Kuel Life the Collective Power of Women

Procrastination Is NOT Necessarily A Dirty Word

Procrastination gets a bad rap

Procrastination, in my opinion, gets a bad rap. 

I know that I write my Jack’s Smack weekly. I know that I publish on Fridays. In addition, I am perfectly clear on my writing style. 

  • Sit down. 
  • Brain dump for 20 minutes or so. 
  • Walk away. 
  • Review and revise. 
  • Walk away. 
  • Review and revise. 
  • Walk away. 
  • Complete and publish.

My Ideal Scenario:

For a while now, I can’t seem to put fingertips to keyboard until Friday morning.”

I am highly aware that the “best” scenario for me, one in which I minimize anxiety and a sense of impending doom, is to first “sit down” on Wednesday for a Friday due date. Overall, churning out 600 to 800 words doesn’t take me that long. Maybe an hour and a half total? Not too shabby.

At first, when I began the Jack Smack essay writing journey, I did just that. First thing Wednesday I would brain dump, setting myself up for success and no stress. 

Somewhere along the way, I realized Wednesdays would come and go with nary a word written. Well, that’s ok, I can still get my essay completed, without compromising my method, if I begin on Thursday. And, that worked for a while. Until it didn’t.

For a while now, I can’t seem to put fingertips to keyboard until Friday morning. I still have to take all those steps in the creative process. Nothing comes pouring out of me in 20 minutes that is fit to publish. Trust me. 

OK, constantly curious, I dug around for the “WHY?” Clearly, I am getting something out of this less than adult-like behavior. If asked, I say that I work hard at minimizing my stress levels. I’d say that my ideal state is one in which I am proactive and disciplined with my time management. 

Clearly, My Actions Shout Otherwise:

Many of us have been brought up to view procrastination largely as a failure in our character”

Procrastination is a powerful mysterious force. Ever try to force two like-poles of magnets together? Yeah, it’s kinda like that. I know chronic procrastination can be dangerous. Unmanaged, procrastination can get us fired from our jobs or, worse yet, put our health at risk if we continuously put off medical care. You know of what I speak. Opportunities to catch potentially deadly diseases through mammograms and colonoscopies need to be taken seriously and on time. The potential price to pay for that level of procrastination is not worth any perceived benefit.

Many of us have been brought up to view procrastination largely as a failure in our character, a deficiency of self regulation. Some researchers view it as a lack of self-control and equate it to other behaviors like reckless spending, overeating, or compulsive gambling. If you poke around enough, you can find some that attach procrastination to shoddy time management or laziness. It’s a tough crowd out there for procrastinators. There aren’t a lot of fans.

My Personal Truth:

Who doesn’t want to age backwards, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes?”

I’ve come to realize that for me it’s a way to get a dopamine hit. The longer I spend getting to know myself the more I uncover. Without the aid of actual MDs or fancy testing, my prognosis is that I am high-functioning ADHD. My brain tirelessly and faithfully covets, seeks, and follows dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins like a Dead Head groupie. I will do whatever it takes to get a charge. Well, almost anything.

I suspect that part of the unconscious move on my part to back myself into a corner Friday mornings is adrenaline. Turns out adrenaline, in small doses, oxygenates the brain allowing us to be laser-focused on cognitive tasks. It even increases the number of antioxidants circulating in our system, combating the free radicals that cause aging and tissue damage. Who doesn’t want to age backwards, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes?

And here’s the interesting part. If I don’t publish a Jack’s Smack, nothing happens. There aren’t any real dire consequences to my failure. No one gets hurt. No one dies. In the grand scheme, whether or not an essay is created makes little to no difference. 

Sshhhh… don’t tell my brain that. I feel like I’ve outsmarted my biology.