Procrastination Awareness: Cut Yourself Some Slack
I’ve been meaning to tell everyone Happy Procrastination Awareness Month, but I kept putting it off! I think it’s safe to say that we are all very aware of our procrastination, especially when we talk about being prepared.
We all can list the numerous items, or things left to do before we can count ourselves as ready. Every mom has list with numerous check off’s, including chores that need to be done today. Most of which are roll-overs from the day, week or sometimes month before. Some of us have the gift of procrastination and have accepted its role in our lives. Are you like me? The guilt of not finishing can be a blunt weapon to beat myself up for all that I didn’t accomplish.
Until this week.
This year has been stressful to say the least! We had a baby, making the grand total 5 under the age of 9. My husband left for boot camp with the National Guard, leaving me a single mom. And to top things off we decided “we” could do 2 kids in baseball this year! Add to this, a small house and all the chores, upkeep, and “office work” and you get an idea of the craziness around here. That’s a lot of fuel to beat yourself up with when you drop the ball, which lets face it is going to happen… a lot!
My aha moment came this week as I stood in my THRASHED house with a bunch of whiny kids and an impending deadline trying to find a “happy place” while getting kids off to the 2nd of 4 baseball practices for the week. “How am I going to do this?” Then I realized there’s only so much one person can do. I have been operating under two self-destructive myths.
1) That procrastination is anything that you put off no matter the reason.
2) With enough preparation you can handle everything.
Procrastination by definition is putting off for later what you could have done now. Since I lack super powers and a 42 hour day, there is a finite amount of things I can accomplish in one day. There will always be roll over items on my to do list, I might as well accept it. These are not more things I could have possibly completed in the course of one day, so it really isn’t procrastination – regardless of how much I beat myself up over how I should have done it or how it got on the to-do list to begin with.
There is no amount of preparation that you can do to cover all the surprises and eventualities of life. Hind sight is 20/20, but its OK to be a little short sighted in the future. After a,ll if we really knew what was coming would we accept it?
Life is like the game of Wipeout. You can train and prepare all you want, but nothing is going to prepare you to complete the course in one try, let alone without being hit, smashed, smacked or knocked over. Sometimes its funny and sometimes its painful. Hopefully you’ll look back and laugh at the reruns. It’s OK to make mistakes, drop a few balls, take a breather and as much as I hate it, even start over. That’s the beauty of life!
So cut yourself some slack, you’re not procrastinating, your being realistic. Accept what you can do and be proud of what you did accomplish, and keep moving forward one step at a time. Allow yourself to take a break and catch your breath – it’s healthy. Focus on doing what you can (realistically) and remember that putting off the dishes or a report until tomorrow (so you can recover) isn’t procrastination – it might be a necessity for avoiding a breakdown.
So in honor of Procrastination Awareness – be aware of yourself and take care of yourself. Cut yourself some slack and pat yourself on the back for a job well done in the obstacle course of life.