Procrastination: Eccentricity or Simply Bad Habit?

This blog isn’t a twelve step program, but I will stand up and say, “I am a procrastinator.” Procrastination is why I am working on lesson 2 in the online Blog Triage class instead of lesson 3.

Though I have analyzed my actions repeatedly, I still have no concrete evidence of what makes me put things off. Thus, I have decided it is either in my genes or it is a learned activity. If it is learned, then I learned very well from my Dad.

My dad was the worst procrastinator. I remember once as a kid we were going to visit my great grandparents in another state, and he was installing a new lock on the door! Really, the car was loaded and we were all waiting for him. My mom didn’t think it was funny but with years of perspective, I can picture the moment as a cartoon.

I tell you that, not to criticize my dad, but with the hope that you will laugh with me about his foible, and also mine. It can be annoying to some folks I know. They would tell you it is just a bad habit. The best way to not annoy them is to not procrastinate and if you can’t do that, like me, it is best to avoid them whenever possible.

In one of my self-analyzing moods I decided I put things off that I don’t like to do, like taxes or getting a mammogram. That isn’t really very accurate though, as I sometimes put off eating, and I certainly like to eat!

There is one area of my life in which I don’t ‘put it off’, and that is in my photography. Photography is all about capturing the moment. You better be ready to press that shutter release when the moment arrives or miss a great opportunity. At times you simply have to drop whatever else you are doing if someone calls saying there is a photo op. It won’t wait forever and sometimes not even a few minutes.

I passionately enjoy my photography, so much so that I have occasionally found myself NOT setting aside time to practice my art. It is just so much fun I guess I feel a bit guilty going off to shoot a kettle of pelicans, say, instead of weeding the garden. Perhaps that is because I have already put off weeding for a week?

The flip side of procrastination is that there is a certain pressure to get things done with a deadline looming. I have discovered about myself that I work better, faster and with more determination when there is a bit of stress due to the deadline. Well, OK, maybe more than a little stress. The secret is in knowing just how much procrastination one can practice without stressing oneself into a heart attack!

Having confessed to this possible shortcoming, I will try, at least for the duration of this class, to be prompt in doing the assignments, after today of course. Funny, when I was in school, I always had my work done on time. Why is that, do you suppose?

I think I will leave the analysis of that subject for later.