I admit it: I’m a procrastinator. Let me take a few moments to reflect on past and current projects and my procrastination and/or abandonment thereof:
1. At least four or five novels that I began writing and never finished. This includes a collaborative book project with my best friend. It’s a chick-lit story of first-year teachers. We started it maybe four years ago, working together occasionally in our free time, drawing from many of our personal experiences. We even attended a writers’ conference to take classes on writing and the publishing process. However, life got busier and busier, and now I can’t even remember the last time we wrote anything new. ( Sorry, Taryn!). Our book is in limbo, stuck at 78 pages and 42,000 words. Our poor lead character is also suffering, waiting and hoping for her life to get straightened out.
2. Various paint touch-ups that need to be done all over my house. Every room we repainted when we moved in needs help. And no matter how carefully I applied painters’ tape to protect the corners and edges, there are still smudges galore. I guess I never learned in kindergarten how to stay inside the lines.
3. Ordering the additional classroom supplies and texts I’ll need to get through the school year. Our department has a budget, and I love school-supply shopping so much, I stretch it out and take my time perusing the options, trying to make the most of every dollar. (Review games? Cultural projects? Posters? Rewards? Books? So many choices!) Anything crucial I forget now, I’ll be paying for from my own pocket. It is November 4th. With any luck, I’ll have everything I need by April.
4. Figuring out how to attach the photos of my baby I had arranged in a collage frame so they won’t all fall down again. It’s resting against the wall of our hallway as I write, and has been there for weeks. Three and a half of the eight pictures are partially visible, while the other four spaces sit sad and empty.
5. Putting away clean laundry. A perpetual nuisance. I’m pretty good about keeping up with the washing, drying, and folding, but somehow that final step always eludes me. (Yes, my husband does laundry as well. We are equally bad at this.)
6. Picking up the phone to call the dentist regarding a filling, phone company about switching service, electrician about our flickering lights, a doctor to schedule a consult for Nate’s knee, eye doctor for a yearly checkup…I hate phone calls. I would probably never get take-out pizza if it weren’t for online ordering.
7. Taking old clothes to the donation bin. I’ve held onto them for weeks, debating whether I ought to just save them for a garage sale instead. In all likelihood, if I decide that, June will arrive and I’ll be too busy. Then July will be too hot. Then August will hit, school will start and I won’t have the slightest desire to spend my free time sorting and pricing a bunch of junk and then trying to attract garage-salers and convince them to give me money in exchange for said junk.
Why do I torture myself over these unfinished things? Wouldn’t it be so much easier to just DO what needs to be done, right away, without all this procrastination? It’d be so much less stressful, yet I continue to quit in the middle, or sometimes not even start.
How about you? What task are you putting off today? What would it take for you to finally cross that off your to-do list?