What does procrastination mean?


To procrastinate…dilly dally, shilly-shally

by Sarah Stiles

What does procrastination mean? Sarah Stiles is about to explain…

I have been a bit down lately and just when I thought that I could not feel any worse it looks as though I might be suffering with something else too. It’s not exactly an ailment. And, there is no point going to the chemist to ask for something over the counter to stem the symptoms.

The fact is there is no known magic cure for it.  Nonetheless, I’m sure I have it. The dictionary definition for it is ‘procrastination’  to delay or postpone action; put off doing something. It also says that “the temptation will be to procrastinate until the power struggle plays itself out”

Yep, that’s me. I promised to write an article as to whether I thought that Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT therapy) has helped to get me back to a happier place. I know I can do it, and I know I will do it, eventually. But…

If you are suffering, as I am, from procrastination, the daily dilly dallying dance of shilly-shallying will be a familiar one. Each time I try to put pen to paper something much more engaging takes its place.

First there was the fridge. How could I even think about sitting down to write when the fridge needed cleaning?This was not just any ordinary fridge clean it was one of those super-duper deep steam cleans that took the entire morning. Every item was removed, wiped with a clean cloth and rearranged in perfect height order back into the fridge.

I even went as far as to wash all the potatoes, dry them and then put them neatly back into the vegetable tray. It is so satisfying to open the fridge door, stand back and admire your morning’s work. But what about writing that article? 

I could write or I could clean out the cutlery draw first. Yes, once the cutlery draw is cleaned my mind would be free to write. So, once again, my writing was put on hold until the cutlery draw was cleaned. The funny thing about cleaning the cutlery is that it could take half an hour or it could take half a day. Well before I knew it, the afternoon had past. There was no time to write because now it was time to prepare the evening meal. My writing would have to wait until tomorrow.

They say that “Fear of failure is often the reason why people procrastinate” What ‘s to fear about writing? I wonder if it is more to do with the fear of actually doing something positive; the fear of moving forward. Or whether it is the fear of feeling that you are heading for a better and happier place? Without a doubt it is easier to do nothing than it is to do something. Doing something takes initiative. It takes energy and requires a certain amount of effort.

Effort. Energy. Focus. Now I am starting to feel tired. Anyhow, I digress… back to the point in question: has CBT helped to get me back to a happier place? I will answer that, I have a brilliant idea for a great article, but first I have to pair all of the socks in the draw upstairs. 

What does procrastination mean? I hope you’re now a little clearer…

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1 thought on “What does procrastination mean?”

  1. Great sense of humour in this article – I recognised myself in what you wrote – suddenly even cleaning looks so much more appealing then doing what we really want to do, but are somehow scared of tackling… 🙂

    Am curious now to read about your learning and strategies to help get through procrastination…

    A few that have helped me: Telling someone I will do something by a certain time, then send them little updates, or send them a photo of what I’ve done when I’m finished. Do something first thing in the morning – before I even have a chance to get into something else. Thinking of how great I’ll feel when I’ve done it. Promising myself a lovely reward, but only when I’ve done it :-). Adopting a tough JFDI (=Just F****** Do It)attitude. Finding the best time in the day and week to do it (e.g. when I feel strongest or most rested or most calm) and do it then.

    Any more for any more? 🙂

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