Procrastination has been by side my entire life. Paper to write? Meal to prepare? Project deadline approaching? Run to go on? Ala Honey Badger, my brain don’t care! Why would I, when there’s that book to read, that Facebook post to comment on, Pinterest, Youtube, oh wait there’s another chapter… On and on.
There are true downfalls to this task avoidance. It makes me late to things. Important friend/work type things. I don’t make that meal, and so I eat shitty chips and hummus (again), and I don’t go on that run and feel bad when my new undies arrive and don’t fit right. I don’t write back my friends, grandma etc, and they feel hurt.
In fact, writing this post has now taken upwards of an hour, because I’ve become distracted multiple times, and have let myself slide away from the task.
Particularly worrisome to me, is that my only impetus to get stuff done is communal pressure and expectations. “XYZ will be dissapointed if this isn’t done”, “I need to be at volleyball practice NOW people are counting on me”, “My boss is right behind me so I better actually work.” Why don’t I have any internal motivations? I’m rather dissapointed in myself fairly often, but the self berating doesn’t seem to have as much effect as potential external dissapointment.
I think I need a new take on motivation.
Leo Babuta with Zen Habits has a challenging post “Why Motivation Doesn’t Really Matter”. In it, he talks about listening to your natural flow of energy, and asking yourself what you really want. Do you really want to do what you’ve been avoiding? And if you do want to do it, then self reflect and find out what the barriers are that have been keeping you back.
So what do I really want? I want to help people. It’s time to work on how.
EDITED TO ADD: I think there are two main questions behind all of my procrastination: “what is the positive effect of what needs to get done” and “what am I worried will happen”. If I can’t see the positive effect, then I’m going to procrastinate; and/or if I’m worried that I can’t do something the right way, or poorly and don’t know how to proceed, then i’m going to procrastinate. Hopefully with researching/refocusing on helping people I will see the positive effects more often.