The art of procrastination

I’ve been a procrastinator from way back. I write a list as long as my arm of all the things I need to do, and pick of the easier to do first, often leaving what most needs to be done until the end. Even writing this is really just another form of procrastination. I’m not too hard on myself about it though because I always get the things done when they need to be done. Most often I need that pressure of the deadline to make it happen. In the meantime I often get a bunch of other stuff done that needs to be done.

Today has been a great display of the art of procrastination. It’s a public holiday here in my town, and helicopters fly back and forth over my head as they ferry the rich and famous to the race that “stops a nation” (it certainly stops my suburb as we are gridlocked). Last night after I had a great writing session I hopped into bed to finish reading a fab book (Storyland by Catherine McKinnon) and I realised I would have a whole day that I could lie about, read, write, watch Black Mirrors and write. I only have two members of my family at home and one of them is brain deep in VCE exams, so I knew I would pretty much be in my own brain for the day. I imagined I would probably crack 5000 words today (I have been known to have unrealistic high expectations on myself and this is also known as ‘setting myself up for failure’).

So here it is at 5.30 pm and what have I done? I slept in until 9 am and then decided to stay in my pyjamas (something I literally NEVER do which made it even more delightful). After a slow brekkie I wandered outside (still in my pjs, but had now added ugg boots and an inside out jumper) and planted the tomato, basil, capsicum, lettuce and herbs – it is Tomato Planting Holiday after all. I could write once these were in the ground, I decided. When I came in (it was now 11.30 am) one of the boys wandered out of his room and I offered to make a cooked brekkie, for him, and then also for his brother. Plenty of time to write still. Two brekkies and coffees later (as well as popping the slow cooker on for some mouth watering pulled pork for dinner), I offered to make them chicken noodle soup for lunch (easy! pop it on, and write).

No noodles. That’s okay, the dog needed a walk. A quick walk where I bumped into every other Kensington resident who had not evacuated for the day and I was home (now 1.30 pm). Not a problem. I would pop the lunch on and bang out a few words. I decided to be efficient with my time and cook the chicken for lunches for the rest of the week while I made the soup. Chop chop, choppity chop, and a BIG SLICE THROUGH MY THUMB.

I’ll save you the gory bits as I couldn’t take a photo as the blood was GUSHING out too fast, but here is one with the big fat bandage on.

Fast forward to now. I have a massive wad of gauze taped to my thumb to soak in the blood. Steristrips to hold it together. And the pain has finally stopped. That little chop that was intended for the spring onion cost me another three hours of procrastination.

On the plus side: it is my left thumb that I barely use, I don’t have to do the dishes for a while, I had done all the must-need-thumb tasks for the day already, and I have allowed the next scene I needed to write to find a way in my head. So ciao for now. Words to write.

Advertisements

Why procrastination can be helpful

tidyAfter a two days slogging at the editing, my mind has started to wander. One of the difficulties of being left home alone to edit over half of my manuscript for a number of days is the distractions.

pencil sharpenerI’ve started thinking about all the things I could do in the house: what needs to be cleaned out, reordered, tidied. Maybe I need to sharpen my pencils, maybe all of them in the entire house. What things I could send to the op shop. Is it time to take the dog for another walk? Or am I hungry? Maybe the toilet needs a good scrub – okay, I’ve gone too far. Continue reading

Procrastinatory Disease

photoConditions are perfect – heater is ramped up to keep-me-toasty, oil burner is warming make-me-concentrate, stereo is blaring best-beats-for-study – yet I am distracted.

Is it that creepy little migraine that snuck in during the night that I can’t seem to beat away with a good stick of pain killer? Or is it the unwillingness to finish this assignment? Or the dark grey sky pelting out rain and hail making me wish I was under a doona with a fire burning, a warm cup of hot chocolate in one hand, a book in the other (and nodding off when I felt like it)?

Whatever it is, I have to push through. Due dates don’t move.

Do you suffer from a procrastinatory disease?