Procrastination v mania

Gosh its hard work not being a procrastinator!! Perhaps it just shows I am lazy but use procrastination as my tool to not do anything…..

I dont think I’m lazy but I am working very hard doing my one bite at a time project in my garden. I am trying to do at least one hour every day and I have been quite obsessive about doing it. Some days I do more than an hour to make up for the days I don’t get to it. I calculated I have done at least ten hours per week for the last five weeks – so that is fifty hours at least…. and that isn’t counting the time I spend at the shops and at the nursery buying stuff for the garden!

I have been tackling it one garden bed at a time – but I live on a 2000 metre block so there are a lot of garden beds and my garden has been very neglected the last couple of years. And of course once I have done a garden bed I cant just move onto the next one and forget about the completed ones… I have to water them, kill pesky snails, weed them, talk to them…. all takes time….. its like doing one of those races that each day you get a little bit further on – but each day you have to start right at the beginning and check all your previous work and maintain it before you start on a new project! So each day takes a little it more time maintaining and so less time for making more progress.

I did a list the other day of the tasks that still need to be done. It went over two A4 pages – which was a bit discouraging. It seems the more I do the more I find to do. I keep thinking of more grand plans, more things that I can plant, more money I can spend….

Procrastination is defined as  the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished. It is the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, or carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones, thus putting off impending tasks to a later time.   Mmmmm Not completely true – I have been known to clean the house or do the ironing instead of doing paperwork…. so you dont just do pleasurable things to avoid doing stuff – you just find something else to do instead of doing the thing you should be doing. They say procrastination isn’t a sign of laziness but perfectionism – not wanting to start a task in case it isn’t done perfectly…..

I certainly procrastinated for a long time before I started this garden – this task I will never finish…. so perhaps that is why I procrastinate. I recognise in myself that manic gene that once I start something I cant stop… and I know that I cant just work at something in an organised measured manner – but that I go flat out at it – impatient for it to be finished so I can do something else, but not being able to just keep plodding away and keep doing other things at the same time – I become very single minded about it all. And then of course I burn myself out and fall in a heap and then have to really work hard to keep the project(garden) maintained and to keep it from being neglected again…

I have nearly finished the garden and I can feel that this little episode of mania is about to dissolve – but I want to continue to make progress – even if it isn’t as much as before. So in an effort to do other stuff apart from the garden and to be a bit less obsessive about it, I am going to try and do something else for an hour a day and do the garden a couple of times a week… Otherwise I will fall in a heap and not finish it which would be a shame…and I do need to do other things as well – not to mention my body is not enjoying all the digging and carting of heavy stuff around the garden…

So I have proven that doing a little bit each day is a good way to get things done…I just need to find out how I stop this from becoming an obsession – becoming anxious if I dont do that bite every day….. It seems I am destined to alternate between a procrastinator and an obsessed mad woman if I dont find the answer…


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