“I can do it tomorrow. It’s not really neccessary to start right now. Maybe I’ll do it later. I don’t have time for that. Uhhh… another episode of Grey’s Anatomy is online. My favorite youtuber just uploaded a new video!?! If I write a Blogpost now then… it kind of counts as today’s TOEFL practice… MY BED IS JUST SOOO F* COMFY ATM…”
It’s funny how the human brain can come up with excuses all the time. It feels like I have mastered the level of procrastination and couch potato and successfully merged those two phenomena into one. Yes, I’m a procrastinating couch potato. At least I have been especially over the past few days.
Just a couple of weeks ago I’ve uploaded my first (ever) inner monologue and posted it on my facebook page. It started like this: “It is currently 9:44am and I’m sitting in my cozy room in Hyde Park, Chicago. Perfectly procrastinating about the fact that I have my first Quiz at college tomorrow.”
Well… I feel like I am sitting in the same boat again. This time I do not only have a quiz but a proper test to study for. I’m going to take the TOEFL in not even 3 weeks and on top of that I’d like to edit my youtube videos, upload my first Blogpost, stay in touch with family and friends from home, start a new Bullet Journal, finish the Devil in the white City, read the news, listen to music, find the perfect Halloween costume and be an awesome AuPair! *sigh*
Don’t get me wrong. I know this is a lot of stuff. Besides being the procrastinating couch potato that I am – I’m also the “I put too much stuff on my plate all the time” kind of person.
However, there’s enough time to achieve all of those things if there wouldn’t be this voice inside my brain. This lazy, bogus, boring voice which talks nonstop about the softness of my freshly washed duvet cover and the sleepy, cuddly cat snoring on top of it. By the way. My duvet cover is a week old, full with cat hair and there’s no cat on my bed. However, it works. It’s like my procrastinating couch potato friend is a master of visualization. It’s his (or her) job to create those welcoming pictures in my head and it’s an easy thing to do. They’re here. All of the comfy and cozy scenarios are here. The bed, pajamas
and the bag of chips are there waiting for me. Quietly screaming.
So what’s the point of me going on about my procrastinating couch potato voice? There’s no point. I’ve been asking myself the question. One particular question. Over and over again.
Why do we procrastinate?
So… (of course) I googled it and the first thing that popped up was this:
“People who procrastinate distract themselves as a way of regulating their emotions such as fear of failure.”
Fear of failure. This got me thinking. For a really long time. So long that I ended up thinking about Lady Gaga’s interview with Ellen. I watched it the other day and it had nothing to do with failure or fear.
I can only speak for myself and I know that there might be tasks out there which are scary and we just don’t know what the outcome is going to be. Everybody is so different and while some people are so scared of going to the dentist others freak out when they have to give a presentation in front of class. Right now I am just talking about the everyday procrastinating couch potato voice. I am not scared of either studying or editing my videos. I’m just a lazy bug coming up with excuses and again I asked myself the question: Why?
All the things that make procrastination so inviting are – as I already mentioned – here. Usually you don’t have to do anything to get them or use them. It’s the uncertainty that makes it hard for me to picture
the final result. Instead of visualizing the “finished” picture I tend to only see myself sitting at the table studying whereas it would probably make more sense to picture myself getting my test back with an A+. That thought alone gave me a much better feeling about studying just now. Yes, there are subjects that are harder where an A+ might be a little far from the truth and yes there are situations like my dentist visit tomorrow where I can’t come up with anything fun or exceptionally great but again, I’m talking about the everyday procrastinating voice for my boring everyday chores and to do’s here.
While my room is usually messy my calendars and planners are organized and structured. Chores are planned out for every minute, I set study goals and in the end my days look like a time table for school. Even though it never ends up that way it gives me the security that everything I’d like to achieve is actually doable time wise. I am also one of those vision board people and I look at it every day when I turn on my laptop. However, I feel like a can be the most organized person in the world it doesn’t change a single thing about the fact that if I want something I gotta make it happen. If I want something I need the right motivation and drive to get me where I want to be. No one is gonna do it for me. This sounds like a cliché and there’s nothing new about it but it is a true fact. I believe in destiny and that the big events in my life are written in the stars as cheesy as it sounds. However, the way I live my life day to day is up to me.
There are so many blog posts and articles out there with tips on how to stop procrastination. The only advice which I think is valuable would be the most boring and honest one:
If you want it – go for it.
As long as your goal is not in the way of others. As long as it doesn’t do any harm, go for it.
Try to set your environment in a way that makes you feel comfortable. Reward yourself after achieving a small or big milestone. Most of all be aligned with your emotions and feelings about your task, goal or whatever it is you’re struggling with at the moment. Take away the pressure of trying to be perfect. Be patient with yourself. Enjoy the little moments, take a breath and then go.