Sunday, January 06, 2008


The reason I'm procrastinating is not because it's Sunday, or because I'd rather be playing, although both of those things are true. And it's not because it's pretty and sunny outside, which makes me long to go for a run, and if I added up all the random procrastinating minutes, I could've just gone for the damn run rather than feeling guilty wasting the time running when I should be working.

The real reason is that I'm afraid I won't do a good job, though. I have three speeches to write, and don't really know a lot about any of the topics.

I tell myself I'm smart, and that I have material to read, and that I can in fact craft good speeches on all three topics. My mantra has started to be "You're smart. You can figure this out."

But I have this little voice that says, "Except maybe you can't."

I start thinking about them, and get all self-doubt-y and nervous. And then I pick up the folder with the first topic. And promptly put it back down. Because what if I don't do a good job? What if I can't figure out the right thing to say? What if he doesn't like what I've written? What if I'm not actually that smart?

Part of the problem, OK, most of the problem, is that I lack discipline. If I were someone else I'd have forced myself to just start slogging. But me? I fret. I fuck around. I postpone. I re-fret.

I do this until I really really really have no margin for fuckaroundiness any longer. This is the point I've reached. This is my last little bit of time-wasting that I'm going to allow myself. Because as it is I am going to be working till late late late. As in later than late.

This post is not really a time waste, though. It's catharsis. I feel better having gotten it out.

And now? Now I'm really really honest-to-god going to work.

If you see me back on here, please give me a stern talking-to.


  1. This thought has crossed my mind briefly in the past, but now it is firmly cemented: are you my long lost twin? Haha, but seriously, the procrastination? that's me. For exactly the same reasons. And it doesn't help that in addition to being a procrastinator, I am also a perfectionist. Sigh.

    My advice (in case you were at all curious) is to just Start Somewhere. When I can't get going with writing I just look at the prompt/topic and tell myself I'm going to write one page (whether it's the first page, the last page, or a random page from what will be the middle of the finished product), and then once I've started, I don't feel quite as terrible, and find that I can keep on writing.

    Good luck! (And you ARE smart!)

  2. Tell you what...

    You write the speeches and I'll write this case study on Strategic Leadership and Howard Schultz. I'm just not motivated to start on it.

  3. I live for deadlines. Though even when I've got 'em, I'm all about waiting until I have JUST ENOUGH time to do it. My professional/school writing would probably have benefited from less dicking around, but hey ... I'm doing aight, and I'm enjoying where I'm at, so I guess it's all good, right?

  4. I can really relate to this.

    And I'm sending it to my oldest kid who pushes the limits of fuckingaround too.

  5. You just summed up my past two years, Lisa!!!

    Hang in there.. you know you'll get it done. You'll get it done and it will be great. And you'll be frustrated with the fuss you made when it's done.. until the next time. ;)

  6. I have the same problems with procrastination and for the same reasons that you do. Avoiding the task means that you don't make the wrong decisions on it...

    Anyway, let me know how you work through this :)

  7. Oh God, I know exactly how you feel! AaaahhhhH!!

  8. I know this. I LIVE this. All the time. I've learned not to stress if the process is a mess though--your product will be amazing.

  9. you just explained exactly what i did for the past two weeks in my attempt to revise my resume and apply to jobs. i ended up not getting anything done because i kept stressing over whether i'd be good enough. thanks for letting me know im not alone in the seld doubt and procrastination. hope you did well on your speeches. =)

  10. Nicole - Thanks for the vote of confidence! :) And you are right - you just have to START.

    Steve - Ugh. Grim.

    TBB - You've in a very good place, so I'd say it worked out well for you.

    DCup - Ugh. I'm sure she appreciated it. Heh.

    Celtic Not - HI!!! And thanks! :) Your past two years have put you in an amazing place, so clearly it's worked for you. All the stress is dreadful, though.

    HIN - Exactly! I fret and fret about the wrong decision. And what I finally did was as Nicole suggested - I just started the damn thing somewhere.

    Valerie - Yes, aaaaahhh! Sorry to hear you can relate - it sucks.

    Alejandra - I'm glad to hear that. If I could stop stressiing it would be vastly better.

    H - Oh, that's so awful and stressful. I've done that at multiple points. Good luck!

  11. oh we are so in the same league of procrastinators. Nice to know I'm not alone!


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