Did you know that 1/5 of all adults procrastinate? There have been reports that this can have negative effects on our mental health, such as more worry and guilt. That makes sense, and I realize it’s a self-induced problem, but I also know it hasn’t been enough to stop my procrastinating habits and light a hot fire under my ass every time I put myself under the gun again.
And to be honest, I kind of dig it. I mean, I must since I keep doing it to myself. Because like most busy mothers, I set aside specific times to do specific things. It’s how we try to keep it all straight, and convince ourselves we have a plan. And most of the time we do a kick-ass job regardless of whether we get it all done or not.
But it doesn’t matter what task is waiting for me or how early I start. Whether I need to clean the bathrooms and am dreading it, or it’s something I’ve been looking forward to doing, like making a hair appointment, I immediately get distracted and look outside the job I told myself I was going to tackle and do something else.
Like deciding the junk drawer needs to be cleaned out this second. Or my favorite time-suck: getting lost on social media or deciding I need to text my cousin to see if she remembers which uncle drank all the Jack Daniel’s at the last family reunion and pissed off Grandma. Before I know it, we are talking about that time we had a pissing contest in the kiddie pool when we were 6, and I forgot what the hell I was supposed to be doing. Or I’m too tired to do it anymore.
My procrastination has gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. I blame kids and a hectic life style. I blame too many distractions like being able to stream movies and television shows. I blame food. I blame cheap wine.
Honestly, I blame everything but myself. But when I think about it, scrolling through Instagram before I need to get to work, or putting off making that appointment by lying on the floor with my dog, helps me sink into the job that needs to be done.
Maybe procrastination is just how we mentally prepare ourselves to get moving. As backwards as that sounds.
Let’s face it: Procrastinators work better in a time crunch. We like the pressure. We are actually doing ourselves a favor by waiting until the absolute last minute when we are about to have a panic attack because this is when the magic happens.
We produce our best work because we know our time is almost up, and we need to bring it. It’s motivation at its best.
I remember my college roommate staying up all night to finish paintings for her art classes. I would go to bed and she would be stressed to the max. The next morning I’d wake up to see some of the most beautiful paintings of flowers and couples kissing. She would be exhausted, but she would be proud. By being up all hours of the night before her project was due, she was able to accomplish something that she wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.
She would also say she would never, ever do it again, but we all know how that goes.
So sleep-deprived, stressed-out procrastinators, unite — because there is no changing us. And we secretly like to wait until the last minute. We work better with a lot of irons in the fire. Or at least that is what we keep telling ourselves.
Now I must go and start dinner, but first, I need to check my Facebook page, flip through the magazine I just got in the mail, and see who needs winter boots. Or maybe just lie on the floor with my dog some more.