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The Self-Inflicted Disease of Finishing Nothing – Procrastination




You are about to see how my thoughts work when it doesn’t feel like thinking but it wants to write something. I’ve edited the opening so many times it’s not funny anymore. So I figured I should just write whatever it is that I want and forget about the structure just so I could produce a content.


You know what they say, that you shouldn’t bite more than you can chew, and that if you really really want to finish something and you really really want to be successful, you shouldn’t multitask but focus on just one thing until it’s over. The concept is simple, it’s harder to finish something if you are doing everything all at the same time. It’s hard to put quality into your work if you are too distracted. The problem with me though is that I suffer from a disease and you might be familiar with it.

Procrastination

noun

“The action of delaying or postponing something.”

Basically, I always want to do something else other than what I’m supposed to be doing; check my Facebook, play Cooking Dash, listen to music, browse the net, chat with friends, and sleep. Those are my distractions—sleep included because instead of doing what’s required of me I’d rather doze off—and my burdens, and the reasons I cannot finish tasks on time.

It’s this behavior that made me capable of doing a lot of things but it’s also the very thing that disallowed me to master just one thing. And so if I would summarize my life in one word it’d be, “pending.” My life is filled with unfinished tasks, half-baked efforts, and delays. And when people start asking questions, that’s when I panic.

“Marge have you finished the next chapter of our story?”

“Marge where is your article?”

“Marge where is your pitch?”

“Marge have you reviewed the entries already?”

“Marge when are you going to post {insert topic here} in your blog?”

“Marge where’s that one thing that you promised me?”

“Marge can you pass it today?”

“Marge can you do it today?”

Repeat til fade.

And it gets overwhelming. It’s not that I don’t want to do them, but they are all in my plate I don’t know which one to prioritize anymore. Adding to my struggle is the challenge of my work; it is mentally exhausting. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. I am learning a lot, I like the brain exercise, and I like that it’s forcing me to fully utilize my brain cells, which to be honest I never experienced in any of my previous jobs. But because the job requires me to use so much of my intellect, it is taking a toll on my body. Oftentimes, I’d go home feeling exhausted that all I want to do is sleep. When I wake up it’s already dark and it’s time to go to work again. [Read: Why I’m Going Back to the Corporate Despite My Love for Traveling]

On weekends, sometimes I’d meet with friends, or I’d sleep the day away just to replenish my energy. Not that it’s bad, but there’s the thought I could be wasting my time. Those two days I could use to continue writing the story that I’m making (and god it’s almost a year now and still I’m not anywhere near to finishing it), or write the pending articles for my blog, or write an article for this online magazine that we are about to launch, etc.

Things don't happen if you just sit around. Do the hustle. #coffeehan #randomthoughts #inspiration

A photo posted by Marjorie Gavan (@coffeehan2010) on

In short, I could be productive but I choose not to be. What the hell is wrong with me? I am not going to make an excuse for myself by saying that I’m busy. I am not the only busy person in the world, hell I am not even the busiest person on the planet. But I am suffering from a disease and it’s killing me.

A voice inside me says,

“Why not just give up some of them? You can’t do all of them anyway, you don’t have the time or the drive, why prolong the agony?”

To which I’d reply,

“Nope I don’t want to let go of these wonderful opportunities. I need these things for my personal development. These are the stepping stones to help me achieve my dreams. And I’ve already started them, if I let them go, I’d put all my time and effort to waste.”

Because these things that I’ve been delaying are the things that make me visible. People rely on me, people ask me to do these things because they believe in me. I don’t know about you but I love the feeling that I have a purpose, that I matter to people. I’m lazy alright, but I don’t want to let them down.

Let it run wild and free! #coffeehan #coffee #inspiration #randomthoughts #theofficeproject

A photo posted by Marjorie Gavan (@coffeehan2010) on

It’s all about time management, one of my friends said. She is correct, but what she doesn’t understand is that time management is not my problem, pushing myself to do it is the problem.

So why do I write about this? I have three reasons:

  1. I just want to do something that I’d actually complete.
  2. I want to express my frustration, just it let it out there, and be done with it.
  3. I want to apologize to people who rely on me and I hope they won’t give up on me.

The first and two reasons I just accomplished; you are now reading this. The third one, I hope it gets to the right people. I don’t want them to give up on me because it would make me give up on myself. I want to encourage them to push me to get things done. I want them to know that I am thankful for their trust and even when I fail many times, I still won’t give up. I am going to do all these things, finish them, and deliver. I owe this to them and to myself. I can do it, I know I can.

