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Monday, June 14, 2010

The Reality of Procrastination

There are a lot of people who say they work best under pressure, and that's why they procrastinate. And maybe that's true and maybe it isn't. But I do know that I do most of my work under pressure because I procrastinate, and that procrastination is a viscous cycle for me.

Over the years, procrastination has become my coping method of choice. When deadlines starts looming, work starts piling up, and I start to feel overwhelmed, I deal with it by doing something else. There are certainly worst ways to cope with stress, but it still isn't very healthy.

I've honed procrastination to a fine art this past year, as I deliberately avoided working on grad school applications until they were due, put off finding an place to live until the last minute, and only tonight checked to see when my classes start. The magnitude of the change I'm facing had me so overwhelmed that whenever I thought about it, the only way I could deal with it was to quickly distract myself with something else (usually knitting and TV).

But with deadlines looming over me, I finally reached the point where the stress I was causing myself by delaying was greater than stress I was trying to avoid. So this week I finally compiled a list of potential apartments for me to move to in the fall, and made plans to go visit them. I also checked all the important dates I need to know as I get ready to plunge back into school.

And this evening, I made a huge breakthrough in regards to my procrastination problem. I've been working on reviewing all the Greek and Latin grammar that I'll need for grad school, and while looking at dates, I suddenly became overwhelmed. There wasn't enough time for me to learn everything I needed to learn.

As I started to feel overwhelmed, I found myself picking up my spindle and heading over to the TV. Then I stopped myself. I put my spindle down, and picked up my Ancient Greek book, sat down at the table, and went to work reviewing my noun cases (and rediscovered why Greek desperately needs a separate ending for ablative cases).

Because even while I was taking procrastination to new heights, I was discovering something else: It just isn't worth the stress.

So, if you'll excuse me, I now have a well earned date with my spindle and Doctor Who.

P.S. You've probably noticed I changed my blog design. Thought I'd make it match the quotation at the top :)

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