having written so many blog posts about procrastination, it shows just how much i procrastinated. the amount of hours spent in trying to make the layouts of a blog post look pretty but professional can actually be spent in trying to finish up an essay that i have been pushing back for the whole weekend. guilt acknowledged. you might even ask if i’m writing this blog post out of procrastination… thankfully not, as i’m just using my time wisely while supervising a class full of students taking the French Placement Tests in McGill. (: baby steps in overcoming this seemingly everlasting dispute.
but in most of my hours procrastinating, i’ve also questioned procrastination. why do i procrastinate?
i’m not sure how many people would identify with my problems, but i’m often very excited to start a new project. i am thrilled with the idea of having to ‘work’ on something new, to work alongside amazing people, whether old or new, and i’m just happy to know that i’ll have something to do, because i have always been someone who gets nervous with ‘unemployment’ (probably scared she’ll become a fat kid, eating way too many chips and being a couch potato).
i’m always there watching Korean dramas about lovers who found out that they are in reality siblings, thinking of where it went wrong, and when exactly did all of that excitement turn into non-excitements. because i’m pretty sure somewhere along the way, i decided that i’m not looking forward to the new project anymore, or that i’m not looking forward to do the assignment that i was once so interested in anymore.
but after what may be a shitload of procrastination hours, i think i finally found the answer. it was the perfectionist trait. it has always been the perfectionist trait. perfectionists, as is defined by the word ‘perfect’ and ‘perfection’ likes to be ready when they are faced with any task whatsoever. and of course, i want to do the stuff that i’m so excited about perfectly, and there is no way that i’m screwing up that amazing paper that i have envisioned for the whole week.
that is where the satanic circle starts.
there’s this hitch on thinking too much and doing too little… i got caught up in this fantasy of starting a new project and finishing it brilliantly when i forget to actually start. i finally realized that instead of a mature preparation, the right timing is more important. because a lot of people think that starting a project that has been planned for long without fully preparing themselves are not a good idea, but honestly, the right timing is hard to come by.
and what is the right timing if you may ask? it’s just whenever. but for perfectionists, the right timing has always been that point in space and time that they can never come back to. it’s like a timeline that does not rewind, and then they’re stuck in the future, their grand master plan a failure because it’s not perfect anymore. and since it’s not perfect, they find no reason to continue, or rather, start. so the marvelous plan stayed as a plan, and nothing was done about it until deadlines are around the corner and what is produced is a shitty piece of font 12 document that the professors and TAs are not impressed about.
having discovered this, i’m not saying that i’m fully healed. i’m still in the process of recovery, trying to catch myself in the brink of procrastination and telling myself that perfection isn’t everything if you couldn’t even start the damn thing. what really helps is to imagine my life in a timeline. of the things that i’ve done, and the things that i will be doing, but definitely also about the present. understand that if you don’t do it now, you could always do it five minutes later, but also know that five minutes later you might regret that you didn’t do it now. and throughout your life of procrastination, imagine all the hard work that you have put in in the past and how all of that will come to waste if you procrastinate even for just a minute.
all of that comes down to just doing it. perfection comes only in the finishing touches.