Blogging bud Mapelba left me a link on my last post to this article on Psychology Today’s website, which talks on surface-levels about procrastination. The article makes a couple of pretty potent points which really made me pause and take stock of where I am, and what I’m doing, with all this “free time” I have while I’m job hunting.
The gist of the article is, about 20-25% of the population are procrastinators. They agonize over not doing what they know they should be doing, but don’t break the inertia (that’s my term, not theirs) to get those things done. There are a lot of mental gymnastics taking place for the procrastinator, and not getting things done leaves them with guilt and anguish. Laziness, however, is just not doing it, and then not worrying about it because … you know. You’re being lazy.
But procrastination is different than lazy. And the article made me sit down and try to think about what’s going on with me. Is the problem that I don’t think the rewards immediate enough to hop off my laurels and get writing? Is it that the task seems overwhelming and the finish so far in the future I lose perspective of time and before I know it, it’s gone – the day, the weekend, the month, whatever – and I’m left scratching my head wondering where it went?
The key indicator here is the symptoms of lazy versus the symptoms of procrastination. I do feel bad about not writing. But I don’t know if I feel bad because it’s something I “should” be doing – the article is clear on this, it’s stuff we should be doing – or if it’s because I just want to do it. I’m suffering for my poor decision, but I’m the only one suffering. This isn’t going to become a problem which costs me my job, or which makes my marriage suffer.
Still, the article did give me pause and make me think. Could this be related to the inability to process temporal distances correctly? If so what can I do about it?
One of the first things to do is to just make a better decision and stick with it. It’s one thing to become excited about something and take off running, only to find the first obstacle or hurdle leaves you unmotivated and without direction, frustrated and stymied. It’s another to have to push a boulder uphill day-in and day-out, forcing yourself to go against your nature and do what you have to do. Or what you think you should be doing.
this is going to be a challenge for me. I have to seriously consider whether I’m suffering from procrastination with my writing or if I’m just lazy. (I have my suspicions, but I’m not a shrink either.) So I’m going to give this some serious thought and prayer and see what’s happening.
And that ought to give me another reason to do something besides write.
How ‘bout you? Do you find you’re mostly lazy about things you have to do, or are you a procrastinator? Or do neither of those labels fit you? Are you one of those who has other problems with things you should be doing?
Speak out. Confession’s good for the soul.
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