Monthly Archives: May 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.