Can I Do This Later? The Procrastinator’s Mini Guide to Getting Stuff Done


First of all, I have been trying to get this post written for at least two weeks. Yes, I am a procrastinator. Up until earlier this week, it has worked for me. I have always done my best work at the midnight hour, back against the wall, sleep deprived, and down to the wire. I guess I’m getting old, because this time, procrastinating did not serve me well. I got the task done, but it was not my best work. Plus, I felt like crap when it was all said and done. I mean, I literally felt like I might barf.
So I got to wondering, what does it take to be an effective procrastinator? Maybe I have lost my touch? I turned 40 five and a half years ago and my eyesite perfected itself, but at what cost? I have 20/20 vision, but my procrastination skills have dulled?? I think I’d rather have my glasses back! So what are the key components of a good procrastinator?
1) You must be somewhat of an adrenaline junkie. The pressure of a looming deadline must be a bit of a high. The energy surge gives you laser sharp focus, and as the clock ticks away, your creative juices flow.
2) You must have and exude confidence. You have to have it, and you need to be able to sell it to your coworkers/teammates. If you can’t make others feel confident that you can get the job done, they will worry you to distraction, and you will not get it done.
3) You must have a keen awareness of your limitations. You love to push the envelope, walk the line, and linger close to the edge of the waterfall, but you must know when enough is enough. You have to recognize, before it’s too late, that you need to get started and work longer or harder to accomplish your tasks.
4) You must be excellent at managing your own stress, and indirectly, the stress of others. When your heart rate quickens, never let them see you sweat. You may be freaking out on the inside, but you need to be Lake Placid to everyone around you. You should appear to be in control of the situation at all times, even when you think you are losing control.
Ultimately, researchers consider procrastination to be an avoidance behavior and a method of controlling some element of your life. A form of passive aggression even. It could possibly be a symptom of something deeper than time management issues. For the millions who routinely push things back, or put things off until tomorrow, keep doing it until it no longer works for you. Sadly, I think I am there. I may have to become a to-do listing, timelining, project managing, clock & calendar watching, non-procrastinator. Sigh…maybe tomorrow.


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