Just in time for the weekend, Friend for the Ride’s first guest post, written by my friend Susan Bellinger:
There are days, maybe weeks, when I don’t have the energy, gumption, or brain power to get anything on my “To Do” list done. The list’s items sit there, begging to get checked off, but I squander my time doing little nothings, trying to ignore them.
Net result: I am depressed & berate myself for playing computer games or whatever worthless, unproductive activity I can devise to fill my time while avoiding those pressing errands and jobs. The more time I squander the bluer I become.
I rebel against THE LIST. No, I will not wash the car, paint the banisters, or strip the credenza. The grocery shopping can wait, as can the dry cleaning. I simply don’t feel like doing any of those jobs!
One day while in the throes of another procrastination crisis, I realized that I could fill some of my wasted hours with smaller, worthwhile jobs, ones I could actually tolerate. Perhaps I could find the energy to put several stitches in that skirt’s ripped hem? Or I might tackle the wardrobe which could do with a mucking out?
Small jobs finished would make me seem productive and assuage my guilt. Brilliant! I thought I had discovered a wonderful secret! I called my new secret “Productive Procrastination,” little realizing that I not only did not coin a phrase but that lots of other people had discovered this little trick.
No matter, I’m a happy camper knowing that procrastination can be, if not conquered, at least tamed a bit.
Susan Bellinger writes that when “she isn’t procrastinating, she tends to a 100 year old house, an overgrown yard, 3-1/2 cats, 1 husband, 2 elderly parents and 2 grown but not forgotten children. Also, a To Do List several pages long.”
Photo Above: This is my (Barbara’s) junk drawer. I practice Productive Procrastination by straightening it out when I should be clearing the garden, reorganizing years of files, and clearing a path through the spare bedroom. Hmm, looks like my drawer is ready for another round.
Photo Below: Susan escaping her “To Do List” this fall in Shelburne, VT.