Mood, Procrastination

Guest Post: Productive Procrastination: Try It, You’ll Like It!

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.