All over the web there are articles (from people I respect) about the importance of sticking to a regular posting and emailing schedule. When I started the Planners, I was almost overwhelmed with ideas I wanted to write about, articles that would be useful and help you as you navigate the super-busy swim lane of life.
Turns out there’s more to doing something than just deciding I want to do it.
As you can tell, I’m not quite fulfilling my ambition! Each week I’ve sat down to write blog posts and my email newsletter and each week I’ve had a freak out about whether what I’m sharing is a) useful, b) interesting, and c) worthy of anyone taking time out of their busy life to read it.
And, most weeks, Mr L has come home from work on a writing day to watch me close my laptop in despair, pretending I’m not fretting about how much I was distracted and how little I’ve written is worthy of publication.
Now, part of my apparent inability to hit the Publish button may well be down to paying too much attention to my Inner Perfectionist. It would be nice and easy to hide behind ‘I want to only put out the greatest quality content - when it comes to taking up time from my people, nothing but the best will do’. And that would be true.
Except, IT WOULD ALSO BE A BIG FAT LIE.
Yes I used all caps. Yes I’m shouting.
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that you, like me, are more than a touch prone to the Myth of the Perfectionist Procrastinator.
It’s a charming little conceit, the kind you trot out for interviews when you’re asked about your biggest flaw. (Really - what is the point of that question? Who’s going to confess to being the office mug pilferer, or that they can’t get through the week without loudly slurping a Curry Pot Noodle at their desk?)
It’s gratifying to be able to excuse procrastination as the pursuit of perfectionism and, while sometimes it’s true, a lot of the time - dare I even say MOST of the time - it’s not.
If we’re going to live with purpose rather than excuses, we need more than quick, glib answers.
We have to go a little deeper into the whys and hows of how we operate.
Fortunately, my fab friend Richard shared this brilliant post by Tim Urban with me on Facebook. It was so good I went on to read the follow up without even looking up from my laptop. (I’m totally signed up to get a Panic Monster plushy when they come out.)
These articles are long but so worth reading! Even while parts weren’t exactly new to me, the refreshing way they’re presented triggered a lot of the lightbulbs in my brain about my own Whys. For a long time I’ve felt like I’m at war with my Inner 4-Year Old - who willfully pulls me off track and fights me at every turn, so I end up trying to beat her into submission.
Not a very loving approach.
Now I want to make friends with (and tame!) my Procrastination Monkey. He’s probably my Inner 4-Year Old playing dress up - at least, that’s what I’m hoping! - but it’s a much more positive and healthy attitude to my inner workings, I’m sure you’ll agree.
So I’ve signed up for Sarah Arrow’s 30 Day Blogging Challenge, for which this is my first post. I’m making my goal public to help me stay accountable. I’m still going to aim for quality content, but I’m also going to trust that I’ll get better with practice - both at blogging and at not procrastinating. How’s that for a multitasking?
So;now it’s your turn…
What’s your favourite excuse for procrastinating?
How often is it really the case? What one change can you make now to stop hiding behind glib answers and start making real changes in your life?