A Procrastinator’s Confession

Scrap card stock with gel pen on Black Mixed Media Paper

I admit it, I am a procrastinator. I have almost turned it into my own art form. I have the “go to” thoughts in my head that allow me to justify putting things – chores, exercise, cleaning, and anything else – off until another day. We all do it at one time or another, and eventually we get things done most of the time. When I decided I wanted to procrastinate less and do more I had to figure out why I had become comfortable with this self defeating process.

Procrastination is the Art of Keeping up with Yesterday

-Don Marquis 1937

I admit that there was a bit of self serving purpose in procrastinating. I have learned my work habits well enough to know that I do my best work under pressure and procrastination is often the format for me to create ‘pressure’. Self imposed as it may be, pressure makes me think, act, decide and move on more quickly than when I have all the time in the world. Having a lot to do AND needing to get it done is my best arena for producing. Sort of like putting pressure on myself to create art and write a blog post everyday.

I admit I had to dig back in my blog to see that I started writing everyday. In 2015 I began daily blog posts, I upped my game in 2020 by adding the elements of creating a piece of art for each day. So I set the goal and that put pressure on me to do the work. I write everyday, I also create something in art everyday. The words may be for tomorrow’s post (which is my most frequent habit) and the art may be for the next day’s post or have to dry so I have learned to keep multiple pieces in process. I am now up to 609 Pieces of art, heading towards 1,000 quicker than I thought possible. I sometimes work ahead if I am traveling or know my internet connection may be flaky, in general I work everyday.

I admit I like being lazy. I enjoy naps, movies, television, reading and just doing nothing. I lived and traveled at such a frenzied pace for so many decades that I enjoy bucking the system and doing nothing. Doing all these things forces pressure as they are often the reasons I do not do what I know I should be doing. Choosing to do these lazy things builds up my internal inferno and eventually forces me to act. It is fighting the urge to be lazy rather than doing things that makes some days more productive than others.

And finally, I admit that I am driven. I like getting things done, doing good work, pushing myself and creating things. Self imposed deadlines seem easier to avoid than ones where other people are waiting. I also realize that when I procrastinate it is either to add pressure or fear, the fear we feel when we do not know how to do or what to do next. It is when my drive to produce overtakes my desire to be lazy, when the delays, fear and procrastination force me to work…THAT is when it all gets done. Whew! That sounds exhausting! And some days it is. So like I shared yesterday I have a new statement I repeat to myself each day – One thing everyday, just one thing. I can do one thing AND fit a little relaxation into my day, so it seems to be working. Procrastination rears it’s ugly head, just not as much as before.

I hope this helps my fellow procrastinators. And if not, read this again tomorrow and give it a think.

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