Fresh Living

Last week when I came out as a procrastinator and asked for your help, I got quite a few responses from people who can relate all too well.

First my friend Deb tossed this funny gem my way: “Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week. ” And then FL reader Lisa wrote about her self-rewards system, “I refuse to JUST spend my time ‘getting it all done’ so I do something and reward myself with eating, phone, computer, and nothingness and when I am done (I don’t limit my time so I’m less angry at the to do list), i do the next thing! As I sit here writing to you, I have 1000 things not getting done.”

When I put the post on Facebook, my friend Jeff wrote, “I’m not sure you will find any other procrastinators on Facebook. ;)” Which, duh, reminds me how that site is the procrastinator’s Paradise/Hell. Or, you know, that of course includes the entire Internets (a few years ago an Onion headline read, “Internet Down, Productivity Soars”). And then Jeff shared this bit of excellent support: “Forgive yourself and have faith in your innate ability to do what actually needs to be done to make you a happy animal.”

Another friend emailed me this: “…procrastination is probably the thing that is causing me the most grief in my life right now. I struggle with the little daily things, and I struggle with the big life-goal things. I have BIG plans and so much passion for them, and yet, at times I feel paralyzed. So frustrating!”

She went on to recommend the books “Getting Things Done” (which is one of the ones I’ve attempted to read then gotten overwhelmed by) and “Creating Your Best Life,” which sounds like a good supportive book (and website) I’ve just added to my Amazon cart. She also summed up the most heartbreaking thing about procrastination and why it’s so essential not to let it rule/ruin our lives, “I just feel that we all have so much potential, and yet hold ourselves back from tapping into it. I want to live at my fullest potential.” Amen, sister.

I deeply thank all of you. It’s nice to feel less alone in it. And somehow, it’s actually helping me get stuff done. I’m slowly plowing through some backlog, which, I’m realizing, requires a large amount of courage-summoning and intense perseverance. It’s not like it’s a secret I haven’t done certain things, but actually contacting people and saying, “Thank you for your patience, I want to move this project along now,” is an almost excruciating lesson in humility. It becomes instantly clear why I’ve been avoiding it–even though experience has taught that each moment procrastinated compounds the shame and resistance.

I’m not exactly cured (ha!). But I do feel like right now I’m moving things along–one email, phone call, form, minute, and day at a time. It’s my birthday later this week and that feels like the best present I could ever give myself: the gift of flow.

Do you have any more anti-procrastination tips and wisdom? If we collect enough of them we’ll make them into a feature that could potentially help a lot of people. 


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