Here on the west coast, it’s 11:18pm, November 14th (but I took the bleary-eyed pic when I finished this post, almost 40 minutes later). I’m just now sitting down to write my Deb post for November 15th… which is already here in every other time zone of the contiguous United States.
I wish I could say I’m doing this purely because our theme this week is “Procrastination,” but alas, that’s so not the case.
I do tend to leave things to the last minute, but I find that like cholesterol, there’s both good and bad procrastination.
Bad procrastination is all about selling yourself short. It’s not writing the screenplay you keep thinking about because you’re afraid it won’t sell. It’s cruising the internet until you’re completely exhausted because you know you’ll never find your way out of a difficult scene. It’s finding a million things to do other than spend just fifteen minutes organizing because there’s no way you can possibly make a dent in the tornado-struck mess that is your home office.
Okay, clearly I’m talking about me and not you, but the ideas behind those specifics are pretty universal. Bad procrastination thwarts and belittles.
Good procrastination, however, fills you up. If I have an Everest of writing to do, but blow off the work day to hang at Disneyland with my daughter, that’s high-quality procrastination. Getting the sleep I need even if it means pushing off a few things on my to-do list: good procrastination. Even letting myself get lost in a great book when I really should be working can be good procrastination, just like Erin Blakemore proved in her fabulous guest blog on Saturday.
Good procrastination recharges and inspires. Good procrastination leads you back to your work with a new focus and inner calm.
Of course, the dicey part is that good procrastination can easily go bad. I love warming up my brain with a New York Times Crossword puzzle before I start working. One puzzle is good procrastination; six is bad. Yet if I really pay attention, I always know when one is about to slide into the other, and if I’m smart (not always the case), I stop before I reach the tipping point.
What about you? Do you experience both good and bad procrastination? What’s your best form of good procrastination, and how has it helped you?
I’d write more, but it’s 11:55, and I still need to take and upload a picture. And I have some more work to do tonight, which I’ll get to after procrastinating just a teeny bit more by making a giant pot of coffee.
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