Today I had big plans to meet some deadlines because they have been making some really loud WHOOSH noises as they go over my head and quite frankly, its deafening. I scribbled a massive 'to do' list, went to the grocery store, made an omelette, got the odd job guy in to do some um, odd jobs around the house like change the bulbs in my impossibly high ceilings, fix the toilet roll holder...that sort of 'ting. Then I sat down in front of this computer and watched MasterChef for the last 2 hours. Believe me, the irony that I procrastinated to write something about procrastination is not lost on me.
Last Wednesday me and Alex went to the Wheeler Centre to listen to Australian writer Kathy Lette talk about her new book. *side note* Alex and I are working on honing our craft and keeping our little minds stimulated with some culture besides drowning ourselves in red wine and gossip. Anyway! Kathy Lette! She was great. Having not grown up down under, I had no clue who she was but Al is doing a great job of introducing me to the Aus literary world - and she did good introducing me to Kathy. She is hilarious and candid and besides having a few outdated references, she is pretty on point with things. For example, she brought up the whole 'women are great multi taskers' thing. Is it really that much of a great thing? No it most fucking is not. Like she says, that just means we are expected to do so much more and why? Because we can. In all honesty I am really jealous of men's tunnel vision. They get shit done. Don't get me wrong, we do to but it takes a little longer and we get about 10 things done and they are all 'OK' whilst most of the time, the male human produces one thing and one thing only but my God will the standard be top notch.
Like now for instance, it has taken me about 40 minutes to write the above. Why? Because I stopped to sweep the bathroom, water the cactus, make a cup of coffee, like someone's instagram photo and put on a load of washing. I hate myself.
For the majority of my childhood I'm pretty sure I used to think my name was actually 'FOCUS' because that was yelled at me more than 'TAMMY'. Every night before I go to bed I half heartedly punch the pillow because I didn't even make a dent in my mountain of 'to do's but I pretty much smashed my 'don't's'. I read books or articles and think, 'Wow, I could write like that!' But I don't. I just don't. There is a reason why masturbate rhymes with procrastinate.
Apparently being a procrastinator is nurtured. And like most things, it stems from childhood. A particularly controlling parent keeps children from learning how to regulate themselves and from internalizing their own intentions and/or procrastination is yet another form of rebellion. But come on, blaming one's parents is just so 2003 girlfriend! When I turned 30 I was done blaming Mum for putting me on a diet since I was six or Dad putting the fear of God in me about money. Your mind, unlike your body, should get better with age and a true adult takes some responsibility for things. SO THERE GOES THAT IDEA.
Other symptoms of procrastinators: They lie to themselves by saying they will feel more like doing whatever it is they need to do tomorrow. CHECK! Their booze consumption is higher than most because of problems with self regulation. Well...I don't actually drink that much but when I do I go ham so CHECK! Procrastinators tell themselves they work better under pressure so they leave things till the last minute. SEMI CHECK! (I only work well under pressure because then you have no bloody choice to get shit done.)
AARRGGHH! I just checked twitter/facebook - cue self loathing.
So what now? A lot of psychic energy. That's what. I mean I guess I could beg the dodgy Vietnamese doctor on Victoria Street for a Ritalin prescription but that's not exactly ideal. That's a short term answer to a long term problem. Google tells me I need 'Cognitive Behavioral Therapy' but they can get fucked. I tried therapy last year and all the shrink did (his name was Dr Squirrel by the way, not relevant to the story, but it's getting a bit serious so I thought it needed some comic relief) anyway, all he did was take one of his little books off his little shelf and read what was 'wrong' with me. Yeah thanks for that mate.
I know what's wrong with me! I am God damn petrified of failure and ironically, the thought of success brings me to my knees as well. I mean, it's a lot less scarier to allow people to think I lack motivation than I do ability...you know? So I need to get over myself basically. Get out there. Take risks. Give it my best shot. Keep my eyes on the prize. Block out distractions. Finish this book I'm writing. Do some research for work. Return emails. Go to the gym. Reaffirm my reasons for wanting to do things.
And I will do all of that, in a minute...