Pressure #3 – Do you have a tendency to procrastinate, or do you like checking things off your to-do list?

medium_2645956083I am supposed to be writing something, aren’t I? Right, yeah. I was going to answer a question about whether or not I procrastinate. I was going to answer the questions seriously, but I can’t stop laughing? Do I have a tendency to procrastinate? Do primates have opposable thumbs? Is rain wet? Am I wasting times coming up with rhetorical questions instead of just admitting that I am a confirmed procrastinator? If a tree falls in the forest……… no. Wait. That’s a different sort of question.

I like to joke that “one of these days, I will stop procrastinating.”  Sometimes, I think I am THE WORST procrastinator, and then I look at some of the people in my life. What I’ve noticed? The most creative people, and the very highly intelligent people I know (the two are not mutually exclusive, by the way) are some of the WORST procrastinators ever. Perhaps the outlook is good for me after all?

Interestingly, if you do a google search, and you type in “procrastination linked to” google automatically suggests the following: “procrastination linked to perfectionism” (check), “procrastination linked to anxiety” (check), and “procrastination linked to intelligence” (so maybe there IS hope for me yet!) Google ALSO gives you a ton of great memes about procrastination, as you can see.

So, WHY do I procrastinate? According to Eric Jaffe, “True procrastination is a complicated failure of self-regulation: experts define it as the voluntary delay of some important task that we intend to do, despite knowing that we’ll suffer as a result. A poor concept of time may exacerbate the problem, but an inability to manage emotions seems to be its very foundation.” And I thought I just really hated folding the laundry!

In my defense, I DO really hate folding the laundry.

Well, no, that’s not actually true. I really LIKE folding the laundry, once I get going. I just tend to put it off. Every SINGLE time.

In the same article I quoted above, the author quotes Joseph Ferrari (great name, by the way), who is, apparently a “pioneer” in procrastination research (unlike me. I am a pioneer in procrastinating research.). Ferrari says that “to tell the chronic procrastinator to just do it would be like saying to a clinically depressed person, cheer up.”

Now, one one hand, that makes sense to me. On the other hand, it really is almost that simple (for me, the chronic procrastinator, not for someone who is clinically depressed.). I haven’t read the whole article. Ironically enough, I have bookmarked it to read later.

But it isn’t quite that simple either. Because my brain says “just do it,” and when I DO just do it, I realize how simple and fast “it” was, and how easy it will be to do it again in a day or two. But I never “just do it” in a day or two either. Whatever IT is.

Why do I do this? Well, it COULD be OCD related. The link between OCD and procrastination is PRETTY evident in a cursory google search, but I went into some of the results.

brainphysics.com says: “OCD manifests itself in a large variety of ways, and individuals usually suffer from a combination of symptoms. Most people with OCD also share common difficulty with daily activities, such as tardiness, perfectionism, procrastination, indecision, discouragement and family difficulties.”

In an interview with NPRabout his book Triggered, Fletcher Worman confesses, “It’s funny — procrastination can be a symptom of OCD in the sense that because you know a project will require so much of your effort, and you’re so frightened of screwing up, it’s easy to just keep putting it off and putting it off and putting it off.”

There’s definitely a link. The link is there with ADHD too. In this article at Psych Central, Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and clinical instructor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, is quoted saying, “I don’t know anyone with ADHD where procrastination is not an issue.”  He also says, very cleverly I think, “For people with ADHD, there are two time zones: Now and Not Now. If it is not happening now, the ADD-er will tend to procrastinate until it gets closer to the ‘Now’ zone.”

So, is it an OCD thing? An ADD/ADHD thing? A time management thing? Laziness? I don’t know.

All of this was not the official answer to the BlogHer question, though. The question was, specifically, ” Do you have a tendency to procrastinate, or do you like checking things off your to-do list?” The answer? MY answer? BOTH! As much as I really do have a very chronic procrastination issue, I LOVE getting that to-do list checked off.

And now, I have a million things to do. So I am going to go read a book. Cheers!

NaBloPoMo January 2014


photo credit: monsieurlam via photopin cc

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Pressure #2 What are you currently feeling pressure to do that you don’t particularly enjoy?

medium_5418734Can I confess something? I am thirty-three years old, and I have absolutely no idea what I want to be when I grow up.

No, that’s not true.

I want to be a LOT of things when I grow up. The problem is that I do NOT want to be an office manager (anymore) or a teacher (of elementary or secondary students), and sometimes it feels like those are the only things I am physically able to do that I can study for.

I’ve been told over and over again to “learn a trade,” and I agree in THEORY. But I have two major problems here. First, I am a nerdy nerd, an academic, a great big giant dork. I love to study. I do research for fun, and I can do it without even really thinking about it. I love the challenge, and I get bored without it. When I am bored or unhappy with something, I don’t really tend to stick it out. It’s not for lack of trying. It’s not that I don’t think I SHOULD stick it out. It’s that, well, I can recognize a pattern, and I know what I’ve always done.

