I woke up early this morning and my first thought was, “I have to write an article for the blog, first thing.” It’s now 11:30 a.m. and I still haven’t written the blog post.
Instead, I have changed the sheets on my bed. I fixed a cheese omelet with rye toast and I sat down and ate. I’ve done three loads of laundry, taken out the trash, answered my e-mail, checked FaceBook and updated some documents on my computer. Still no blog post.
Needing to write a blog post did not come as a surprise. It was not an assignment that was dropped into my lap unexpectedly. I write a post every Monday morning. I could write the post before Monday, but every week I find myself putting it off until the last minute. I have no excuse other than procrastination.
It has been said that, “Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.” I find this to be true in my own life, especially when it comes to writing.
I could say to you that I’m just waiting for God to give me a topic to write about and the words to write. That makes me sound so spiritual, but it would be a falsehood. Not that God does not give me an occasional nudge about what to write but I find myself more often writing about topics that are thorns in my side. Or subjects that I think the reader needs to think about.
It’s hard to contemplate procrastination without thinking about deadlines. The two seem to be joined at the hip. After all, isn’t procrastination our way to avoid deadlines. Our lives are filled with deadlines, the most ominous deadline being April 15, Tax Day.
Writers and editors, publishers and marketing experts, all work with deadlines. Some of my writer colleagues are excellent in maintaining deadlines. Others are excellent at asking for extensions. Still others, just ignore the deadline altogether. What about you? Where do you stand on the timeline of the deadline?
With today’s deadline fast approaching, I continued to ponder my issue with procrastination I realized it was tied to motivation. When we enjoy something, and look forward to it, there is no procrastination. If we know that a reward is waiting at the end of our work, we jump on it and get the job done.
Procrastination is not unique to any one personality. In Personality Training we look at procrastination as a weakness and discuss ways to overcome the weakness. For example, a sanguine usually procrastinates because a job is not fun, so we talk about ways to make work fun. A choleric will procrastinate if they don’t have control of the project. Melancholies are often waiting on perfect timing or perfect conditions. And the phlegmatic gets bogged down with the effort it takes to get the job done. However, we find all will respond to positive motivation.
I encourage you to take a serious look at your life, whether it’s your writing or some other area where you struggle with procrastination. Think about what motivates you and how using the right form of motivation will help you accomplish your task.
As for me, I have spent the last sixty minutes putting these words on paper and now that I’ve finished this blog post, I’m pretty sure that I hear the Haagen Dazs in the freezer calling my name. Now that’s what I call positive motivation.