Well, as usual, I started this blog post last night at midnight and it’s due for editing today before 11o’clock; it’s now 9 o’clock. I do this every single week. “Why” you might ask? Because I am the queen of procrastination.
When I was a student I would leave everything to the very last minute. There’s an exam tomorrow at 2:00PM? Perfect. I have time to study tomorrow. There’s no need to stress tonight! I have a 2,000 word paper due tomorrow at 9:00AM? No worries! I’ll set my alarm for 5:00AM and start it then. You know what the worst part is? It’s always ended up working out. I’ve never missed a deadline because of it. Sure, I may only get 4.5 hours of sleep and have a 15 hour workday the next day, but that’s okay! I have the weekend to catch up on sleep.
At work it’s different. I’m ahead of the curve. I know what’s expected, I know when it’s expected to be done, and I have the tools to get it done. The worst part about procrastinating in my personal life is that I don’t know how to not do it. I’ve been able to eliminate procrastinating in my professional life, but for my personal life it seems to be nearly impossible! I always seem to wait until the very last minute to get out of bed in the morning. I always wait until I have literally no socks left to do my laundry. I wait until all that I have left in my fridge are pickles and mayo before I feel the need to go grocery shopping. One thing I have learned recently is that putting aside how you really feel about something and not discussing it is also a form of procrastination. You are putting off the inevitable. If you are truly unhappy with something or someone, or something is happening in your life that makes it difficult to be your absolute best every day, you’re going to have to deal with it eventually.
The official Google definition of procrastination is as follows: “the action of delaying or postponing something”. The examples that I’ve listed, exams, papers and blogs, are the typical types of tasks that people avoid completing and they’re the typical types of tasks that people think of when discussing procrastination. But what if there’s something going on in your life that’s truly bogging you down? Or what if you are forced to deal with someone on a daily basis who is negative and who makes it difficult for you to be truly happy? Is putting it off the right answer? Is avoiding the situation completely the right thing to do? No. Absolutely not.
If there’s anything that I’ve learned in the past couple of weeks it’s that avoiding issues that affect your work and your well-being should not be put off. Avoiding issues that may be uncomfortable to address will only make things worse. I’m the type of person that would describe themselves as “easy-going” and “stress-free”, but when there’s something going on in my life that makes it difficult to put a smile on my face and do my best work, I know it’s time to address the issue. There is nothing beneficial about pushing personal and work-related issues aside. If there is any advice I have to pass on, it’s to not be afraid to run into the fire. Don’t be afraid to face issues head on; don’t leave them until they are so far gone that they are difficult to overcome.