I’m not naturally introspective, so the notion that my super power (aka “procrastination”) is linked to depression is a hard pill to swallow. This article claims the two are related. Damn. The good news is that this article says both conditions are common and considered *symptoms* of a deeper problem rather than disorders in and of themselves. I suppose that’s not exactly “good” news for me, but if it sheds light on my situation I’m happy to delve deeper. Depression/anxiety/procrastination are all indicators that one’s relational/emotional needs aren’t being met.
“Anxiety and depression are symptoms of psychosocial needs and threats. They should NOT be, first and foremost, considered alien feelings that need to be eliminated or fixed, any more than we would treat pain from a broken arm, coldness and hunger primarily with pills that takes away the feelings, as opposed to fixing the arm, getting warmer or feeding the hungry individual.” – Gregg Henriques, PhD
So if I’m moping around and putting off the ever-present mountain of laundry, apparently it’s time to evaluate my relationships. Am I making the time to hang out with fellow moms? Is there something that needs to be resolved with my significant other or my parents? I try to avoid relationship-think, but if I’m always getting caught in the “poor me” trap then my super power isn’t doing me any good. Time to clean house and put the “relate” into my relationships…I’ll start on that tomorrow.
Procrastination has a funny way of oozing into the rest of your business. Take punctuality, it’s easy to find an excuse to be late for nearly every occasion when you let procrastination take over. It gives you false peace of mind, telling you not to rush, you still have five minutes, you’ll get there when you get there. Which oddly enough is consistently ten minutes late, no matter where I happen to be going or how far I’m traveling. Ten minutes beyond the acceptable point of arrival every.single.time. My subconscious is working overtime to make me look like a total moron. Self-destruct much? A professional opinion may need to be called in to unpack all of this, (arms circling around in a wild flourish indicating the general chaos is the background.)
It is soooooo hereditary, (not that it’s an excuse.) My dad is a classic avoidant type personality. He worked from home when we were kids and the evidence was clear – piles upon piles of paperwork waiting to be sorted, completed or filed. And in the middle of it all, a perpetual reminder to “Do it now” emblazoned on a golden plastic paperweight. Somehow even though the inspirational message never translated into better work habits his procrastination tendency didn’t hamper his success in business. Which begs the question, is there an advantage to having this particular personality trait? Does being a procrastinator by nature somehow give you an edge in certain situations? The search for a silver lining continues…
You bet. Certain things you never forget, like attempting to get your college applications postmarked on the last day allowed. Going to the post office minutes before it closes and slamming your shin into the business end of a 1984 Cutlass passenger side door. Somehow I ended up as a freshman at American University and you can guess which student profile I adopted – classic procrastinator. I did mange some last-minute A’s but still wasn’t doing myself any favors. Wash, rinse , repeat and many moons later here I am: all-night Christmas wrapping, trips to the DMV to argue over expired car registrations, eye-rolling over credit card late fees. So many real-life consequences and yet there’s no stopping me – what makes procrastination so delicious?????
Exactly. Procrastination is a confusing business. I claim to be a “procrastinator in rehabilitation.” This blog is where I will lay out my master plan for un-procrastinating. Or is it a subconscious way to become an even better, more productive procrastinator? Stay tuned to find out which way this goes…