I am the queen of procrastination. I will put off putting things off. I knew it was bad when I delayed reading an article about ways to stop procrastinating. I told myself that I would get to it later, but I never did. Why? Because later is not a set time. Later is indefinite. Which means things left for later rarely get done. There’s a cemetery somewhere filled with all of the things I’ve started, yet never finished or said I would begin later.
I often abide by the saying “Why do today what you can put off ’til tomorrow?” Part of me likes the thrill of barely meeting a deadline and the anxiety of whether I will finish in time. Most of my college assignments were done hours before they were due. I even had to ask for an extension on a few papers in grad school. I would still get As on them (even after points were deducted for it being late). Sometimes my life literally comes down to a buzzer beating, game winning 3 point shot. That can be exciting. But overall, it’s stressful. So, I want to change.
Mostly because I delay the wrong things. Such like a tedious task at work, paying a bill, refilling a Rx, laundry, or more importantly, following my dreams. Putting these off doesn’t make them disappear. My to-do list at work only grows. My bills pile up and some incur late fees (great, more money I didn’t want to spend). My skin breaks out because I run out of acne cream. I either spend more money on clothes, since I have nothing clean to wear, or I wear something old or ill-fitting and feel self-conscious. Worst of all, I go through life working on someone else’s dream, at a job that isn’t ideal. I love the company I work for, but I know I am meant for more.
I should practice more “positive procrastination”, e.g., when someone puts a tray of cookies or desserts in the pantry at work, it’s best to walk away and come back later. By then everything is gone. Dang, I missed out. Not really, because my waistline didn’t need it anyway. But if there’s a cookie left, it was meant to be right?
Admitting that I had a problem was the first step. I have improved a bit and found ways to combat this issue. If I tackle my to-do list at work, I reward myself by taking a real lunch away from my desk (or I eat that cookie dammit). I have automated most of my bill payments (and I regularly review my statements). I also set reminders for refilling Rxs in advance.
I’m still a lost cause when it comes to my laundry though (I’ve always loathed doing it, even when my old building had a laundry room in it). I don’t write as often as I should either. Yet, I’m getting better at making it a priority.
I am a work in progress. I’ve come to understand the importance of living like I only have today. I am more motivated than ever and have been inspired again to pursue my goals. I want to jump on the “Black Girl Magic” train and ride it until my dreams become a reality.
One of my fears is that my obituary will be really boring, because my goals were left for later. I don’t want to be haunted by all of the “shoulda, woulda, couldas.” I will get out of my own way and start living the life I was meant to live.
What time is it? Game time!