I just had this epiphany today...I am a procrastinator. See, I knew I procrastinated. Most of the population probably does to an extent. But, the epiphany today was that I don't just procrastinate--I am a procrastinator. And it was like once I admitted it to myself, the evidence came rushing in as if a dam had just broken in the "I'll Do It Tomorrow" section of my mind.
*I look at blogs or read emails or facebook messages--spend sometimes hours on the computer, and get off having never responded to emails or messages or commented on one blog post, let alone blog anything on my own blog. I think to myself, "I'll comment later. I'll write them back tomorrow." And before I know it, it's been weeks. (p.s. Jenny--you know I love ya girl...and really, I'm going to respond one day. And we're going to get together one day...And I loved your last comment-it made me feel special, thank you. I've been MEANING to get back to you and tell you that.)
*I screen my phone calls...but for no real reason. (Sometimes... not all the times friends, so please don't get offended if you call me and I don't answer. I don't want the general assumption to be that I am ignoring your call.) I do have reasons at times, like being preoccupied or on another line or grocery shopping, but sometimes I just panic of having something else to think about or do that I just procrastinate that call. I say, "I'll call back later." The same is done with phone calls that need to be made. I put them off far longer than they should be.
*Sleeping longer in the morning because I stayed up late at night. I have been wanting to change this habit for quite some time but every morning, my half asleep self says, "Heck no...I'm tired. You kept me up until after midnight."
*House cleaning-now, I have a generally clean house. In fact, if you were to walk into my house you would think it was tidy and neat. Which it is, but there are certain things that REALLY get put off. Filing bills. Deep cleaning showers. Organizing the toy room.
*Taking care of business- I still have all of my Roadshow Receipts to turn in (probably $300 to $400 worth that I could be reimbursed for) and bags of stuffed animals ward members loaned to me, that I still haven't returned. I work well under timelines, but then when there is "no real rush"...I can't seem to get my butt in gear.
I literally, could go ON and ON! I definitely won't because I think I've made my point sufficiently and believe that I've probably made myself look like a major loser too...so we'll leave it at that.
Now that I've realized and admitted to my problem, I have to come to terms with how I feel about it. And the consensus with that, is that it makes me unhappy. I hate feeling unaccomplished- and the more I put off, the more is actually on my plate. If I took the tasks little by little, I know that it would make my life much less stressful.
So, I looked up some information on how to deal with procrastination and thought I'd share, just in case I'm not the only one just realizing they've been in the Procrastination Closet and is poking my head out in shame and trying to face reality.
This was from a Q&A section of the Liahona Church Publication back in 1993:
“I have a real problem with procrastination. I leave assignments unfinished, goals unmet, and promises unkept just because I don’t start things on time. I don’t mean to let people down. I just can’t seem to make myself get going. What can I do?”
Procrastination is a habit that can be broken. First, you have to make the decision to change. Next, take the problem to your Heavenly Father. If you pray sincerely, he will give you the guidance and support you need to make the change. Then act on what you need to accomplish.
Here are some suggestions you might find helpful:
• Make a daily list of projects and check them off as you finish each one. Be sure to write down assignments when you get them. Carrying a small calendar might be helpful.
• Start with your most difficult task, or the one you like the least. The rest of your work will seem easy by comparison.
• Break down large and intimidating projects into smaller ones. Then do each one step by step.
• Reward yourself when you follow through with your projects. After you’ve completed an especially difficult project, schedule some time to relax.
• Make a game of finishing difficult or unpleasant tasks. Tell yourself, “I will work as hard as I can for twenty minutes.” When you stay focused on finishing something quickly, you’ll get more done.
• Remove distractions from your workplace. Keep food, televisions, magazines, telephones, and other temptations out of your way. ( I will add COMPUTERS AND INTERNET to update this from 1993.)
• Don’t procrastinate because you are afraid your project won’t be perfect. It is better to meet deadlines by making your best effort—even if the results aren’t perfect.
• Set realistic goals for yourself, and remember to be flexible.
• Don’t accept more projects and assignments than you can handle. If you agree to do something, do everything you can to follow through. Don’t say yes to someone if you have no intention of following through with the task.
• Set priorities and pace yourself.
• Make the commitment to change your habit of procrastination. The Apostle Paul counseled, “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily” (Col. 3:23). Put enthusiasm into the many tasks you have to face and carry them out with a happy attitude. You don’t need to plan every minute of the day. Allow yourself free time and some fun, too.
The last part is my favorite. I want to know that what I'm doing in my life I'm doing "heartily" and carrying them out with a happy attitude. I also love that it's okay to allow yourself free time and fun. There is an undeniable happiness that comes with accomplishment. I think on days that we feel like slugs, it's natural for a bit of a bad mood to follow it. Then, you are in a bad mood and you have all of these tasks and duties around you that overwhelm you.
So, my goal is to work on my problem--to pray for guidance and motivation to overcome my challenge and to not procrastinate making this change any longer!
If you have any tips on how you accomplish your every day tasks on time and with a happy attitude, you're wisdom is always helpful and appreciated.