The top ten reasons why I procrastinate…

This is soooo me.

I make no secret of the fact that I hold a Ph.D. in Procrastination. The fact that there has been no blog post on this site for the entire month of April (so far) is entirely my fault and whilst I can give excuses that I’ve had book deadlines and then revision deadlines and then uni work to catch up on it all comes down to the fact that doing this blog was something I had indeed pushed aside in favour of playing games on my new smartphone, watching movies with my teens (Shawshank) and catching up on my TBR pile (Rick Riordan top of the list). I kept telling myself that after all my hard work, meeting my deadlines and getting the revs to my ed in record time (and doing proofs on the previous book in between the two) meant that I did deserve  a little time off. A break. A respite… and so this blog has been shoved aside so I could do things that made me feel chilled and relaxed. (or “chillaxed” as the youngs ones are saying nowadays. Oh those teens!)

So why are you blogging now? What has brought about this transformation? Peeled you away from that gripping chapter of Rick’s book? Stopped you from baking yet another batch of cookies? Halted the progress in movie vegging? These are all excellent questions and the answer is, of course, that I have something that MUST be done today and I simply do not want to do it. I HAVE to do it. I know this. It must be done TODAY because the deadline is TODAY and therefore it must be done… TODAY. And yet here I am – blogging – simply because I do not want to do this other thing. So I rationalise with my brain… I say, “There is no way you can concentrate on this MUST BE DONE TODAY task because you have a huge “to do” list which desperately needs your attention and perhaps if… IF… you can tick some of those little things, which would only take about twenty minutes each to do, off your “to do” list, then concentrating on this MUST BE DONE TODAY task will be easier.

These are the mind games I continually play with myself. When I have to do specific tasks, I give myself time limits. I say “let’s see how much you can get done in one hour” and then I hop to it and get it done, always forgetting to time check at the end of the task because I don’t care if it’s taken me more than one hour to get the things done – they’re done! I have an immense sense of accomplishment and feel good about myself. I feel so good about myself that I reward myself (because you should always reward yourself after you do something brilliant – right?) But still… looming overhead is that now ginormous MUST BE DONE TODAY task. I know that this task will take me approximately two hours complete. That’s not much in a day of 18 hours of awake time. That still leaves me 16 hours to do so many other things… and thus, the justification of completing all these so-called “small” tasks is what I then focus on.

Now I don’t have a clue if I’m making any sense at all, or if anyone else in the world feels this way but I do know that when I am like this, when I have something that MUST BE DONE TODAY AT ALL COSTS, so much else gets done instead (it’s times like these that I clean my oven because who in their right mind would ever clean their oven voluntarily).

Darn. Now I’ve just added “clean oven” to my “to do” list and you can bet your bottom dollar that the oven will be sparkly clean at 10pm tonight… when I’ll have just two hours left to do this task that MUST BE DONE TODAY.

For now, though, I can at least tick off “blog” on my “to do” list because all these ramblings have not only provided you with an insight into the confusion which is my mind but have assisted me in my procrastination. I’m sure no one else in the world does this… right?

 

Dr Lucy Clark – Ph.D. (Proc)

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