Monthly Archives: December 2012

Procrastination: How To Pay Double Interest For Your Time

Procrastination is what happens when intention and ordered meaning is obscured by immediate feeling.
But you already know this, right?
On an intellectual level you understand that there is something you have to finish, and your feelings are like tiny howler monkeys, screaming in your ear and pointing you in the direction of something else.

You can’t pull yourself into the thing you’re supposed to be doing.
You’re meh on that.

These emotions of the moment take your time away from you, and stop you from getting things done that will help you. It’s like there’s a swelling pressure in your head that directs your attention and impulses to other things.

In the long run, when you indulge your feelings now you stress out — and pay for it again in exhaustion, squandered options and missed opportunities afterward.

  • You worry about the stuff you’re supposed to be paying attention to.
  • You worry about not having done it yet.
  • You worry about the after-effects — of work you haven’t done and still aren’t doing.
  • You worry about all the hard work you have to rush to get it done.
  • And in the meantime, you see other opportunities that you can’t take because you’re so busy trying to not-deal with whatever it is you’re putting off.

Result: you’re driven into deeper dithering. You pay for it now (in stress and time) and you pay for it later (in wasted opportunities).

That’s double interest. A credit card with rates like that would be dead in the water, but when it comes to time, your time, it’s okay?

You put things off until the opportunity expires. You don’t work. Things don’t get done. Nothing important for you happens. And for no good reason other than a massive cloud of meh obstructing your vision. Then what happens?

  • You forfeit long-term gains for short-term relief. Add the incidences up over time, the cost can be crushing, because you’ve paid in slices of your life that you can’t ever do over, but can regret plenty.

And it’s not just procrastinating on the little things that bite you in the ass. It’s pulling back on the big things because you’re scared and they matter to you too much. Small things lost may tick you off, but big things lost can break your heart.

You’re afraid you’ll never be able to measure up, or deserve it — why even try? — so you bury yourself in the small stuff to feel busy and accomplished.

Here are a few things I found over the years that helped me get in gear and beat this bad habit: Continue reading Procrastination: How To Pay Double Interest For Your Time

A Few Thoughts On Taking Time Off

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” – Seth Godin

Over the years, I noticed a few things when it came to taking some time off:

  • I often have to encounter something I can’t stop, change or affect in order to rest. For example, when I get sick, it’s about the only time I set aside time for myself –and more often than not, I have to talk myself out of powering through it and cross off one more thing on my To Do list, in fear that the world will collapse if I’m not there to handle it. Ever do laundry when you’re running a fever and your head is so clogged you can’t even breathe through your nose? I don’t recommend it.
  • I feel anxious and think that I may be missing out on something important. Cue repetitive checking for new email and updates. Cue refreshing every half-hour or so: “Just 10 more minutes…there might be an upda–oh, score!”
  • I feel like a slacker, and that I’m squandering time and opportunities — I mean, I can be making something great here! I could be doing something more important. You know, something!

Basically, when I try to relax, I fall apart. And I don’t think I’m the only one. Right?

Pressure can be deviously comfortable that way. When you’re used to living with it, you can feel quite out of sorts when it’s suddenly removed. Sometimes that dislocation manifests itself in the oddest ways. Like planning and saving and looking towards a vacation, and come the time to take it, you schedule in everything because dammit, you are going to enjoy this break even if it kills you. (Again, that can’t be just me.) So here’s the rest of what I learned when I tried really, really hard to relax and failed. Continue reading A Few Thoughts On Taking Time Off