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  • Kelly Marks

Procrastination

Have you ever heard the nutritional wisdom that you need to listen to your body? It will tell you what it needs? For example, if you crave steak you probably need iron or protein. If you crave carrots, you might need vitamin A. I’m not sure what crucial ingredient is to be found in milk chocolate, but I apparently need it.


These posts work the same way. I tend to write about what I need to hear: carpe diem, Zen, the messy middle, yes and. Well, uh oh. From the title, you’ve probably got a bead on what I’m up against right now.


Normally I'm a mixture of procrastinating and not procrastinating, which I suppose most people are. For the most part, I’m a “jump-right-in-and-knock-it-out” kind of person. But lately there has been a huge research project that has totally freaked me out. So immediately I slammed on the brakes and decided to wait and see if it would get better on its own. I’m sure you’re as surprised as I, that it only got worse with the same amount of work to do but less time in which to complete it.


All during high school I would promise myself that THIS week would be different. This week I would do all my homework on Friday so that I could enjoy the weekend and not be panic stricken by the end of it. And most certainly at this moment you are picturing me at the end of every weekend frantically finishing the assignments due Monday morning. It was a horrible feeling and an even worse way to start a new week.


As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten better. I like to have more control (which is another issue entirely). Long ago I devised a system: determine the scope of a project, the length of time to complete it, apply a little mathematical division and proportion it into equally manageable chunks.


Well, not this time. My current task seems to be an overwhelming project. So instead of following my trusty equation and system of attack, I just put it aside. Out of sight, out of mind. Until it wasn’t. Suddenly I find myself nauseated thinking about it. Not only do I still have to get it done, I have less time and a panicky feeling.


Why do we do this to ourselves? It has been suggested that some people actually enjoy the adrenaline rush of being under pressure. A very wise friend of mine says procrastination is based on fear: fear of the task itself, fear of failure, even fear of success, and what we fear we tend to avoid. We fear uncomfortable situations, honest conversations or confrontations, unpleasant tasks, responsibilities, and obligations.


I can’t put it off any longer; it’s time for me to push up my sleeves, dive in and get it over with. But I’m also going to cut myself some slack - which is part of the learning process. Yes, I put this off, and it’s come back to bite me, but I learned how much I hate this feeling, and I’ll do better - Next Time.




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