procrastinator. My counselor immediately asked which one of my parents was an alcoholic. I was completely taken aback and wanted to know how my counselor could possibly know this about me and wondered if she had been doing some information digging outside of our sessions (since I live such an exciting and dangerous life!).

Anyway, she said that children who grow up with one or both parents who are alcoholic often become procrastinators because alcoholic parents usually make many promises that they never keep. Because of these dashed hopes and expectations, the child starts to expect that promised events never really happen. I’m guessing this is a self-preservation mechanism to try and minimize the disappointment . This translates into putting off tasks as because subconsciously we don’t believe there will be any consequences for not doing something that we have planned to do or are required to do. This thought process spans many areas of my life including paying bills, planning for school activities, important events in my family’s life (holidays, birthdays, graduations, etc.). Suffice it to say that I am sick of this habit and want to start facing life head on and just do what needs to be done.

The thing that puzzles me about this whole situation is that I feel fear when I think about completing some of the things that I know need to be done, and I can’t help but wonder why that is. Is it because I’m afraid I will fail or that I won’t be able to do what needs to be done and end up with the desired results? Those are some of the questions I must work through so I can get past this sometimes deliberate, other times subconscious, and (without a doubt) debilitating habit. The other piece that comes into play is the fact that I almost surely have undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder but that’s a subject for another day.

I like the idea of ending my posts with a quote that relates to that day’s subject so I’m going to continue that trend. I am choosing two today – one a lighter view on procrastination to make us laught, and another that is more serious and thought-provoking. Mary Poppins did tell us that “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”, did she not?

“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” –Mark Twain

“You may delay, but time will not.” –Benjamin Franklin

I am open to any suggestions about what has worked for you in overcoming procrastination and any other thoughts you have on the subject.

Until next time!!

Cheryl