Things I’d Tell My Younger Self | Day 3

Dear Chris (age always),
For the love of all things holy, cut down on the procrastination!

My name is Chris and I am an A-1, Blue Ribbon, Head of the Class procrastinator.

I’ve been this way since I can remember and it’s really always worked for me.  I was the kid who waited til the last minute to study or write a paper…and still got straight A’s.  When I wrote my senior project to graduate from college, I wrote for 24 hours straight instead of taking the entire semester…and still got an A.

I almost always run right up to a deadline and I also almost always get things done right in the nick of time.  (“Nick of time” is a really weird phrase, but I digress.)

There are some researchers who say that procrastination and perfectionism are related.  And there are some studies that say…not so.  For me, they are…at least some of the time.  The earlier I start a project, the longer I pick and pick until it’s perfect.  The later I start a project, the less time I have to go over the details again and again.  I often wait and wait because of that fear thing I mentioned on Day 1.  And sometimes I wait and wait because I’m just being lazy.  (I can admit it!) Procrastination is a way of being that has worked for me…but I’m not sure it’s the best thing, and I wonder what would be accomplishable without it.

At the core, I think procrastination is part of a deeply rooted place inside where I believe that I best know how to function as a ball of stress.  Stress and busyness functioned for many years and in many cases as defense mechanisms for me to stave off dealing with other deeper things. They have often been my friends and my ground zero.

But stress is not exactly fun.  And several years ago I started learning how to be still which has caused me to be more interested in stillness than stress…theoretically.

The truth is that when I’m consistently doing things as they come up instead of putting them off until tomorrow, I generally feel more at peace. And as I get older, peace is becoming more appealing to me.

I don’t always procrastinate with bad things.  Sometimes they’re really good.  You know, like finally starting a blog that I’ve been putting off forever right when I have a film script I promised to be finished with several times over already.

Which reminds me…I’ve got some stuff to do…

(This post is dedicated to Dennis and Lauren who love me anyway…I promise, it’s getting done!)

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