I have a big problem with procrastinating. I will do anything other than what I am supposed to do. This ironically leads me to sometimes do productive things (like cleaning the house), or nice things (like going out to get Becky a present), instead of what I actually should be doing – which is more often than not, writing.
For me, I think the big problem was a word I used in that last sentence – ‘should’.
As soon as the word ‘should’ slips into my head, I run away from the task as fast as I can. I actually get a kick out of it, I’m a bit of a lame rebel at heart and I can genuinely get a thrill out of doing the dishes when I know that I should really be doing the laundry instead.
Funnily enough, this has led quite a lot of people to see me as incredibly productive! Honestly, I can get an inhuman amount of work done in a day when I’ve got something else that really needs to be done instead. I’m famous for it, and have even had several shrewd managers take advantage of this mental fuck-up of mine to get even more work out of me! ‘Its simple, just point Dan at an unpleasant task and tell him that’s his only priority, then watch as every task on the backlog disappears over the next few weeks…’
I’m making this sound light, but I do genuinely worry sometimes that I’m procrastinating my life away and ignoring the stuff that could genuinely improve my life in the long-term – stuff like exercising, reading more, writing my book, and practising my piano.
I’m trying to fight this mental tic by reframing how I look at things. I’m now using words like want (for enjoyable stuff) and must (for urgent or really, really important stuff) – and while it sounds a bit fluffy, I’m finding that it does work to get myself more motivated for specific tasks.
Remember, I want to be a writer, I enjoy everything about it! But too often I find myself thinking that I should be writing, when really I need to remind myself that I want to be writing instead!
PS. I was looking for a serious image for this post but came across drunk kermit and I had to use it… Take a look here for more insane images this photographer has taken with this puppet!