Monday, April 18, 2011

How not to procrastinate

Oh, you're going to hate me. I'm not a procrastinator. It seems as if a lot of people are, and the few of us who don't put things off to the last minute annoy the heck out of those who do. Why is that?

When something comes up that has to be done, I simply do it. Yes, right then. If several things need to be done at once, well, obviously that's not possible, so you randomly select something and do that. Next you do another thing, then another. Before you know it, everything is done.

I think a lot of what makes people stall is getting overwhelmed. (An aside: My hubby and I were tallking about how underwhelmed now seems to have become a word. But how do you strike a balance between those two? Is there such a thing as being just the right amount of whelmed?) Sorry, that made me giggle and I like to share my giggles with others.

Perfectionism is my husband's problem, and that's what makes him procrastinate. But there's an upside. Sometimes, while waiting for him to make up his mind (i.e. getting new granite countertops) a new product is invented that will save money, work and time. (granite overlays) Now, I wonder how long he'll have to mull those over before we actually get them installed. Sigh.

So, if you're a hopeless procrastinator, don't sit there moaning about it. Pick up the sponge and do your dishes, or put on your running shoes and take a walk. You know what you're putting off. Whatever it is, go do it now. I'm off to write my 1,000 words.

19 comments:

  1. Hey, Ash,

    I had started bears for an order but found I didn't have enough bolts for joints. Now, instead of ordering them right then and there, I went off to work on my word count on my current jaguar story. And then? the next weekend I went to work on the bears and thought, why didn't I finish these? Oh, yeah, not enough bolts for the joints.

    A week and a half later, I have the bolts and finished the bears yesterday. Now, when I realized I was running out a couple of months ago, I should have ordered them then. :) It really would have been easy, and made life so much easier! And I wouldn't have had the stress of the bears being left undone for so long. :)

    Scarlett O'Hara always bugged me--"I'll think about it tomorrow." I don't want to be like that ever!

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  2. Ashlyn, I'm not much of a procrastinator either, so it's a relief to read I'm not alone. I also, however, am free of many relational identities--my family lives at a significant distance, I'm self-employed, my childrearing years are largely behind me, and so forth. I've wondered if procrastination isn't a measure of the distance between the sense of control a person WANTS to have over their time, and the sense of control they do have.

    And such pondering don't get our 1000 words written, either, do they?

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  3. I love Scarlett's survival instinct, Terry. I think in her case, procrastination was a defense mechanism. If she thought about what was happening to her, she'd probably lose her mind! LOL

    And Grace, you might be right. I don't work outside the home or have kids to raise anymore. My hubby and daughter tease me about how I have to do everything "now" by calling me, Ms. Now.

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  4. Ash, you get the crown, hands down. The Antiprocrastination Committee (APC) is still looking for a poster child. Set the crown just right and smile! LOL
    Seriously, you have my utmost admiration. There is nothing wrong with being Miz Now! I love it!

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  5. Ashlyn, I have the same problem as your husband. If I can't do something exactly right, I stall and don't do it at all! Perfectionism really does lead to procrastination.

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  6. Great suggestion....I'm going to have to get back to doing things this way:)

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  7. Oh, I am a "Let's get it done" person. I don't want to see it (whatever it is) staring me in the face. Just do it is my motto.
    Amelia

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  8. Good motto, Amelia! LOL

    I have to "just do it" before I forget what I was supposed to do!

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  9. I agree! If I don't do something right away I forget.

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  10. I'm in awe Ash. I think I used to be more like you. Sometimes I still do it. Something comes up that needs to be done, and I just do it. Without even thinking, but unfortunately, not all things are like that anymore. Now, my mother is more like you. She can't even relate to procrastination. If it needs to be done. Do it! It's that simple, so I don't know how I can be so different than her.

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  11. I do procrastinate on the things I don't really want to do that I feel don't always need done and sometimes I get away with that lol. I do get overwhelmed though and I think you are right about being a perfectionist although a lot of people don't understand that. I want to do it right or unfortunately sometimes not at all. But doing some things "right" take so long that it seems impossible. Maybe you'll do a topic on punctuality - I am never late lol.

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  12. Anita,

    My daughter and I couldn't be more different that way. She's one of the world's worst procrastinators.

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  13. Ok I hear you I need to get up and go clean my windows. I did get the curtains put in the washing maching thats a start. Now just to get to the rest I will be alright.

    lead[at]hotsheet[dot]com

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  14. Well said, Ashlyn. Now the trick for me is following that wise advice. :)

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  15. You make it sound easy. My problem is backlog. If something new comes up I have to put it behind the other thing that I put off which I put off because the other thing and so on and so forth. I never get caught up.

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  16. Ah, you have a list, Olivia...and things go on it in order.

    Have you ever tried just doing what you feel like doing, even if it's way out of order? Try it. I find I do more if I do things as the mood strikes me.

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  17. You are so right that the fear of making the wrong decision or making a mistake can be paralyzing. I have definitely suffered from that, but as I get older I find I'm more willing to take a chance!

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  18. Ash,
    As a huge procrastinator I've never felt the need to blame those who aren't :-)

    As a huge fan I sure am glad you don't put off writing your daily quota!

    Venus

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  19. Good for you, Ash! Me, I write lists to keep track. Great post!

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