Friday, May 23, 2014

How Saying No Blows Procrastination Away

Are you among the elite who have perfected waiting until the absolute last second to complete something? I bet you're in that special group with me.

The excellent procrastinator usually neglects to consider absolutely normal events that require adjustment. Traffic is normal and often I pretend like I don't need to imagine there might be a slowdown, or someone I'm meeting is late, or I make a wrong turn, or I spill something, or better yet someone else spills something, or I have to go back because I forgot something. No matter how many times life offers me natural consequences for procrastination, I refuse to change my ways.

Lately, I've been procrastinating on several projects I actually want to do! Can't seem to drag myself to the start line. I've been sitting in a comfy chair with my iPad and iphone handy so I can keep up with the people on Facebook who are posting about getting on with life.

Thinking, "Hm, I should get started on that project."
And then I say, "Nope. I'll just stay here thanks."

So I was driving son to work today and I realized I don't want to keep driving him to work. BUT.

I do not say no. Not just to him. I don't say no to ANYONE unless I am physically going to be elsewhere during the requested time. I'm SO good at pretzelizing myself to do something for someone else. And while I do enjoy helping others, I realized today that I DO NOT SAY NO.

That's why I sit in my chair. Procrastination is my way of saying no. "I should get started on the project." "No."

The only person I say no to is myself.

I was this way before I had kids, even saying yes to a proposal of marriage to a young man I was pretty sure I was not going to marry. I said yes and then suggested we keep it a secret. He was a good guy who deserved (and ultimately found) a woman who would treasure him. But, man, being a mother has turned this tendency into a raging addiction. And even I know that saying no is a huge and very important parenting and life skill.

So that's today's huge revelation. Captain Obvious is tapping me on the shoulder and pantomiming "Duh." I knock Captain Obvious's block off and think about the situations where I want to say no to others.  If you need me later, you'll find me in front of the mirror, practicing saying that word. "N-n-n-o, [insert name here]."

And then I'll get going on those projects.

3 comments:

Shelly W. said...

Wow. Such good advice here and such a revelation--I am the same way. The only person I say no to is me. UGH!!!! Thanks for this, Susan. :)

lyndagrace said...

What an interesting self analysis you worked through.
I feel that way myself. The only control I seem to be able to exert is to retreat inward.
Saying no is actually an art form. Have you noticed how some people have perfected it? They say no and then you feel as though you should apologize for asking.
I had a friend who promised herself that when she turned 60 she would no longer do anything that she didn’t want to do.
I think that would be a difficult promise to keep.

Lottie Nevin said...

Oh Siouxsie, you are not alone! I've had this problem for years. The good news is that I am slowly learning that it is ok to say 'NO'. I still need to perfect the delivery of said word but I am getting better at it.