*Disclaimer: I’m quite nervous to share my relationship with procrastination with the world. This is not hard news (obviously), this is not something you are required to read (negative comments don’t make anyone’s day better), this is not a cry for help (I have a publisher and an editor who prod me to complete my book so I’m not seeking introductions or writing tips)… it’s simply an imperfect, human look at why it’s tough to translate our big goals into reality. That being said… here we go.
6/30/17 9:17 a.m.
“I was supposed to have this done by yesterday”
This should have been in Allison’s (she’s part of the 9News Web Team) inbox yesterday. Instead, I’m feeling like a college kid again, laptop open, in my pajamas, on my day off, cracking out a few pages of thoughts at the last possible moment. I’m pretty sure we can all relate to that feeling. So here we go. Let’s talk about why the hell is it SO tempting to procrastinate.
Here’s a peek into the way my brain works… maybe a few of you can relate.
Future Amelia has a wildly popular blog, a podcast with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, has washed her hair for tomorrow morning’s show, reworked her budget, followed up on emails, re-designed her website, finished edits on her book, has six-pack abs, and really great light in every photo posted to social media.
Current Amelia is feeling like a nap would be realllllllly nice after working the morning show at 9NEWS, has Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and who knows what else on her phone, which means it’s a lot more fun to poke around and see what the rest of the world is up to, or at least pretending to be up to. Blogs, podcasts, six-pack abs and the like all take work. Work that I’m not paid to do at this point, and there’s no one reminding me that a deadline is looming near.
All of these goals sound awfully nice on paper. In reality, these projects have been kicked off, but are all in a holding pattern, 100 percent due to my inability (by that I mean my ability to self-motivate) to simply get to work.
The Washington Post tweeted out a great article about procrastination and what I learned was this: “When making long-term decisions, [people] tend to fundamentally feel a lack of emotional connection to their future selves,” says Hal Hershfield, a psychologist at the UCLA Anderson School of Management who studies the present and future self. “So even though I know on some fundamental level in a year’s time, I’ll still be me, in some ways I treat that future self as if he’s a fundamentally different person, and as if he’s not going to benefit or suffer from the consequences of my actions today.”
You can check out that full article here: http://bit.ly/2tupiN6
DING DING DING!!!
Well, how the heck am I supposed to convince current Amelia that future Amelia will be happier/healthier/smarter/richer/better overall when all that feels really far away, and this blanket, couch and stranger’s highly curated Instagram pages are so seductively close? Maybe if I refresh my Twitter page one more time, I’ll find that motivation to get up and create. Yeah right.
Over the next 30 days, I’ll be challenging my relationship with procrastination in order to learn a little about what I’m capable of, compared with what I will actually act upon and if any of it really matters.
Would eliminating procrastination equate to a higher quality of life?
That being said, I’m not even completely sold on the idea that procrastination is all bad. Sometimes, leaving tasks to the last minute can force us into moments of greatness (College finals week, anyone???) and some even think we should procrastinate on purpose.
Let’s start a little conversation, and if you want to do it later, that’s cool with me too.
If you’d like to send your thoughts my way, my email address is Amelia.email@example.com. Please be nice, us news folk are people too.