I’ve been a procrastinator from way back. I write a list as long as my arm of all the things I need to do, and pick of the easier to do first, often leaving what most needs to be done until the end. Even writing this is really just another form of procrastination. I’m not too hard on myself about it though because I always get the things done when they need to be done. Most often I need that pressure of the deadline to make it happen. In the meantime I often get a bunch of other stuff done that needs to be done.
Today has been a great display of the art of procrastination. It’s a public holiday here in my town, and helicopters fly back and forth over my head as they ferry the rich and famous to the race that “stops a nation” (it certainly stops my suburb as we are gridlocked). Last night after I had a great writing session I hopped into bed to finish reading a fab book (Storyland by Catherine McKinnon) and I realised I would have a whole day that I could lie about, read, write, watch Black Mirrors and write. I only have two members of my family at home and one of them is brain deep in VCE exams, so I knew I would pretty much be in my own brain for the day. I imagined I would probably crack 5000 words today (I have been known to have unrealistic high expectations on myself and this is also known as ‘setting myself up for failure’).
After a two days slogging at the editing, my mind has started to wander. One of the difficulties of being left home alone to edit over half of my manuscript for a number of days is the distractions.
I’ve started thinking about all the things I could do in the house: what needs to be cleaned out, reordered, tidied. Maybe I need to sharpen my pencils, maybe all of them in the entire house. What things I could send to the op shop. Is it time to take the dog for another walk? Or am I hungry? Maybe the toilet needs a good scrub – okay, I’ve gone too far.
I’ve been circling my workspace for too long. I have deadlines looming, a house full of guests (we are hosting three Korean students for a few weeks) and still I managed to spend a day nesting in my office.
I blame the hot water service. That’s what kicked off this whole re-imagining my workspace.
Conditions are perfect – heater is ramped up to keep-me-toasty, oil burner is warming make-me-concentrate, stereo is blaring best-beats-for-study – yet I am distracted.
Is it that creepy little migraine that snuck in during the night that I can’t seem to beat away with a good stick of pain killer? Or is it the unwillingness to finish this assignment? Or the dark grey sky pelting out rain and hail making me wish I was under a doona with a fire burning, a warm cup of hot chocolate in one hand, a book in the other (and nodding off when I felt like it)?
Whatever it is, I have to push through. Due dates don’t move.
Do you suffer from a procrastinatory disease?