Thursday, August 11, 2011

Spin Cycle- Bad Habits...

This week Gretchen suggested we Spin about our bad habits.  Which poses a problem for me.  I have so many "bad" habits you need all your fingers and toes to count them.  It's much more fun to count blessings.

However, I'm not letting myself off that easy.  Because, you see, one of my worst bad habits is procrastination.  I am a waiter.  A slacker, a last minute wunderkind.  I represent my generation well.  I have always been like this (if my mother were here, she'd be shaking her head).

The problem in tackling this bad habit is that rarely does is cause huge negative effects.  My boss doesn't notice, people I owe things still get them (they just don't see the whirlwind before the final product), and so, the last minute continues to be the right time for an accomplishment.

PB doesn't help.  He, too, is a procrastinator.  We encourage each other.  "It's too nice to mow the lawn, let's take the boys to the park."  "The laundry isn't going to throw a revolution, come sit and watch this show with me."  We're horrible.  Then, when it all comes down to it, together we rush and hurry, snip and sew, and pull out a respectable final product. (you should have seen us the night before LG's Nature Center B-day party, making raccoon masks, and hoping they'd dry in time.)  We are the Bonnie and Clyde of the final countdown.  Together, we can pull it out in record time.

Someone out there is rationalizing for me, I can tell.  I feel the laziness in the air.  Saying lovely things like, "But MB, you need to play with your kids while they're small, and enjoy every minute.  Nobody remembers if their house was a mess, but we all remember when our parents told us they were too busy, right?"  Uhm, sure. Or another favorite, "Only God had everything done by the weekend."  But we all know these are just excuses.  My boys will not wither while I vacuum, or throw in a load of wash.  Hell, the LOVE to help PB mow the lawn.  Nothing is sacrificed by doing a job when it rightfully should be done. 

Here's the worst part.  I always wonder how much better a job I could be doing, if I took more time to do the work.  If I cleaned the house over two days, instead of two hours, would it seem less like a chore and more like an opportunity?  Maybe I'd get around to dusting the walls (which I always note needs to be done).  If I did the report early, then had time to do a 2nd or 3rd draft would I feel like I really earned my pay?  If I read the assignment in bits and pieces, would I absorb more?  or started the project a day or two earlier, would it have been a master piece?  Could I have gotten into an Ivy league school?  (on a side note, almost every report card I had came home "Jennifer is a bright, energetic young girl.  If she applied herself a little more she'd be incredibly successful.  A delight to have in class."  Even people who gave me A's called me lazy.)  The never ending question of "How much greater could I be if I just tried a little harder?"

In the end, I disappoint only myself.  I'm intelligent, and I have talent.  I know.  So, why am I only "good" at most things?  Because I put off.  I don't practice when I have the time (the dusty piano will attest to this).  I don't always put out 110% (and frequently, you don't even get 90%, sorry about that).  I would rather read a book than run a mile.  It's easier to sit and watch "American Restoration" than to study for my exams.  I do eventually get around to it all, but only after a few sessions with the little devil on the left shoulder duking it out with the little angel on the right.  Greatness doesn't elude me, I put it off until tomorrow.

How about you?  What's the thing you wish you could change?


Sprite's Keeper said...

I'd say you were more an 11th hour genius than a procrstinator. :-)
I wish I could be more like you. "Sure, Sprite, I'll play with you, let me just do the floors first/ fold the laundry/ set up the dinners/ rescue the dogs from the roof." Sometimes, we just need to set it aside and let it sit. I don't think you're procrastinating, I think you're prioritizing.
You're linked!

Annabelle said...

I could have written this word for word. Except I don't call my husband PB, mostly becuase that's his best friends name and he'd be more than a little suspecious. ; )

Seriously though, this - this exactly - is me and my greatest hindrance to my success in life.

If you find the cure...PLEASE for the love of all things holy let me know. Because I am clueless.

The absolute only thing that ever helps is if I begin ASAP. Like hit the ground running kind of ASAP. Get out of bed and begin. Do not sit for coffee, do not check email, do not turn on TV, just DO IT. Same at work. If I don't do THAT thing by 9am, it's not getting done until seconds before due.

VandyJ said...

In school I was a first class procrastinator. I was master of writing the ten page paper the night before it was due. I still procrastinate to some degree--hence the dust rhinos that are lurking in my living room. Me and the vacuum, yeah I'll put that one off indefinitely, or until those rhinos start going for the boys.

Michele said...

Here I sit cruising blogs when I should be finalizing the presentation I'm doing this afternoon, finishing the syllabus for the graduate course I'm teaching in TWO weeks or starting your painting. Yeah, I know just how you feel because I'm an A-1 slacker.

Jan said...

My dear, we are kindred spirits - I, too, could have written this almost word for word. Well, except the part about having a husband who also procrastinates; I think the only reason the word is in Beloved's vocabulary is because of me.

Camille said...

Yes, having a significant other with the same bad habits certainly does make it difficult to break! I can commiserate.

Pseudo said...

You wrote this up so well. I do something similar, but I call it balancing ; -) I used to be driven to get things done, then my kids grew up before I could blink and then I had cancer. Everything has a different perspective now.

Leanne said...

Hmmm. Nothing. I'm perfect. Kidding. I'll think about this though, I would have to say I'm lazy too....or I don't get enough sleep and that makes me lazy. Or maybe my bad habit is that I make up too many excuses.... ;)

Captain Dumbass said...

I think I'm in the same boat as you, but these days I'm blaming everything on my self diagnosed ADHD so I'm good with it.