“I’LL DO IT LATER…MUCH LATER”
Everyone knows how to procrastinate – including me. I decided about two months ago to write this column. Finally, today I had to force myself to sit down and begin. Why? Why do we humans put off doing what we know we need to do? From what I have observed, the animal kingdom doesn’t do that. Just us.
There is no squirrel sighing, “Yeah, the winter’s coming and I know that there won’t be any nuts on the ground that I can scrounge, but I just don’t feel like hunting, carrying and storing those things this week. I’ll get to it…later.” No colony of ants is rebelling against the direct order of their queen ant to retrieve another home’s entire stash of food – crumb by crumb. “We just feel like doing something else today, Miz Queen. That last kitchen was plumb full of sugary stuff, so we wanna celebrate instead of working. A bunch of us have decided to just have our own picnic.”
So, I ask again, why do we top-of-the-heap-creations procrastinate?
One excuse bouncing around in our heads; “I’m just not psyched up to do that yet.” Another one; “I am afraid to try, I have no doubt I’ll just mess it up.” Or how about this; “It’s way too big, I’m completely overwhelmed by even thinking about that.” Or something along these lines; “That ain’t gonna be any fun, and I would rather go pick ticks off my dog than have to settle down and get that done.” Here’s a familiar one: “I just don’t have time, I’m way too busy for that.” Or: “It’s not due for another thirty minutes yet!”
Any of those sound familiar to you? Or you may have your own favorite excuses that you use to put off hated tasks that are scary, or overwhelming in size. People will use anyone or anything to keep from beginning. Like a panic-stricken woman grabbing for a water-logged pillow when she is trying to find something to keep her afloat in the ocean, it doesn’t have to make sense. Procrastinators will look around and seize any excuse they can find to avoid a task that they dread.
But why did I put off writing this column? Good question. Difficult subject? Exposure of one of my own weaknesses? Writing on the subject would make me confront myself, and my tendency to run from difficulty? Ouch.
I finally made myself sit down at my desk by the fireplace with a cup of something hot, opened up my computer, and started writing. Blindly trusting that my thoughts on the ugly subject will materialize into some sort of order and make sense to you.
Sometimes folks, that’s what we have to do –just bite the bullet and begin doing the very thing we need to do. Doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect down to the last word. In the words of a cowboy preacher friend of mine, “Just get ‘er done!”