I have spent my day thus far collecting…we won’t call them “reasons,” we’ll call them “descriptors”…for why I haven’t Made This Post, or Put Words in the SFD, or even Webmistressed Usefully For Those Patient People (-30 days and counting).
And then my sister COMPLETELY SAVED MY BACON with this article from the Washington Post: The real reasons you procrastinate — and how to stop. (Whose subtitle, if you don’t hover over links, is “Why-you-cant-help-reading-this-article-about-procrastination-instead-of-doing-your-job. Woop!)
It uses Tim Urban’s excellent cartoons of what happens inside of brains, which even though M’s shared them with me before are always great to review…perfect meta-procrastination! And repeats this paraphrase, which I’d forgotten:
People can be various kinds of procrastinators, Urban says. Some procrastinate by doing useless things, such as searching for cat GIFs. Others actually accomplish things — cleaning their homes, working their boring jobs — but never quite getting to the things they really want to accomplish in life, their most important, long-term goals.
I look around, and I see so many, many at-home-parent friends there-! Heck, I used to do laundry ON PURPOSE to avoid desktop publishing before a deadline. And in a way, that’s how I spent today. And why, even though I named each descriptor while I was pursuing it, I’m not about to call what I was doing “reasonable.” It didn’t make sense to me even at the time, though it was my activity, controlled by my free-will self.
Which brings me to my next connection. My very wise therapist TD told me, probably more than once, that feelings simply exist. That they don’t have to be reasonable—otherwise they’d be called “reasons.” And today I clearly see that playing out. Poking vaguely through my day, with a hefty slug of reading, because I’m feeling scratchy about writing.
Instead of focusing on feelings, we have to think about what the next action is, Pychyl says.
Well, crap. There’s the double-down trouble right there. (A) I’m letting mood drive my work, which is generally a Bad Idea. But worse still, (B) What the heck is my next action? Besides making up a daily blog post. Existential angst is ruling this day, and blog posts have got to be one of the globe’s most pointless activities, just above selfies. Is there even a downside to not-posting? For just one day? Though this mood’s been building, so “just one day” could be delusional…I could get swallowed by the Molasses Tsunami* and just stop.
Have I mentioned lately that at this point, self-driven is also self-deadlined…and I’m a super lenient boss when it comes to my own deadlines? When it’s hard to make a case that anyone else will mind if a deadline comes & goes without product, I certainly am not pushing forward. Not on a day like today.
In the category “I think while I’m writing/talking,” I’ve remembered something I realized at the gym this morning: I have to hand in my spiritual writing piece in a month. Looky there. At least one next action with deadline’s now in place-!
*h/t my bestie CLC, who described it last Tuesday as it was taking her out