Tuesday, September 08, 2015
Facing Procrastination Demons
I don't set out to procrastinate. It just sort of happens. After a couple of hours of work - good, hard work - I suddenly start to feel totally crappy. As if I have DONE NOTHING at all, even though I've been working hard.
I get up from the desk, wander the house aimlessly, maybe take a shower or meditate. Then, if I write or really ask myself what is going on, chances are I find out that I've been getting a lot done - but not THE ONE THING - or the few things, but usually it's just one - that will help me feel like I've gotten something done. Contacted that client I am way behind on. Sent in my bio and picture to that Shambhala Center. Returned that call for a potential gig.
I am not really interested in why I do it. So many people do it. I am sure it is part self-sabotage, part old habit, part lack of organization and prioritizing. Sure enough, now that I recognize the feeling and face it, I can find THAT ONE THING and put it at the top of the list. 50% of the time it's not nearly as hard/bad as I was making it out to be.
But to be honest, 50% of the time it is. Or worse.
I was putting it off for a reason - because it was not going to be easy, and of course, putting it off has only made it worse. More apologies, more shame to pile through, and then, the task itself is onerous because I didn't break it down earlier and now have to do it all at once.
So what then? Lots of breaks, congratulations to myself for facing it. If it turns out easier than I thought, I try to tag on a bit of time with something complex that will soon become THAT ONE THING - trying to cut back on the impact of it, and slow the next round of procrastination.
I wish it weren't so. I wish all the organization in the world would help me, but I have a human mind and this is how it seems to like to go. Like any other habit that harms more than benefits, I am learning to catch it sooner and work with it, causing less damage. Also trying to have some humor about it. It's not easy. I don't even want to write this post. Just facing the demons themselves feels scary.
But that's the whole point. It's scary because when I see what I am doing, I now have the skills - through meditation and maitri - to pop the bubble. The demons' faces turn out to be a distortion of my own wisdom, and I can walk right through the door they seemed to be blocking. It may take me an afternoon to do it - not always easy - but possible.
It's scary because they know my power. They know I can walk right through if I see what is really going on, so they make it so that I can't see them. Wait. Who are these "they" I speak of?
I make it. So I can't see. Me.