Oh man. Another post on Procrastination?
Hold on while we go a little deeper.
The dance steps of the Procrastination Polka (see last weeks post) are so common as to be unremarkable – except for the person who has suffered through the experience and knows their performance was not up to par.
The relief at getting a job done doesn’t always make up for doing a sloppy job. Even if in the end you performed brilliantly, the achievement is tainted with a whiff of what might have been. And this kind of procrastination has most likely cast a cloud on an evening out, an evening in, a friendly function, a vacation, which you couldn’t fully enjoy because your mind was elsewhere.
And you make a resolution and say … “this will never happen again”.
The problem of such resolutions is that procrastination is a habit. It tends to endure. Instead of dealing with our delays, we tend to excuse ourselves from them. Self deception and procrastination go hand-in-hand. Exploiting the thin line between “couldn’t and wouldn’t”, we exaggerate the difficulties and come up with justifications e.g.:
* not feeling your best
* an allergy reaction
* a friends crisis
Or we deflect responsibility by saying “gee whiz, who knew“ i.e., if you couldn’t have anticipated the situation, then you can’t be blamed.
How would you respond to the following questions regarding your last bout of procrastination?
* Did you know the task was going to take so long?
* Did you realise the consequence of being late would be so dire?
* Could you have expected that last minute emergency?
The honest answers are likely to be : Yes, Yes and Yes.
Some procrastinators will even try to frame their self destructive inaction as a thoughtful choice. EG Is it wrong to put off your career to pursue more family time? It depends on who you are.
Some people relish the work focused model and success, resenting time taken away from the job, and so they miss out on some family dinners, and school plays.
Others prosper in the home community, relishing the relationships nurtured there, at the expense of work related tasks.
To the casual observer, it isn’t easy to tell which choice is procrastination and which is purposeful decision.
Only the procrastinator knows for sure.
(thanks again: Peirs Steel 2011)