I have a tough teacher in life!
It turned up sometime around the first set of really important exams in my life, when I was about 16. It’s followed me around ever since, to college and beyond, into my home and my own personal endeavors.
It is unrelenting, pretty sneaky but delivers its message directly and then leaves you to do what you will with it. Which often means I miss the message and just do nothing!
Procrastination is the bane of my life. It is also the most constant, unflinching indicator of where my work and life are at in that exact moment. That’s because I don’t always procrastinate at every opportunity.
I don’t procrastinate when I’m fired up, in fact I often put other jobs and projects on the backburner to concentrate on what is exciting me right this moment.
I don’t procrastinate when I feel invested in the outcome, especially if I can see where this achievement could lead me in the future.
I don’t procrastinate when I am up against a deadline and must get it done.
I don’t procrastinate when I respect and admire the people I’m working with and am excited about our collaborating.
It wasn’t until I thought about procrastination in this way that I saw what procrastination illuminates. It shows me where the energy has gone out of a project or where an idea is stale. Better than pushing against a brick wall, if I’m aware of WHY I’m procrastinating I can evaluate, change direction, improve and revitalise.
And there was me thinking that I was just Procrastinating-Pari forever!
So what has spending this entire evening trying to write this one little article taught me??
Well, I didn’t start with a plan so I had nothing to get fired up about, no outcome to focus on and no deadline for myself other than getting something posted TODAY! It was this fuzzy, unfocussed deadline that has dragged this article and realisation out of me, kicking and screaming and checking facebook every 10 minutes!
The easiest way to bypass procrastination completely is to start with a plan. A plan forces you to committ to your idea, evaluate and improve your system before you even start and get you fired up for the fun ahead!
And on that note, I’m off to have a cup of tea and relax after a hard evening procrastinating…
**Just a quick shout out to all my lovely readers who receive my blog via Google Reader or RSS feed…you probably didn’t see Friday’s post ‘More on Igniting Your Creativity’ pop up on your feed due to some technical difficulties here at Lighting Little Fires HQ! My sincere apologies!
Stop by and have a gander if you haven’t already. I’ll be updating it tomorrow with more books/articles/links recommended by the Superhero Possé of Creative Thinkers I’m lucky to know. Feel free to take your rightful place in our Possé and comment or tweet me if you have anything to add!**