Procrastination, Mystery Solved
So I’m doing the dishes, doing a little song and dance in the process. Literally having a wild time as I carry out a chore that I hate. Why? Well it’s because I am procrastinating.
Ever find that you also get a surge of energy to do all those meaningless tasks that you have been meaning to do but never got around to doing. You know the ones. Cleaning, washing dishes, sowing that button onto that old shirt you like wearing. This energy wouldn't be a problem if it didn't come at exactly the moment when you are meant to be doing something else which is actually more important than those other tasks. Be it studying for a final exam, writing up a report for work or even finishing off your varsity assignment, you know you need to get to it but somehow this energy just doesn't cover those types of tasks.
Why? Why do we procrastinate? Well, I don’t know, but I sure feel like I'm five steps closer to the answer than I was before finishing the dishes so I've compiled a list of 5 reasons why we procrastinate:
Procrastination gives us one thing that doing our work, or even thinking about doing it could never give us. The chance to go into autopilot mode. Think about it, you don’t need to think about how to carry out the task of washing dishes or sweeping the floor. You just know which means you can just do. I could wake you up from the deepest sleep and ask you to wash the dishes and you would know how. You don’t need to plan. You don’t need to make special appointments or buy special equipment, you can just start and soon enough you will be done. Now imagine if that assignment you've been putting off gave you that option.
2· Think tank
Being on autopilot gives the captain of the ship time to get on with other things, in this case you get the chance to think. Whether you end up thinking of how to abolish world hunger or you think of the next winning lottery numbers, autopilot does indeed create the best environment to get that brain working. Hundreds, if not hundreds of thousands of thoughts are processed and organized during autopilot time. Maybe next time you should use this as a time to think of how to tackle that thing you should be doing. That brings me to my next point.
3· You know how
I have things to do all the time, and the main reason I never actually start them when I should is the lack of know how. This may sound similar to the autopilot point but it is slightly different. What I’m talking about here is knowing how to start and carry out a task, and really apply yourself in the process. For example, recently I had to create a 3D model of a character I had crafted using clay. I had no idea where to start, I had never used 3D modelling software before and frankly I was feeling overwhelmed. After numerous tutorials I was ready to start modelling my character but somehow I had another moment of procrastination. It’s one thing knowing how, it’s another thing to actually apply what you know and deliver a final product that shows off your new skill. So I kept calm, grabbed my nearest dish cloth and carried on.
So I lied, I'm not exactly five steps closer to the answer yet, but you get the idea. Procrastination is just something that’s there to feed on our fear to start, possibly even our fear to fail. If we never start we need never fail, we need never be challenged but we also run the risk of never doing something awesome. Now that you know why procrastination happens you can grab onto it and use it to your advantage.
All you need to do is start. Thanks for reading another of my online thought bubbles.