I am a procrastinator… at least, I have great ability to be one and have to do a lot in order to push this inclination aside. I know that procrastination is one of those things that many writers speak of… and non-writers as well, I’m sure.
Why do today what can be put off until tomorrow?
Procrastination can take some interesting forms. I know more than a few people who have been known to produce amazing meals and baked goods when they have deadlines approaching.
I don’t think I have ever seen so many clean homes, apartments, cars, kitchens and bathrooms as I saw when visiting classmates when finals were approaching.
There is, also, the clear and simple forms of procrastination,
binge-watching shows, sleeping late, taking even more walks.
But some procrastination is a little more stealthy. It starts out looking like something useful, something important, but slowly begins to just serve as a way to put off what needs to be done. The cooking, baking, cleaning, (ahem, blogging), all are examples of this kind of procrastination.
Recently I realized another kind of way that I procrastinate, one of those subtle ones. I research.
I did it when I was working on my thesis, following primarily tangential threads this way and that, under the vague disguise of useful research. I caught myself falling into it on another story, “What kind of dresses would they be wearing in the era I’m basing this off of?” Which quickly turned from a short trip to look up some pictures online to an in-depth venture digging through scholarly articles about fabric choices. Yeah…. not hugely relevant.
Sometimes these research ventures can be helpful and important, but more often I find myself lost in the journey, the story a long forgotten memory as I wander through articles.
I think researching has maybe become my favorite form of procrastination over the years. It doesn’t cost me anything (like baking did), and it seems super productive. I mean, it’s RESEARCH. That can’t be procrastination, can it?
But it is. It’s putting off what I should (and really do want to) be working on. And, though eventually those things I want to be working on now may be able to serve as a procrastination tool later, that’s a slippery slope to walk. And it will never result in accomplishing what I want to accomplish, but rather constantly being two steps behind and never quite getting done what I set out to get done.
So I set a goal, to stop researching unnecessarily. And to not replace it with another form of procrastination….
How do you find yourself procrastinating? Or, what is your favorite procrastination technique? I swear, I’m not looking for suggestions, just curious the traps others find themselves falling into.