fear

Look. I know this about myself. But I should make it clear to you all, dear readers:

I am a procrastinatin’ bitch.

I try to make excuses about not having time. Not having resources ($$ for sitter) to make the requisite time.

And actually, my excuses fly. But there’s another reason I don’t get stuff done expediently:

I spend a good deal of time worrying about whether I’ll be able to do it or not. Or worrying that I’ll eff it up. I am afraid. Frequently.

And then, of course, everytime I finally sit down to *do* whatever it is I’m expected to do, I’m always THRILLED TO PIECES with myself that I didn’t crash and burn. This has proved to be a marked trend since I began my work here at SU.

As a writer, though, this procrastination shit just doesn’t fly. I gots to find a remedy.

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5 thoughts on “fear

  1. And sometimes, your advisor comes through, saying “I’ll be out of town ’til Sunday, so take a few more days to finish up that draft!” Yea!!

  2. Yea, except sometimes it’s just three more days to procrastinate. Or three days filled with “Fuck!! Why didn’t I start this a month ago?? I can’t finish–shit, I can’t even START in three days.”

    But that’s me, not you. You go, Suze.

  3. Well, procrastination can sometimes be a powerful tool, which can be used to remedy nothingness. Okay, that didn’t make much sense. So what I’m trying to say is this: If you put it off, it only gets worse and time runs out quickly. If you do “it” just a little bit everyday (not all at once), then “it” will become easier to deal with when you’ve attempted to put it off for so long; this all depends on what the “it” is too. Hope that made more sense. Pace yourself and things will work themselves out.

    BTW, I’m really good at procrastinating. It’s the pressure that I’ve learned to thrive on. But these day’s I’m finding that my body can’t take what my mind can dish out. So, I’m starting to somewhat change the way I procrastinate.

    But it sounds like you have waited too long to get started.

  4. I procrastinate all the time, too, and I hate it. It was especially bad in the long boring never-ending middle of dissertation writing, when I had nothing but myself to keep me honest. I sometimes think, though, that 1) procrastination is endemic to academia (all us perfectionist types running around) and 2) that although we all procrastinate, a lot of the time it’s in that “to create the MOST PERFECT prospectus/chapter/paper/whatever, I should have started 6 months ago, written for 3 hours every day, explored every source on the subject that exists, and have had meaningful conversations with great scholars on the subject. Since I didn’t, I AM POND SCUM” kind of way – that is, we procrastinate in our own heads according to the high standards we have for ourselves, but we nonetheless manage to get everything done anyway. Which is at heart the most important thing.

    I still wish I didn’t procrastinate so much, though.

  5. Thanks for labeling your post FEAR – because that is so often what procrastination is about.

    Especially, when writing, I think that procrastination is about FEAR of EXPOSURE.

    ***

    How about this?
    The Procrastinator’s Code
    (what procrastination tricks us into believing)

    ***
    My work must be perfect.*
    It’s safer to do nothing than to take a risk and fail.*
    If it’s not right, it’s not worth writing. *
    I must avoid critical feedback. *
    I shouldn’t stop until the draft is pefect.*
    I shouldn’t start until I know exactly what I’m going to say. *
    If I expose my work, the world (or my advisor)will see that I am inadequate as a scholar. *
    I need to do more research before I start writing.*
    I’ve already “blown it” by not producing more, so why bother starting. *
    If I make myself miserable enough maybe I’ll begin working. *
    If I’m not working I should punish myself with guilt. *

    My favorite book about these issues is “Procrastination” by Burka & Yuen*
    Here are some of my concrete tips for fighting procrastination: http://www.successfulacademic.com/success_tips/Overcome_procrastination.htm

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