As to how I’d be rid of this katamaran, I am now open to suggestions. What do you do to overcome procrastination?

 

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Maria
    December 11, 2016 at 5:32 PM

    The struggle is real when it comes to procrastination. I have tried using a planner but I honestly feel that I’m a person of spontaneity. When the spur of creativity visits me, I try to do as many posts as I could so I could just queue it. But anyway, I guess procrastination may be part of life. It may always be there to remind us that we have to fix our schedules and just what we can during the timeframe.

  • Reply
    Ana
    December 10, 2016 at 10:53 AM

    I can feel you. I have many things that I wanted to do, yet I can finish everything at once. We are not a superwoman, though. Just like when it comes to my blog, I would love to write an article a week but because I have a report on my studies, I need to prioritize it. I would also like to finish a novel a week, but I got stuck because I need to spend my free time after class in home visitation. By the way, I am a teacher and teachers are people who are awarded many tasks. I think I can still read a book or write an article but it will mean that I will be deprived of sleeping. I guess, that we just have to accept we cannot do everything that we wanted to do all at once no matter how we want to get it done.

  • Reply
    Yan
    December 7, 2016 at 9:07 AM

    Hayy I have a bad case of this too! I only get to focus on the job when the deadline is looming and I have to cram my tasks already. I’ve tried listing things out, setting alarms, plotting things on a calendar, but it’s no help. Once I’m out of the zone it’s a struggle to get back – unless someone pushes me back inside, usually my bosses when they start looking for output! – haha

    Let’s be more productive… next year! 😀

  • Reply
    Kris
    November 17, 2016 at 9:55 AM

    I am as well a procrastinator at times and I am trying to end the habit. With the line of work that I have now, deliverables should be completed before the end of the week. Like you, distractions always end me up finishing all the deliverables on the scheduled sent out. It’s not a good feeling and made me more tired to keep up with the tasks that’s why I try to always manage my time.

  • Reply
    Iza Abao, Two Monkeys Travel Group Writer
    November 16, 2016 at 6:18 AM

    I multi-task when I am cooking. Aside from that, I can handle 2 things at a time when I am doing my online work. I would not be able to give my best effort if I do too much. My strategy works for me.

  • Reply
    Sam Coronado (@followyouroad)
    October 18, 2016 at 12:57 PM

    Hi Marge! Thanks for the really honest article. I’m not a procrastinator at all. But having too much on your plate can be really challenging. It can have the same effect of not finishing anything. I really think balance is important. Exhaustion should not be a status symbol.

  • Reply
    Chardybaldyosa
    October 17, 2016 at 7:05 PM

    SUPER RELATE! Nothing good ever comes from cramming and procrastinating but what to do. It’s either we’re having fun being lazy or we’re really just not having that creative moment. I suggest, whenever you feel like procrastinating, you make a list of goals and review again why it’s important to finish this certain task or activty. Cheers!

  • Reply
    Vyjay
    October 17, 2016 at 1:27 AM

    I think you and me are on the same page when it comes to procrastination. I too have a tough time getting my mind to focus on the task on hand instead of taking of on a tangent to do other things, including sleep. But there are many advantages of procrastination too, sometimes because of procrastination, you may end up not doing something that you were supposed to do, which in the end turns out was good anyway,

  • Reply
    Christina
    September 23, 2016 at 5:58 PM

    Oh katamaran….this is my vice! Sometimes, I will also make myself endless lists of things I need to do when what I should really be doing is completing something on the list. One thing that works for me is to let people know my goals then I can get feedback if they are realistic or not. Also, then other people can help keep me on track.

  • Reply
    Kati Allan-Balayan
    September 6, 2016 at 8:08 PM

    In one of the personal development seminars I’ve attended, I learned that I am a serial procrastinator. I delay, as much as possible, decisions and tasks since it has been proven that I work/decide exceptionally well when there is time pressure. This works for me most of the time but on occasions that I felt I need to be more focused, I determine my time-eater (FB, IG, Buzzfeed) and work from there. 🙂

  • Reply
    Master Ryo
    August 31, 2016 at 1:16 AM

    Working can be sometimes demanding even have too much pressure.
    However, it all a matter of proper mind setting and time management.
    They say , it’s easily said than done but it takes time to practice and make things work.

