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Do We All Procrastinate? or is it just me...

Updated on April 20, 2011

Procrastination, Destination…What Comes First?


Here I am, sitting alone in my contemplating room. I've taken the time to rearrange the furniture in order to make room for my new writing desk, which I expect, will arrive any day now. I've come to the conclusion that I cannot continue to write the final chapters of my book until my new desk is situated in the open space across from me… Tell me, does this sound like I'm procrastinating?

Procrastination really should be my middle name. I've been doing it forever, not consciously, of course, but rather, I've chosen to do more important things before I have to get to the things that I don't want to do. If I know there is something I have to tackle, and I know that it's going to be uncomfortable, or somewhat daunting… my mind shifts into autopilot. Most generally, this is when I clean the closets, the kitchen cupboards, or wash my garage floor.

Am I any different from anyone else? Am I the only one who runs from discomfort and the mild unpleasantries we must deal with in life? I think not.

Being self-employed along with my husband, I'm able to take time off during the slow season. Last January I spent several days at home alone with the idea of typing many pages; in turn, turning the pages into chapters to try and finish my book. The mornings brought on the desire to drink coffee while I sat in front of the picture window. Naturally, I was contemplating how I was going to start the next chapter while cheating the rest of nature, as I was warm; on the other side of the glass, it was not. By ten o'clock I had most everything under control. The laundry was well under way; sometimes it was already folded and put away. The need for another cup of java was always stronger than my desire to start in with the daunting task of digging deeper into my past. Maybe I'll sit here and drink one more cup, and then I'll start writing. Around eleven a.m. I managed to put on my winter coat and slide on my snow boots. I was anxious to clean up the latest dusting of crystal white offerings from the mornings' snowfall off the driveway before I let it get too deep. I needed the exercise anyway; I'll be sitting all afternoon when I start writing . By the time I'd finished shoveling, the empty stall in our garage, which sported slop and debris from the undercarriage of my husbands SUV, was then screaming for my attention. I better do this now or he'll be home and I'll never get a chance. All that mud will just make it's way into the house if I don't clean it up…God knows he's not going to do it.

Well, we have and extremely long driveway, and if I do say so myself; I'm a very meticulous housekeeper. All of that said, by three o'clock in the afternoon, I finally sat down to tackle a bit more of my story. Most of my time was spent on reading what I'd already written before… I thoroughly enjoy writing, I love to sit down and put my thoughts on paper (or my computer). Yet, if I find my subject a bit unnerving, there is a great inertia that makes everything so difficult for me to start. That's when the procrastination gets its power. Do I procrastinate? Yes…I do…

I was once told, "If you find you're having a difficult time getting started on a new chapter, you must realize, it's a way of being certain there is priceless material inside of you just waiting to make it to the paper".

I know there is something inside my mind; I know that it's anxious to escape, and it's ready to erupt and let go of me. Although, I find the subject matter somewhat undesirable, I maybe, find it even a bit depressing. I've become witness to my own mind playing tricks on me when I know there is something of this nature I must face head on. Therefore, there is always something more pressing. Notoriously, there is always another project to get out of the way or another load of laundry to fold. Something takes precedence each and every time I have to do something, which I find scathing or uncomplimentary.

Why do we, as humans, procrastinate? Do animals procrastinate? Do fish? how about birds? We are the intelligent species, yet I have to think, if a bird procrastinated building a nest, the baby birdies wouldn't have much of a chance, would they?

Even though it seems as if we procrastinate all the time, we really only do it when we don't have the desire to face our own habitions, our own bent frame of mind. We only procrastinate when we see a fragment of fear or a stumbling block in our paths. We may even sense hesitation or resistance.

To Procrastinate: Delay, put off doing something, postpone action, defer action, be dilatory, use delaying tactics, stall, temporize, drag one's feet/heels, take one's time, play for time, play a waiting game… Fear of failure often causes people to procrastinate…

It's suddenly a light bulb moment!!
It's suddenly a light bulb moment!!

BINGO!


THAT'S IT! My own fear of failure… that is what causes me to procrastinate.

Why are we so afraid of failure? We all procrastinate; we all have a fear of failure, but why?

Can't we just do our best and that can be good enough? When I was a little girl, my mom always told me, "Just do the best you can, that's all you can do."

Can't we simply go back to the basics, can't we revisit the days of our youth when doing the best we can do was all anyone wanted us to do?

I think of my own situation with an eating disorder, how it became part of me, and why. I think of the distorted images on television, and the vast displays in magazines, billboards, and advertisements, of all kinds of perfect body’s, peppered in front of the eyes of every young girl or boy in the world and I ask myself, " Why am I not happy with the way I look?"

…I wish the media would procrastinate more, I wish they would think twice about how they portray the world to the eyes of the innocent girls and boys who grow up thinking that they are not good enough: who think they are less because they don't measure up to the standards set by those who refuse to procrastinate…

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    • neeleshkulkarni profile image

      neeleshkulkarni 6 years ago from new delhi

      as much as i would like to comment to explain how i am the same and how it needs a superhuman effort to really get down to doing things that need to be done and how as a self employed myself too i often mess up because i put off unpleasent things and much more such stuff- i think i will do it after i check my facebok account- after all this hub will stay where it is but the friends on chat might just go away.

    • neeleshkulkarni profile image

      neeleshkulkarni 6 years ago from new delhi

      Lori this is fabulous. you are procrastinating on commenting on the comment too. man you are a real prooo

    • Lori Cotten profile image
      Author

      Lori Cotten 6 years ago

      I AM! Thank you for bringing this to my attention… I hope you have a delightful day!

    • neeleshkulkarni profile image

      neeleshkulkarni 6 years ago from new delhi

      if i manage to get around to having it i sure will!!111

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

      I guess I procrastinated reading your hub. Ha! My sons are procrastinators, and it makes me crazy. They are both students (high school and college), and they are going to need to do the work eventually -- so why not do it on time -- or even early. I had not considered your information about the fear of failure before. It makes sense.

    • leroy64 profile image

      Brian L. Powell 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff)

      For a second, I thought you were writing about me. Great hub, now I need to get back to writing my hub.

      Thanks

    • Lori Cotten profile image
      Author

      Lori Cotten 5 years ago

      Truckstop Sally,

      I'm hoping your boys are simply living the life of youth, always banking on getting it done later; there's still plenty of time. Thank you reading my words, take care!

      leroy64

      I like your sense of humor:) Thanks for the comment of encouragement!

      Lori Cotten

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