It's early January as I sit down to research and write this newsletter. I launch my web browser, surf over to MSN.com, surprised to find the feature article displaying a picture of Santa Claus with the caption "It's not too late to have your presents arrive on time." Somebody's been procrastinating - either Bill Gates or me (maybe I didn't refresh my browser). Or maybe my computer is trying to give me the hint to stop procrastinating and set about the task of writing this newsletter. Nah... Bill Gates must be the guilty one!
When it comes to procrastination, most of us are quick to acknowledge the problem and are s...l...o...w... to do something about it. I surf over to dictionary.com and look up the definition of procrastination, hoping it means something other than I'm lazy.
To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness.
To postpone or delay needlessly.
Hmmm... this is getting serious. I better stop shillyshallying and get some help. Didn't realize I was delaying needlessly.
Off I go in search of solutions to my problems. It doesn't matter that it's now lunch time - no point in delaying. Ignoring my grumbling stomach, I search relentlessly for the magic pill to make me stop procrastinating. You see, this isn't the first time I've procrastinated but I'm hoping it will be the last.
Three hours later, I'm a procrastination expert. My eyes are blurry, my head is spinning but I'm committed to a ten step program to stop procrastinating. I have been freed from oppression - I have broken the bonds and liberated myself from the control of procrastination.
I stand proudly at my desk and declare my Emancipation from Procrastination, freeing myself from the bonds of laziness.
I have a dream, that one day my habitual procrastination, as noted by my mother - whose voice comes back to haunt me with labels such as disorganized, scattered and lazy - will be transformed into an empowering situation where the endless to do lists and procrastination temptations will be forever banished to the annals of accomplishment. I have a dream today where I recognize that I walk not alone on this path to procrastination but am in fact in excellent company (see Bill Gates above).
This will be the day when I sing "My list, 'tis of thee, endless list that plagues me, of thee I sing. List of tasks I don't like to do, list of thorns in my side, from every desktop, let the work begin."
And if I'm to change the pattern of procrastination. this must become true.
After hours of research, I've finally understood that one of the big reasons I've been procrastinating is that I'm focusing only on finishing. So I'll begin to concentrate on starting. All I need to do is keep starting, and the finishing will take care of itself. Which brings me to another thing my mother used to say... but I think I'll leave that thought unfinished.
Energized and ready to tackle the daunting task of writing this month's newsletter, I'm excited to have broken free from the shackles of procrastination that bound me.
Free at last! free at last!... now if only I could find my pen.
Maybe I'll do this tomorrow....
© 2006Deborah Carraro,
Deborah Carraro is the Founder and Owner of Vascorp VA Services. Vascorp VA Services is the virtual support specialty company for solo professionals and entrepreneurs. We work late so you don't have to! Vascorp brings you the very best in virtual assistant services: shopping cart integration, affiliate program management, web design,ebook design, desktop publishing, business consulting services and more! She publishes a monthly newsletter Vascorp VA Advantage. To subscribe or find out more, please visit http://www.vascorp.com/va.