Saturday, November 16, 2013

As I Write Friday's Post on Saturday...

NaBloPoMo prompt: If you could quit one bad habit instantly without difficulty, which would it be?

My process for writing posts this month based on the NaBloPoMo prompts has to been to look at the list each weekend, start five posts for the upcoming week by typing in the prompt, and titling it with the day of the week it's for. I'll look at them again sometime during the week to remind myself what they are and start thinking about them, and then actually write each post on the indicated day.

I thought about this prompt a few times during the week, including yesterday (Friday), the day the prompt was for. There are certainly things I do that I don't really like, but I was having a hard time coming with one that was merely a "bad habit", and not either something I justify the heck out of doing, or that is based on some deep-seated anxiety that I'd rather not get into right now.

However, as I sat down on Saturday morning, determined to actually write Friday's post, it was obvious. The habit I would like to drop is procrastination of tasks, usually when the task is something I am anxious about or otherwise having a hard time focusing on. 

It's actually sometimes difficult for me to acknowledge that I'm even doing this. When I was in college, my roommate Tiffany and I were both prone to procrastinate, as college students tend to do. However, the way Tiffany would procrastinate was to completely avoid the assignment until absolutely necessary. I was able to feel like a better student because I had my word document open, all ready to start type a paper. I probably even added the heading and title right away. 

Then, keeping the barely-started paper document open - cause I was obviously currently working on it, not procrastinating - I would open internet browsers, spend time reading websites and forums, occasionally flipping back to the paper and writing a few sentences at a time. So Tiffany and I would end up finishing our assignments at about the same time. Only I had spent the entire evening pretending to work on, all the while stressing out about how long it was taking me. She, on the other hand, had enjoyed most of her evening, and then chosen to settle in and focus on it and get it done quick.

Even as I opened this post to write it, I also opened up all of the blog posts in my reader that I haven't read since yesterday afternoon, and facebook, and gmail, etc. Although procrastination, to some degree, is probably just a fact of life, the way I handle procrastination isn't useful to my stress and anxiety levels. Being able to focus on doing other things or on the required task at hand, instead of pretending to focus but really being all over the place, would probably do wonders for my mental health.

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