And then there are the physical limitations. Most of the “trades” that interest me require long hours standing, bending, lifting, walking, and generally being in fluorescent lighting all day. That’s not going to work. I’ve dropped out of beauty school, music school, and nursing school over health issues.

But I want to run a business. I’ve got this dream of this great little tea room………. And a whole lot of naysayers. Myself included.

But I am going back to school for business, and we’ll see where we go from there.

 
NaBloPoMo January 2014
 


 

***update, I am a journalism major. Oops. (7/10/14) Also, I have decided that, when I grow up, I want to be Batman. I know, I know. Superman and Spiderman were the journalists, but Batman was BATMAN. He was a billionaire, so that was pretty awesome. Also, like me, he had no actual superpowers. Therefore, becoming Batman is a much more attainable goal.

photo credit: Gideon Tsang via photopin cc

NaBloPoMo Pressure #1 – Do You Work Well Under Pressure?

CUPlogoIn answer to this question, I wrote a stunningly brilliant post. It was cool and witty, and was a lot of fun to write. I hope it would have been a lot of fun to read, too, but we’ll never find out. Alas, in the middle of trying to edit the NaBloPoMo badge at the bottom of the post, it was somehow utterly lost, converted entirely to the content of another scheduled post, never to be seen again. I am rather frustrated by this, because, really, it was cool. THERE WERE POP CULTURE REFERENCES, PEOPLE! POP CULTURE!

But, since I can’t get it back, I guess now we test how well I work under pressure, right? Or at least how well I work while extremely frustrated and on the verge of cussing out the ENTIRE internet.

In a half-baked attempt to recreate what I had arduously written, having worked out what I wanted to say whilst soaking my sore muscles in a glorious mineral salt and tea-tree bath (good for the muscles, stress, and that pesky lupus rash that continues to plague me. Maybe I need another?), I will note that I made reference to different types of pressure that come to mind.

When I think of “pressure,” the first thing that comes to mind, other than the awesome synthesizer action of Billy Joel and the Queen/Bowie combo, is the pressure canner I’ve been dreaming of owning for over a year now. Then there’s the pressure of hands on muscles in a nice massage. You know the pressure? First it almost hurts, then EVERYTHING FEELS WONDERFUL. And last but not least, is the big warning! Contents under pressure! This is your captain speaking. We may experience some slight turbulence and explode.

So, my well-formed and thought-out answer to the question “do you work well under pressure?” is a firm, solid, and resounding “uhhhhhhhhh………… that depends…………..”

In the past, I would have said that I THRIVED under pressure, that I worked best under pressure. In the past, that was probably true. But I am older now, and mostly, I want to be able to do things on MY terms. I am not sure that’s really my desire, but you follow, right? My life has more demands, more stress, more issues, more concerns, and a lot more pressure now than it did when I “thrived under pressure.” Right now, pressure is a state of being. Sometimes I think that I had better come out of all of this a diamond instead of just a lump of coal.

Understand that what I mean here is that, when I was younger, I had only myself to worry about, and I barely did THAT. I LOVED deadlines and heavy workloads. I lived for a good challenge. Now? I am older, I am sicker, and I have a lot of responsibilities that are more “pressure” than you can imagine til it’s too late. I wouldn’t trade it though, except for maybe the “sicker” part. That I would trade. But I can’t, and so….

But really, it does depend on the type of pressure and how I am feeling that day.

Like a pressure canner, with the right amount of the right kind of pressure, I am sure I can be preserved to last for a long time (and be pretty darned tasty, too, if my amish jarred beef recipe is to be believed). But with the wrong kind of pressure, it’s not pretty. I just sort of break. I can’t function. I can’t cope. I just want to hide.

Deadlines scare me a little bit now. Not a lot, and not always, but they do give me more anxiety than they used to for sure. And the wrong KIND of pressure to do something, even something I actually want to do, will just about guarantee that it will NOT get done. I don’t know why that is, either, but I may have to delve into that part of myself later.

But the other pressure? The hands-of-massage pressure? I’ve got some friends that help me out with that. I’ve got a friend who “pressures” me lightheartedly to, for example, clean my carpets when I really want to do that, but am tempted to just watch old episodes of Supernanny instead. She’s not REALLY pressuring me. She certainly won’t judge me or give me a “bad grade” if I DON’T steam clean the carpets. But I want to do it, and I want to show HER that I can do it, because it’s fun to sort of work together on the project, even though we’re four hours away from each other. That pressure is a pressure under which I STILL thrive. And yes, it hurts at first, and then it feels wonderful. The task is complete (in record time!), and I’ve bonded with a friend. I have a sense of accomplishment AND of camaraderie.

NaBloPoMo January 2014