I’ll Get To It

22 Oct

“Oh, that’s something I need to write down.”

“Oh, I should absolutely do that later.”

“Ingenuis! Everything is falling in to place…I’ll write that down later and discuss it further.”

“Oh shit, that assignment/meeting is important. I can’t forget about it or I’m royally screwed.”

 

It happens to the best of us on multiple levels. There’s the kind of procrastination that we rationalize with our own thoughts, when we  are going about our daily business, for example when we are walking or driving to class or work and something we told ourselves to remember before pops up. “I can’t forget to meet with Mr. Brandherst,” “I made a promise to that corner of the room that I would clean it,” “My desk is a fucking mess.”

Most often these are emotional reminders, and not logical or technical ones. What I mean by this is that we tell ourselves that we are going to do something because we are guilty or afraid of what happens if we don’t do them. Many times I’ve honestly made myself think, “you CAN’T let yourself forget this.” and I’ll associate MORE guilt with a specific task than I normally would. And doing that makes it so that I am reminded more often. After I’ve activated that guilt switch, the reminders are almost subconscious and are set off by seemingly random things.

So what’s the real problem?

The problem comes when we remind ourselves of important actions, but are not motivated enough to do them or at the very least schedule them. For me personally, this inability to take action or schedule them stems from the fact that so many times in my life I have tried to complete a task or action and was unable to and thus part of me felt like a failure. The other part is that not as many times, but a significant amount, I have scheduled a day or a few hours and failed hard at keeping myself to it. Whenever I make these schedules I have high expectations for myself, yet I almost always fall very short and feel like a failure. There is a big gap between my desire and expected outcome and what actually happens. The reality is that I don’t have enough self-discipline yet to get myself to stick to an entire day’s schedule. It feels good and is exciting to envision a task, day, or future in an idealistic way, but the action is almost far more difficult to stick to. This applies to everything from study habits to jobs to dating to working out.

Whenever I have imagined myself doing what I actually want to do in the real world, such as asking a girl out or catching up on reading assignments, there is invariably a positive feeling that comes along with it. And most often, I don’t do these things or at the least am not very proactive about them. The same happens with the earlier mentioned tasks that I don’t want to do. The only difference is in the way I imagine them. With those things that I want to do, I imagine them positively and often extend this uplifting imagination longer than I should, just to live out the fantasy. With those things I don’t want to do, I usually try and imbed them into my brain’s reminder system and then stop thinking about them as quickly as possible. And I therefore spend a significant part of the day thinking about things that I want to do and less time thinking about things I don’t want to do, but have to.

Excuses:

When I procrastinate something I don’t want to do, there’s a pretty simple reason why. I believe that I won’t enjoy the action required to complete the task on my mind and thus don’t want to do it.

When I procrastinate something I do want to do, the excuses become far more complicated. So let’s rank em)

1. I’m too scared or unmotivated to do that. Let it go.

2. You don’t actually want to do that (you don’t actually want to ask that girl out, etc.)

3. You don’t have any good methods/ideas to take care of that (especially in regards to girls).

*Want to do = A task that when completed will potentially have immediate, positive effects on my life. This almost never includes homework, job searching, etc.

There’s no easy solution. Sorry, so tired, this has been a messy and unfilfilled post, but I’m glad I did it! See you tomorrow night at 9:00!

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