Procrastination killed the cat

I sat down to write this post four hours ago. Yep, I’ve been procrastinating that long. Not because the subject matter is hard to write on, but because there was no subject matter. I couldn’t think of anything to write and so I just sat and waited for inspiration to strike.

Bad plan.

In the past four hours, I have painted my nails, washed 2 loads of clothes, written 5 press releases, checked my email no less that 8 times, checked facebook no less that 17 times, watched a documentary that made me cry, watched Steel Magnolias (which also made me cry), and aimlessly snacked on popcorn and M&Ms through it all. I am a hopeless procrastinator.

Sometimes I play both the devil AND the angel on my shoulder. The conversation goes something like this:

Me: “I have so much to do–and so much I want to do! How will it ever get done?”

Devil: “Your life is one big to-do list. Watching that Netflix is on your to-do list. Whether it gets done before or after your blog post and 15 press releases due Monday is all relative.”

Angel: “You know better. That’s all I have to say.”

Devil: “You know you do your best work at the last minute anyway, so don’t waste your time now doing sub-par work. Take a nap instead.”

Angel: “…” (rolls eyes, taps foot, waits for me to realize how dumb this conversation is)

Devil: “It’s your weekend. You shouldn’t have to do anything but rest and relax.”

Angel: ” ‘Shouldn’t have to’ is irrelevant right now and you know it. Get to work.”

Me: “Oww!” (in response to getting kicked behind the ear by a perturbed and strictly hypothetical guardian angel)

I’m convinced that people can talk themselves into or out of anything they want to. Sometimes, that’s a strength of human reason. For instance, I can talk myself out of a bowl of cookie dough ice cream–if I want to. I can also talk myself into doing another upper body circuit at the gym–if I want to. Most times, however, it’s a paralyzing weakness that leaves a girl with pretty red fingernails and no progress made on her script this weekend.

This begs the question: How do you deal with procrastination?

At work, where deadlines are crucial, accountability keeps me in check. I work in an office with several people asking several things of me simultaneously. Though it can make a girl’s head spin, I put myself in an environment where I can’t check out. If I’m overwhelmed, I go to a co-workers office where three other people can see my computer screen at once. There never was a better facebook buffer. 🙂

At home, it’s the outcome that keeps me in check. It makes me feel about an inch tall when my hubs gets up in the morning and says, “uh, I’m out of underwear again.” Same thing when our room mate brings in a friend and there are dirty dishes on every inch of flat surface in my kitchen. So I clean to keep my self-esteem in tact. 🙂

With writing, it’s the accountability of this blog. Doesn’t matter if no one reads it or the whole world sees it. I committed with my buddy Other Amanda to do this every day and that’s enough for me. Sure, I fight procrastination and long to-do lists and fatigue and writer’s block, but it’s fight worth duking out.

Do I beat procrastination every time?…Obviously not. I spent four hours today watching movies and eating crap. But tomorrow’s a new day, right? haha 🙂

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