I went to a talk on procrastination yesterday.
Yes, that's right. I attended at talk... did not GIVE the talk.
I am pretty good at procrastinating. But actually, what I took away from the talk is that I'm nowhere near as good at it as I think I am. I careen through an enormous list of self-assignments every day, and while they do distract me, I'm getting superhuman numbers of things ticked off my list.
The list is key. A list is concrete. Vague notions don't get done. Concrete ideas help. Even aggressive terms help as opposed to wishy-washy terms. And why are we so into procrastination?
Distractions. So... many... distractions. As I type this, I've stopped to check Facebook, send a note, take a vitamin, and think about what to post on Roberta's Facebook page for her birthday.
Humans are instinctively programmed to procrastinate. We hate change. We like what we know. I am well aware of this and you can see it in your own actions as well as in the loony actions of the masses. I have, same as everyone else, occasionally chosen familiar misery over potential pleasure. I have railed against other who do this, especially exes, when they prefer the comfort of their disappointing status quo over moving forward and trying to overcome their self-imposed limitations.
And that's where I learned that I am doing all right on the procrastination front. I have, ironically, been trying to reinstill some kind of appreciation for routine into my own psyche for the last few years.
It is working. Just slowly. By the time I really appreciate it, I'll be renewing my passport.
Anyway, I left the procrastination talk, picked up some sewing materials, came home, did laundry, went to the supermarket, cooked dinner, then thought about slacking off the rest of the night.
Instead, I taped up plastic over the windows for the winter and re-coded an old website for a friend. I couldn't stand the idea of letting my procrastination instincts win.
Procrastination will win, but I can fight it. Starting now.