Procrastination JAM

Merging Traffic

Ingredients:

4 discussion boards for an online class

2 Newsletters for The Chamber Link

4 tutoring sessions

5 rooms to clean

10 loads of laundry

100 daily words (minimum)

1 daily blog post

1 grocery shopping trip

2 meals to prepare

 Directions:

Somehow fit all of the above into the hours when the sun is up (it’s OK to extend into night-time hours). When it gets too much, do nothing. Allow list items to percolate then ferment until the Procrastination Jam is ripe and ready to serve.

Procrastination is my life’s signature. I wait until 10 pm to complete an essay due at midnight, or I tell myself that I’ll get to those dishes first thing in the morning. The laundry can wait until tomorrow-after all, I have one pair of clean underwear left.

And then the morning will come and I am immobilized, staying in bed until 10:00 because it’s just so much easier than walking out of my bedroom to face the piled up dishes and laundry and work that I need to do. Yesterday morning, my monologue went like this, “I don’t want to write while there’s a mess on the table. Part of the mess is the glasses and dishes from last night. I don’t want to do the dishes because I need to take out the garbage. I don’t want to take out the garbage because then I’ll have to get dressed. I don’t want to get dressed because I have to take a shower. I don’t want to take a shower because I don’t have a clean towel. I don’t have a clean towel because I haven’t done laundry in two weeks. I haven’t done laundry in two weeks because I haven’t wanted to.” Ugh. Disgusting.

I’m as good at beating myself up about the procrastination as I am at being the procrastinator.

Last night, I was thinking on the state of my house and all the things I had yet to do, wondering why I wasn’t doing anything, and I had an ‘ah-ha’. Life is like a traffic flow. Just as traffic slows to a frustrating crawl when four lanes are merged to one, a long list of to-do’s gets squashed and strangled, the flow of completion being overwhelmed. Get too many items to do in a day, and everything gets stuck together, preventing almost anything from getting done.

The solution? Preventing the jam to begin with. Keeping the flow moving. I have a new mantra. . .Keep it flowing. This morning I still woke up at 10:00 and then took my daughter out to brunch (can’t cook in my kitchen until I clean my kitchen). But when I got home, though tempted to bury myself in a book, I said the mantra and cleaned off the table. Keep it flowing.

Keep it flowing. Keep it flowing.

Keep it flowing.

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