Procrastination Pile

Day 153 Week 22 Q2 Saturday, June 1, 2024

Creative outliers are involved in a tremendous number of projects. Sometimes, all the same time or at least many of them at the same time. This makes us feel like we have a lot of unfinished projects. I sometimes think of this as a procrastination pile. Even if I am optimistic and say that I’m not abandoning these things, they’re just not done yet. I still do feel like I am procrastinating. Sometimes, it is not procrastinating. Sometimes, the projects need clarification of gestation.

Some of these projects do not make sense at all, and by delaying, this becomes apparent. Fortunately, we do not have infinite resources, so we can’t embark upon as many projects as we might otherwise. 

Here is a thought for you about your procrastination pile. What if you simply did not add to it? What have you decided every day to shrink it by a little bit? What if you recorded your procrastination pile as a form of entropy and chaos? This would mean that you need to apply energy to reduce entropy and chaos. What if you committed to tackle something in your procrastination pile every day that wasn’t too difficult to deal with and resisted the temptation to throw some more things on the pile? Eventually, this pile would shrink and look less intimidating.

This is where I find myself right now. When I have a little bit of extra energy and a little bit of extra time, I go and take something off the procrastination pile and deal with it. This may mean processing, completing, filing, or tossing. The trick is not to toss additional things on the pile, or at least toss less on the pile than you were taking off. If you decide to simply attack everything in the pile, you will have to abandon your current life, and that’s not ever going to happen. Well, I suppose it might happen if you received a terminal diagnosis either of your life or a relationship or of a living space. There are plenty of things that happen in life that force us to deal with things that we have not been dealing with. Most often, these are simply deadlines, although, at times, they can’t be delivered as ultimatums.

Staying ahead of the encroaching entropy and chaos is a pretty full-time job when you have been procrastinating for decades. It can get to the point where it’s much less effort to deal with what’s in front of you than to create more options, distractions, tangents, and excuses. Don’t wait until it becomes a full-time job. Begin to address it when it is a part-time job. Even if you only spend an hour a day and can resist escaping through option generation, the pile will diminish, and you will feel better and better about it and yourself.

It seems that procrastination and depression are related. A person who is depressed may be more likely to procrastinate. A person who deals with everything as it comes up is likely to be more optimistic.

If I flip the switch on to reduce the pile, I get the fringe benefit of feeling better about everything else. You do not have to attempt to eliminate the pile, as this may not even be possible. But if you can get the pile under control by having it stop growing and start shrinking even a little bit, then you’ll become more managed and positive, get better sleep, and gain in optimism.

Manage your procrastination pile.