I am very good at procrastinating certain chores. I'd rather pick up toys than clean the kitchen. I'd rather cook than put clothes away. I'd rather play with the kids than sweep the floor for the millioneth time. This past weekend, with my to-do list staring me in the face, I found reasons to make pumpkin bread, cook lentils, and make stuffed parantas even though there was plenty of food in the fridge. I had done a lot of chores around the house, but I still felt guilty for dedicating more time to cooking food than I had to cleaning up afterwards.
The good news is that I don't have to feel guilty for my procrastination anymore. Thanks to my procrastinating* perusal of Facebook, I found this article Positive Procrastination Not an Oxymoron. It turns out that most procrastinators aren't lazy, in fact they accomplish quite a bit! As the article says, "The psychological principle is this: anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment." That is a sentiment I can definitely support with my suitcase example.
I've never been fond of unpacking and was not looking forward to distributing the various items in my suitcase to their rightful places. However, I love spring rolls and really wanted to use up the spring roll wrappers and mushrooms. Plus, the kids needed something to eat for dinner, to accompany some healthy, non-fried veggies on the side. So even though I did the work of chopping, dicing and frying the food--essentially taking care of various concerns in one fell-vegetable-oil-coated-swoop--the suitcase remained.
Even though I delay some tasks because I don't like them, I often delay them out of fear. Writing brings me a lot of joy, but I procrastinate writing these posts because I'm not sure I'll aptly capture the sentiments I have in my head in a way readers would relate to. Instead of writing, I sometimes research articles that offer differing opinions which then help me focus my own thoughts. Sometimes though, that research allows me to read, click, read, click and read for hours instead of writing. I should follow the article's suggestions that when it's time for me to write, follow two rules:
a) I don’t have to write.
b) I can’t do anything else.
As a mother of two, the luxury of doing nothing sounds fantastic, but not at the cost of writing. I should have followed this rule on Friday, when I started writing this post. (It's now Tuesday.) This article also reminded me of a few other golden rules: a) create a routine and stick to it b) as the queen of fighting chaos, Flylady, says, "You can do anything for 15 minutes." Keeping all that in mind, I've started tackling my least favorite tasks everyday, 15 minutes at a time. I yearn for the day there will be no chores to procrastinate for.
But, if after reading this article, you want to procrastinate a little more, with the exuse of finding out how serious of a procrastinator you are, take this survey. I took the quiz and it turns out I'm an "average procrastinator." Living in a city of over-achievers, being average is usually a bad thing, but in this case, it's something to be proud of.
* I'm pretty sure that this is a grammatically incorrect use of "procrastinating," but it shouldn't be.