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Procrastination - Is It Truly That Bad?

I am the Queen of procrastination! I have perfected the art of it, to be honest. Anyone else or am I the only one? I know I am not alone in this thinking of 'I do my best work under pressure'. When I was in University, I would leave my History essays until a couple of nights before they were due and just pull a couple almost of all-nighters . I had kids so I had to get a couple hours at least. I was thinking of what to write well before that, however, when you are a single mom of 3 young children, let's just say you don't always have a lot of available time.

Is procrastinating truly all that bad though? Most people, especially moms, have at least 5 projects on the go at any given time. Hell, my girlfriend sent me a video of her painting a wall while holding her 18-month-old. I know, you are saying having 5 projects on the go isn't truly procrastinating, it is more like multitasking. You may be right in a way. While there are times you need to have many tabs open in your mind and life at one time, do you always finish them? Or do you put some of them on the back burner because they aren't choice activities, cough cough, folding laundry, signing the forms for school when they come home as opposed to the night or morning of them being due? These things sit until we HAVE to get them done. Again I ask, is this truly that bad? I don't think it is. I feel it is our mind's way of telling us we need a break. It is a safety net for us sometimes. Not all the time but sometimes.

Let me give you an example of my biggest procrastination recently. Back in October my wonderful husband, said with lots of love but in this case, a bit of sarcasm, came to me and suggested I complete forms for CPP Disability. Sounds great. Sounds easy and straightforward. Not in a million years was it any of those things. Let me just say that I would rather have stabbed my only working eyeball out than finish these forms. Why would I feel this way? I mean they are simply forms. Enter the information and submit. Move on to the waiting. These forms were a huge mind fuck, to say the least. I had to find dates of when I first and last saw a doctor. What tests I had received? When I went off of work? Again simple enough for someone who hasn't had to fight for a diagnosis of a condition. I started to go through stuff to find dates but then I started remembering when I got the phone call telling me of the MRI results confirming it wasn't all in my head like the doctors had said for 5 years. I was on an airport train system, going to a connecting flight on my way to Colorado for my father's name to be put on a wall for fallen firefighters. So not only did it bring back the memories of being told I was imagining everything that had been happening and that I just didn't want to work out anymore, but it also brought back my father's illness and death. Finding the dates for when I left work required me to go through old text messages with a past co-worker. It brought back up the hell I went through to be accommodated at work and how shitty it was to work as an Educational Assistant. Not because of the amazing kids I worked with but because of the administration and the board. I did what anyone in this situation would do. I put it down for a day. Okay, maybe 3 months.

The things I accomplished in that time though were so many. I worked on new crochet projects and taught myself to work with wire. I started sewing again. Other than the crochet projects, I haven't finished any of them though. Partly because pain and my body have been on a horrible stint of arguing with each other most days and partly because I am afraid of failing and the finished pieces looking like a dog's breakfast. Will they, who knows because I haven't touched them yet? Who else lets the fear of completion get in the way of them moving forward with a project? Who else has a list longer than Santa's naughty list of WIPS/DNFS (Work in Progress/Did not finish)? We all have our reasons for not going back to them. Sometimes it is a simple fact that so much time has passed and we forgot what pattern we were using or don't remember what needed to be done with it. Other times it is more mental and we are scared or the item has memories we don't want to visit yet.

So again I ask, is it truly a bad thing to procrastinate on things? Simple answer, no. Then why is there a bad connection to it? Why is there a shame around it? For example, I used to feel like shit if I started a book and didn't like it. I would want to stop reading it but would force myself to finish it, hating every fucking minute of the book. I felt like I was offending the author, who took the time to write it, so I should make an effort to finish it. NO! A few years ago I changed this way of thinking. If I didn't like it and didn't want to finish it that was okay. It didn't make me a failure, it made me accept that I chose what I like. It honestly empowered me. Sometimes we stop doing something because we don't like it after beginning it. This is a GOOD thing. This is how we develop who we are and what we enjoy. To me, the best thing is that you were willing to even put yourself out there and try it.

Do you ever watch a video and think OMG that is amazing I would love to try that. You then watch the process of making it and also think, ya no. This is me lately. I have learned something about myself. I don't know if it is my age or my pain, but I have realized and accepted that if a project is going to take me a while to finish it isn't for me. For me, this is an amazing acknowledgement! I never would have accepted that I didn't want to or couldn't do something before. Now, nope. I know I will get bored or frustrated in the process, so I make a conscious choice and don't even start it. I am happier, my husband is happier and that is all that matters! You should try it and see how empowered you feel.

The TLDR version of this whole thing is this: procrastination isn't always a bad thing. Especially if we are going to sit and think about why we don't finish something. You are allowed to alter course and even throw it out. Come back to the idea of it years later and see if you have a different mindset on it. If you don't, that is okay. Nothing wrong with that or you!

Also, I finished the CPP forms on Sunday with many tears and feelings of anger but I did it. Now to take it into the offices and wait to see if they deny me. Either way, it is done.

Procrastinate away my friends. Just remember to take a moment to think about why you may be doing it. You may find you learn a lot about yourself!

Pssst, let me know in the comments if you procrastinate and if you do what with.


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