    Knowing that you know the problem, I think you know the solution.
    You only need a little push mate!

    cheers! http://www.masterryo.com

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      September 1, 2016 at 2:48 PM

      Thanks Master Ryo, identifying the problem is always a good start right.

  • Reply
    Bluedreamer
    August 30, 2016 at 2:36 AM

    ah procrastination… i’m dealing with this battle everyday hehe… as a result.. I always have this rushed work pero it’s weird that I find myself more effective when being rushed but I think i should learn to let go of that mentality na kasi it is really exhausting and feeling ko a day off is not enough to recover from such stress haha… I used to have this time management system.. I have my own scheduler but I got frustrated kasi none of them was followed according to how I planned it

  • Reply
    Cai Dominguez
    August 29, 2016 at 3:19 PM

    You shouldn’t multitask but focus on just one thing until it’s over. This is true Marge, when I work at the office, sometimes I tried to do stuff related to my blog. But the ending is disappointing. I didn’t produce quality works because I don’t focus on one thing. You should learn to a lot time to each tasks and always find motivation to finish it.
    Thanks for not giving up on my articles 🙂 you know what I mean.

  • Reply
    Jane
    August 28, 2016 at 2:42 PM

    Ohhh…such a well known disease. I definitely have it too. I think you pretty much summarized it in the briliant sentence: “Basically, I always want to do something else other than what I’m supposed to be doing.” I didn’t find a cure yet…

  • Reply
    Cheryle
    August 28, 2016 at 9:14 AM

    I guess most of us are! Or maybe, we all are. I suggest you keep a list of urgent and important tasks and just get it done. Some people reward themselves once they successfully carried out their duties. But then it’s up to you. 🙂
    Related: The Art of Productive Procrasination

  • Reply
    ROBERT LEE
    August 28, 2016 at 6:44 AM

    Marge,

    Congratulations! You posted this. And a few things come to mind.

    1. Honesty. This is very good because you are honest with yourself, and that is more important than being honest to others and remaining a fool to one’s self.

    2. Affirmation. In writing this, once again, you are reminding yourself of the issue and the first step to finding a solution is knowing what needs to be changed.

    3. I agree with you, time management is not the problem. It is more a mental thing and I dare say, emotional too.

    4. Solution. I am offering you couple of things to think about. A.) Accountability. Have someone you will be accountable to other than yourself. For example, it could be me and you will tell me the tasks you need to complete and if you fail, every task you fail, that is one ice blended mocha frappe at a cafe/location of my choosing. B.) Inspiration. Knowing why you exist helps in prioritizing and finding inspiration easier.

    I hope all changes for the better but hope is useless. Only you can change yourself… if you finally decided to. With that, I sincerely wish you will find one good reason to make a decision to change for the better.

    http://www.amazinglifedaily.com #AmazingLifeDaily

  • Reply
    Jerwel Adrian
    August 28, 2016 at 12:23 AM

    I am so guilty of this crime especially when I am going to review or write my stories or blog post. Though sometimes, I know what I should do, but then again, procrastination win over what I should do. Maybe I need more discipline about it.

  • Reply
    Cathy
    August 27, 2016 at 11:40 PM

    I am also a procrastinator! Add that with a bit of anxiety and I can really sabotage myself! I’ll decide at the last moment that I can’t possibly do something that I’ve waited weeks to do, I just don’t feel like it.

    I avoid my sister in laws phone calls incessantly, promising to call her later. I’ll even avoid opening my email if there’s something in there I don’t want to deal with until later!

  • Reply
    Carola
    August 27, 2016 at 7:03 PM

    Maybe look at it the other way around : Why SHOULD you finish it (something). Maybe some things don’tneed finishing. And maybe it’s more about the journey. Not everything has to have a beginning and end.
    I would say : focus on what you want. It will make things go easier. Less stress.
    When things really need to get done : I set some prios: this or that needs to be done by then. That helps. Because you can be satisfied. You did x and now can focus on everything else.

  • Reply
    Anna nuttall
    August 27, 2016 at 8:19 AM

    I’m the queen of procrastination which isn’t great when you’re self-employed. When I was at uni my husband tied me to a chair to force me to work. lol it paid to be cruel….

    • Reply
      Marjorie Gavan
      August 27, 2016 at 2:16 PM

      I wish I have someone who would do that to me.

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