Friday, September 27, 2013

Insight - Procrastination - By Michelle Libby

I would stop there, but I’ve left this insight until the last possible moment and now I’m busting it out. 

I prefer to think of my skills not as procrastination, but as working really well with a deadline. For as long as I can remember I have been deadline oriented. Paper due, I’d do it just before it’s time to turn it in. College story due, I’d get up at 5 a.m. to finish it and turn it in to my editor. 

I majored in journalism because I loved having deadlines. 

So…procrastination. Even the word takes too long to type or read. It slows everything down. 

Are you deadline oriented or a procrastinator? When someone is coming over to your house, do you clean just before they get there (throwing everything into a laundry basket and stashing it in a back room) or have it done an hour before they get there and have time to relax? 

Deadlines are in place for a reason. At The Windham Eagle, if things don’t arrive on my computer until after the noon on Wednesday’s deadline, it puts me behind, then the graphic designer, then the proof readers…and you see where this is going. 

I never thought about the chain of deadlines before until I was the middle link in that chain. So maybe there’s a bit of a procrastinator in me. 

Procrastination also is linked to fear. We procrastinate because we are afraid of what will happen when we send out the manuscript, open the door of a new business or take the first step in an exercise regime. The longer we put something off the more time it takes for someone to reject us or for us to fail at something. 

So perhaps setting deadlines is the solution to procrastination. If there is a deadline, it can’t be put off until the time is right for you. 

So get out the calendar and set a deadline for what you’ve been waiting to do.   

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