Using Procrastination to Your Benefit - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 04-09-2013, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Neat theory!  I've noticed this in myself before.  Procrastinating and putting one thing off by doing something else, eventually I've achieved something.  The thing is, don't do nothing.


1.  I sometimes discover that the chore/project/whatever that I'm putting off had some leeway that wasn't apparent at first.


2.  It works best if I make a point of looking for the success and appreciating it, instead of minimizing it.


The saddest instances are when I get so wound up with anxiety and guilt about a project at the top of my list, and I respond by withdrawing and doing nothing at all (surfing the net, playing solitaire).  What a waist of a life!!  I'm telling myself, at least go do something else that you enjoy! 


Sunday was a great example of this.  We moved 2 months ago and we've still got a garage full of boxes to unpack and arrange.  Obviously that should be one of my top priorities.  What did I do?  I went to Lowes and picked out a cute pot and a bag of potting soil for my languishing African Violet.


I really enjoyed looking around, making plans (that I may or may not get around to, either is okay).  I got home and instead of putting things aside to go grocery shopping, I spread the potting supplies out on the kitchen counter and had a good time re-potting the plant.  It was very satisfying!  And I reminded myself that re-potting it was also a priority, on the B list instead of the A list, but a priority none the less.  It was something I was meaning to get around to for a whole year -it was a gift from my sister last year this time.  Per past experience with plants I knew this poor, neglected plant wasn't long for this world.  Okay, for whatever reason I'm motivated to make this plant an exception.  So strike while the iron is hot!


Priority #1 didn't go away; I still had to do the week's grocery shopping. So I did. We ate dinner a little later than we would have because I chose to spend 20 minutes potting a plant. And every time I look at that plant in its new, cute pot, I get a kick of satisfaction. 


The joy of doing something else, instead of priority #1, does give me energy.  It makes me happy, which gives me a little mental stamina to go do something else. It took me a while to figure this out.  My habit has been to minimize whatever else I do if it's instead of priority #1.  What a shame!


Most important, I figured out that I don't want to waist any more time not even enjoying life, in fact doing nothing, in this misplaced guilt.  I'll be honest, I spent years doing nothing at all, not even stuff I enjoy, because I've got this procrastination/avoidance dynamic going on.  I'm a little regretful thinking about what I might have achieved, and enjoyed, if I had simply allowed it.  But I'm also trying not to dwell on regret. 


A lot can get done if I allow myself to do what I enjoy. 


Anyone else notice this? Does it apply to you? 


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#2 of 4 Old 04-10-2013, 06:53 AM
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Yes! I can relate:-) It's like cleaning your room instead of writing a paper in college. It isn't as if the room didn't need cleaning...


Years ago, I decided the way to go was to dive into whatever project caught my enthusiasm. I consciously decided not to be weighed down by feeling obliged to finish the previous project that I had started but hadn't yet finished. I do get them finished eventually. But doing something else meanwhile can really fuel my energy level. And I'm convinced the project that I put off is often better for it. When my enthusiasm for it returns, I may have new ideas or improved skills.


I can totally relate with repotting that plant. Something like that would give me huge satisfaction. Much better to do the "wrong" things and feel so good than to do nothing at all!

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#3 of 4 Old 04-10-2013, 10:41 AM
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This is me too! I should have cleaned up the balloons, presents, gift bags, etc from DD's birthday party on Saturday. What did I do? I noticed a bunch of overripe bananas in my fruit bowl and made muffins instead. Yes, the house still needs to be tidied up but the clutter will still be there tomorrow whereas the bananas may have gone off the deep end by then. Now I feel good that I baked with the help of my two year old AND have yummy treats for when daddy gets home. Also DD gets an extra day of fun pulling seven helium balloons around the house wink1.gif
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#4 of 4 Old 04-11-2013, 01:53 AM
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totally me too !

... when i "ground myself" in the hope that i'm going to address my obvious decluttering needs (to access to my bed right now, it's knee deep in plastic bags in which i shoved whatever i cleared up from the lounge last Thursday when i had a cleaning lady coming specifically to "dust the lounge .... for two hours !")

instead i start

- cleaning

- defrosting the freezer

- researching the internet for vitamin supplementation

- making appointment for a back massage

- making plans to go swimming ....

- start to feel that i "must" go to town in this or that shop, suddently urgently......


on the other hand, last night i finally put the sewing machine away after

- nearly finishing on a jewelery pouch i've been meaning to sew for myself .... for at least 5 months now ?

- hemmed some trousers for DD1

- spent 10 minutes narrowing a waistband for a skirt for DD1 (.... which i WAS going to get round to doing .... about 10 days ago !!!)

and of course, this last task was the most urgent, but i just couldn't get round to doing if first THEN going to bed instead of using my sleep time for less urgent sewing tasks ...


AND am off shortly shopping in town ... (If i resist the urge to go swimming AND drop the mosaïc workshop, i can still have 3 solid hours of decluttering this afternoon ???? mind you i need to also quickly wipe the fridge and freezer and put everything back in again ..... will i manage to address my plastic bags today ?????)

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