Friday, November 18, 2011

The Art of Procrastination -->



Recently a friend told me she loved how I got so much done and didn't procrastinate.

Um, do not assume, young grasshopper. . . as I too can actively and voluntarily participate in this activity called procrastination.

So I started to think about the things I procrastinate on and here is my list--

1)  Any activity that involves calling someone or talking on the phone.

I so dislike talking on the phone.  I have a few friends who are my exceptions, but mostly, I dread the phone.  I dislike a) making appts.  b) having to call someone to give or get information  c) answering the phone.  

I'm not sure why this is because as a teenage girl, I was a professional phone conversationalist.  Now, I hate it.  In fact, I'm writing this blog post instead of making two appts I need to make today.


2)  Submitting my work --

This is another area that I put off and put off and put off.  Once I had a "submission party" with my writer friends where we all brought our laptops and printed off copies of poems and sent them out.  There was good food and wine.  Submitting with wine give one a weird courage.

But mostly, I neglect this aspect of my life until 180 days have gone by or I feel bad that no one is accepting my work---it's kind of hard to accept work that isn't being submitted -- duh.  Still.  I put this task off all the time.


3)  Laundry-- hate it.

I believe the architects who build homes have never done laundry in their lives because if they did, the laundry room would actually be a dressing room/clothes storage room/linen closet/etc instead of having to fold the laundry then bring it various places in the house.

If you come to my house on any day there will be:
a) laundry to do
b) unfolded clean clothes

When I am Oprah-rich, I will hire someone and his/her one job will be keeping up on the laundry and putting things away.  I will pay them nicely and give them chocolate as a reward.


4)  Reviews of books

This is a funny thing because I read a ton and write a ton and in fact will mention books I've read here on my blog.  But call them a "review" or ask me to write one for Crab Creek Review twice a year, and I will put it off until the last minute.

I *know* how good I feel when I finish a review and cross it off my list, but it one area in writing I put off and put off and put off.


As I look over this list, I think why my friend believed I didn't procrastinate was because I tend not to procrastinate my writing.  In fact, I'll write before I do laundry or make the appointment or submit my work.

My passion is not laundry, or phone calls--these are things I do because I need to.

My passion is not submitting and writing reviews--I do these two things because I believe they are part of the writer's job;  sending your work out into the world and helping others get attention for their work are two things I truly believe are important and I try to do them, though not always in a timely manner.


So it made me think of this-- what do we do that gives us fulfillment?   When we're spending our time on "other things" that give us pleasure and we're passionate about, what are they and how can this become our life's work?

And I don't think this quote means that kind of "wasted" time--because honestly, if this sign is deeply true, then some of you might be thinking, "I should get a job with Facebook?"  Note: "wasted" in quotes because I don't think you can "waste time" just use it in ways your future-self might not be too pleased with.

But what is it that when you're doing it, you never feel you should be doing something else, you find yourself lost in "flow," which is that timelessness I love to fall into.

We all procrastinate in good and bad areas.  For me, a bad procrastination is not submitting (because it hurts my writer's life).  A good procrastination is laundry (because not doing that helps my writer's life).   Having a big pile of laundry doesn't make me look like homemaker of the year, but honestly, that is not really a title I'm going for.

So yes, I do procrastinate very much.  And some days I'm right on tasking and go down my to-do list like my Capricorn self appreciates, but other days, I'm quite happy reading a book with the fire going and well, that's okay too.


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6 comments:

Allyson said...

A kindred phone-hating spirit!

People look at me askance when I say I hate using the phone. They claim it's because I grew up with text messaging. Yeah. I didn't start texting until 3 years ago, so..... *shrug*

Glad it's not just me!

Kells said...

It's not just you!

I also just started texting about 1 or 2 years ago and it's grown to be my preferred way of correspondence! The phone drains me.

Martha Silano said...

I am a texting convert!!

January said...

We have the exact same dislikes. I tolerate laundry but it's not one of my favorites.

For submissions, maybe it's time to regroup The Club.

As for procrastination, I think of it as a way to prioritizing what's important to me at that moment. The least appealing things on my list are always at the bottom.

Coreena McBurnie said...

I so agree with you. It is nice to know I'm not alone with the phone and how a laundry room should be arranged. I always thought I needed a big room with everyone's dressers, etc.
I love the post and the quote.

Kells said...

Marty- I agree with the texting way!
Jan- the Club would be great-- maybe we could restart it in the new year?
Coreen-- thanks for your note! Yes, if we have to be in the laundry room they should be functional and easy!

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