Confessions of a Professional Procrastinator…

In elementary school I remember learning the definition of one word with complete clarity: procrastination. When going over procrastination in school we were told that there are two types of procrastinators: those who are just plain lazy, and those that are perfectionists to a disabling degree.

Now I have always been, and possibly will always be, a terrible terrible procrastinator (I’m working on it don’t look at me like that). Learning these categories set off a spiral of self-enabling behavior that persists even to this day. Who wants to admit they are lazy? I’m certainly not lazy (superhugecoughcough), I just want things to be so perfect that I’m paralyzed by the nigh-insurmountable task in front of me, obviously (can you hear the sarcasm?).

the masked procrastinator - crop

From that day on, whenever I waited to the last minute to work on a project or write a paper, I always had a handy excuse. I’m just too much of a perfectionist. The undercurrent of this mentality, that I never realized before, is two-fold. Firstly, there is a distinct lack of self-confidence. I am not confident that I will complete the task, on time, in a manner that will live up to my own expectations, or to the expectations I assume other people have of me. Second, my expectations for myself are probably unreasonable (more often than not).

I procrastinated all day on this post because I didn’t want to just answer the NaBloPoMo prompt as presented in the dry, school essay manner of answering questions. I needed to have something interesting, profound, and entertaining to say that tied into the prompt cleverly and effectively.

Wow, take a chill pill Sarah-Belle. You’ve been at this for two weeks…no one is expecting earth-shattering revelations or novel insights. I mean seriously I have like 6 followers…2 of which are my mom (hey mom!).

Somewhere around lunch I asked Lbean for some help. I’m reaching here, anything will do. The prompt is “Do you see the glass as half full or half empty?” ready-set-go! To this point all I could think of to answer with is…well it depends on the mood and the context. If I’m in a good mood it’s a half-full kind of day, etc (snore). Though it doesn’t take much to get me from half full to half empty…

He thought for a minute and finally said to me: “I think when it comes to yourself you are half empty.”

Lbean…you hit the nail on the head. It’s extremely easy for me to shrug off things like the fact that my brand new iPhone 5s screen shattered not one month after purchasing it (hey I get a new phone out of it!), and the 5th time I got a flat tire in my old truck (I got an awesome new car a year earlier than planned and I’m super good at changing my own tires). Those are definitely half full things.

However, when it comes to my health/weight/beauty/social life/family life, the half full moments are few and far in between. It is a lot harder for me to take a hit in those areas and shrug it off with a silver lining or a pretty moto catch phrase. I think this is why I never finish projects…I’ll work on it.

So half empty or half full? Both, neither, it depends. Either way, there’s shit in the glass, and most days that’s good enough for me.



9 responses to “Confessions of a Professional Procrastinator…

  1. I used to tell myself that I couldn’t start working on homework / dissertation / thesis / whatever, until the pressure was on. Otherwise I’d get bored with it. I seemed to need the stress of the impending deadline in order to get my butt in gear.

    Really….I’m just a lazy sod.

    • Yeah stress was definitely a good motivator (really, it was the only motivator) for me as well. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you if I did BETTER work under duress or not because I never did anything early…ever. But I certainly liked to pretend that was the case 😉

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  3. Gee, you have flaws? Let’s see you’re a Texan? In my book, that’s not a flaw. You’re a procrastinator? That’s not a flaw. Why do today what you can put off till tomorrow. You went to elementary school? Now if you didn’t graduate from elementary school, that might be a flaw? But I’m purty sure you graduated. You’re rite purty darn good, so most likely you didn’t stop till you got to the 8th grade, then you quit out of sheer boredom. I am getting this right, aren’t I?

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