Wednesday, June 16, 2021

A+ Procrastinator


I'll admit, I do my best work under pressure. I am more creative, work harder, faster, and all around better when I procrastinate. The planner in me HATES it. The planner that has lists of activities to do each season, the planner that makes weekly meal plans and lesson plans for daycare and homeschool, the planner that has timers set on the calendar so nothing is missed. That part of me despises the procrastinator part of me. Admittedly, the creative side of me is the procrastinator, which means that part of me is much more prominent than my planner side. 

As an adult, I know how to deal with the procrastinator part of me. I manage it well (while still driving others insane, I'm sure). However, as a kid it was frustrating. Not one person in my life, teacher, counselor, adult, gave me tips (or better yet, taught me) how to deal with being a procrastinator. As I've grown older, I recognize things that work for me. Not necessarily to keep me from procrastinating, but that have helped me live with it in a more organized fashion.

  • Make lists. To Do Lists are your friend. I make To Do Lists in separate areas of my life: daycare, homeschool, projects, home improvement projects, vacations, etc. 
  • Break the Lists down. I have monthly overviews of what needs done that month, followed by breaking it down into weeks, and finally broken down into days.
  • Put dates of when things will be done (NOT when they're due). If I pay attention to the due date rather than the done date, I'll just put it off more and more. I've taught myself to not pay attention to the due date, but to the date I'll work on things. For example, I am working on an event for a nonprofit I'm on the Board of Directors of. On my weekly To Do List, I specifically listed my work on this project on the days I was to work on it. I try really hard (and somewhat succeed) not to overschedule myself with work stuff because then I'm apt to put things off.
  • Figure out if you do better doing hard or easy tasks first and when. I know I work better late morning, late evening, and at night. I also know I work best when I'm able to do a lot at once, with music or the TV on. Weird, I know. An example: I worked on the project mentioned above Sunday afternoon with I watched Mad Men, while I was also doing laundry. I prioritize many tasks by what I can do and walk away from (such as laundry, dishwasher, etc.) and larger tasks I can do during that time too. 
  • What type of environment do you work best in? When I'm trying to memorize things, I need to read something over and over again. When I'm writing or working, I need background noise. I remember as a kid, silence while studying was prioritized because that's what was taught in school. As an adult, I realize that's bullshit. I do not learn well in that environment. I need the stimulation of background noise.
  • Set goals. This sounds silly, but set goals and rewards for yourself. 

I'm forever grateful to my children's teachers, who recognize how they learn, how they work best, and have given them the tools they need to get things done (and for teaching me how they do this as well, because without them, homeschooling would not be possible!). I often read memes or jokes about procrastinating. I mean, I have lots of fun and hilarious stories about procrastinating. I know to keep coffee stocked when I have a project due soon, but I'm also acutely aware that I could have been given tools at a much younger age that could have helped me immensely. I am now a strong advocate for all procrastinators and helping them as much as I can...while still being an A+ procrastinator.