I have blamed many of my misgivings on procrastination. I have shamelessly named my habit of vacillating, responsible for every failure in my life, every incomplete project.
Never, ever I stopped to sit back and wonder, the one habit that made me, I, could have a good side to it as well.
But, today is different.
Yesterday morning, during workout, I was going through a list of the things I was feeling grateful for. I do a lot of analyzing and thinking during workouts.
It’s mainly to keep my mind away from the workout that keeps me going without feeling tired too early. Secondly, I try to use up that hour doing stuff I rarely get time for later in the day.
Anyway I digress.
Realization of the fact that I love my own company, dawned on me in my teens.
It was an age when I understood that my mum (whom I have always longed to be my best friend) could never be on the same page as me in anything in life. We are so poles apart that us agreeing on one thing happens only when one of us chooses to stay quiet for the sake of peace or any other important reason.
Since I had noted this very early in my life, I have also learnt to scoot around, without hurting her, letting her have her way while doing what I like my way.
It actually was for a very long time.
But, in my second innings (that is after my divorce) of living with her full time, I have somehow mastered this art.
Coming back to the main topic I was writing about. Procrastination.
Wait a second, wasn’t what I had been doing above already an example of how easily I lose focus of task at hand and then go on doing things that are satisfying but aren’t fruitful or productive in any way?
Oh yes, I dilly-dally so quickly & efficiently, that my efficiency makes me wonder if someone like myself put the ‘pro’ in procrastination.
I have come to understand that this habit of switching my worrier mind to pleasurable tasks at whim has played a key role in keeping me alive. It’s my coping mechanism.
This is exactly where I differ from my mum. You will never see her procrastinate. She is so focused in life, about all she wants that she could put to shame a magnifying lens in focusing the sun-rays to burn a piece of paper.
Not the best analogy though, but you get the drift. Right?
Not being able to procrastinate, makes my mum’s worrier mind (that’s where I have inherited mine from) stay focused on things bothering her endlessly and she lets them burn her inside slowly but surely.
Her blood pressure levels stay at 180-200 (systolic) to 100-110 (diastolic) despite highest order medications.
Diabetes is more on the uncontrolled side (with sugar levels persistently on the higher side of the range) despite regular checks and monitoring of her medications.
I am in no way saying that worry is the only cause of those scary medical reports.
No. It has a long list of reasons, including her dietary habits and lifestyle. But, worrying ad infinitum, not trying to take it easy is the prime reason.
On the other hand is yours truly. I used to be a self-obsessed worrier (maybe I am quite a bit of it even today) who enjoyed the heartburn, panic, anxiety and crazy palpitations worrying would give me.
You know, its like a habit, where you feel uncomfortable when you are all sorted and at peace if you have been worrying like a maniac most part of your life.
But, procrastination makes me different.
I can never focus on one thing & stay put at it (unless it has dire consequences). I will drift away to replaying incidents I have read about, switching on the flashback mode of my mind to recap the memories or at whim jump on my feet, head to the kitchen and try to re-invent a classic recipe and spend hours doing so.
This habit puts me at the disadvantage of forever chasing deadlines (mind you, I seldom have missed any though) but I lead a rather interesting, colorful life where creativity exists in full bloom, all seasons.
I have cursed my habit of idling a zillion times, but lately I have seen how beautifully it has kept me off my worries, indulging and pursuing hobbies (now that I get time for it) I have always loved and lead a more content life than I otherwise would have.
I am in noway trying to advocate my habit of loafing at a time when I could be doing something more useful.
I am being grateful for the beneficial flip side of this forever looked down upon habit. It does help our known (or unknown) creative side flourish helping the over-taxed brain relax and recharge to face life with renewed zest.
It has helped me accept my flawed side better. It has revealed to me the reason why I have always been so in love with my own company, that when life left me all on my own, it didn’t freak me out even once.
And that’s not all. I have uncovered a few other benefits of procrastination, since I understood this aspect of my personality.
♥ Procrastination helps me take better decisions when I’m not quite sure about something. It buys me time by keeping from jumping into something I’m not confident about.
♥ Spending time away from the task at hand, often encourages me to dwell on a problem much longer than I normally would. This has on many occasions helped me see many hidden aspects of any situation and come up with creative approaches to address it.
♥ Procrastination often leaves me with so little time to get things done that only the things that really matter to me get done. This is not to say that I don’t spend a lot of time doing things that could have waited for another time. I have had the opportunity to assess my priorities because if something is making me delay it endlessly, it is either unimportant or scaring me too much. Watever it is, needs careful evaluation.
♥ Procrastination often gets my to-do list tackled in a reverse order. I tend to do the easiest things first and delay the real tough things till I am not left with any time or choice to do it. It’s good in a way that active procrastination can often help get long to-do lists cleared without me realiseing it till it has happened.
There’s always two sides of a coin and choosing to see the benefits of the habit that has often caused me grief makes my life more colourful, creative and fun on many occasions.
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The song on my mind: Zehnaseeb ~ Hasee toh Phasee