Definition of procrastinate
: to put off intentionally and habitually
: to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done
You do not have too know the difference between transitive and intransitive to be very familiar with the word. I have included the definition of the word procrastinate from Webster’s Dictionary. In real life living the definition would read a little different.
Procrastinate: Dennie Maverick
Or it would be more visual with my picture. Either way there would be some connection to me. I discovered awhile ago that my only answers to a request to do something were:
“In a minute”
“I will today”
“I will get that done tomorrow”
“Yup this week”
Saying “I’ll do that now,” just was not in my vocabulary. Most people would assume that I was just plain lazy but that is not the case. If hubby asks me to call someone about something…I need to prepare! To work up to it. To lay out exactly what I am going to say. And with all the research I have done I have yet to discover why so many people who live with a mental illness have phone anxiety! I am not as bad as I was but during my bad periods I would have a melt down when I had to make a call. Hubby was at work and I was at home but still he was forced to make all the calls. I do not have an answer but it was like some sort of punishment when it came to the phone. Make me do anything but please do not ask me to make a phone call!
Then add on top of that always running low on energy. It is difficult for people to understand what it is like to have to push yourself for EVERYTHING! If I could spray on some smelly stuff to avoid having to take a shower I would. That is another one that goes with mental health. What is the deal with us having to plug ourselves into an electrical outlet to get to the shower???!!! Doing the dishes was a huge effort. I would tell myself I would do them later for 3 days then we would be out of counter space and I would be forced to. Mind you I probably would have to nap afterwards.
When every little move you make requires a discussion with yourself. There is no such thing as just moving. I would be required to have a 30 minute discussion with myself to brush my teeth. I had to stop making my bed because it drained me. So dealing with an energy level that low did me no favors trying to do things. Everything always seemed to big. A challenge too large for me to undertake. Every mole hill was a mountain. That was my mantra. I did not know any other way to live. That was my reality. Now do not think all of a sudden I became the energizer bunny and now react at the speed of light to do things. I still carry the word in my life and fighting it still requires a great deal of effort.
Then there was always the fact that there was a very good chance I was going to screw it up. Who wants to do something that is just going to prove their inadequacy? Then the attitude of “Why bother,” becomes the norm. Nothing I did was going to make things any better. I could not do anything right. I did not need the anxiety. Nothing I needed to do held any importance. Even when we did not have the money to pay our rent and something needed to be done to either rectify the situation or at least contact the landlord so I did not have a bounced check did not hold any level of priority with me. I was not important so nothing else was. I had no value to offer anything.
I go back to the “being prepared.” Even though I am doing so much better I still panic if I have to do something right away. I became so accustom to have to have the self-chat before doing anything now I feel so naked if I have had to be spontaneous. Having to call the landlord cause our drain is clogged or a job interview…no diff. I require time to rehearse what I am going to say. Even if it is but a few words. I still do not have enough confidence in myself to do something right off the cuff. I cannot even put into words what I go through before an interview as a writer. One site that wanted to do a feature on me sent me the questions and I get to write my answers. I would be sailing if they were all like that!
I had to change my reactions. Actually I had to change my reaction time. I remember back in the day whenever they wanted to depict a person who was insane in the movies it was always someone who talked to themselves. That was and is reality! We do not have to have crossed over into the category of insane to know that we spend our time talking to ourselves. We just do it quieter now. I have to convince myself to do everything and that I realized was what was causing me problems. I had too much time to think. Before I have even responded to either myself or someone else about doing a task I have had a full discussion with myself listing all the reasons I cannot do that task right away. I believe it is something that becomes ingrained into out psyche. We take the Boy Scouts motto of “Be Prepared” to a whole new level.
I am going to give an example. My prescriptions. Now my meds are as vital to me for existence as the air I breathe. I am fully aware of that. Hubby puts together my pills at night for the morning when he sets up the coffee. When I am getting low he lets me know so I can call it in and he’ll pick it up. Let’s say I have 4 days worth left. Day 4…will do it tomorrow. Day 3…will do it tomorrow. Day 2…will do it tomorrow. Day 1…will do it later. Day 0…shit! Now I am not sure how they systems may work for you but the phone call I needed to make may have taken 2 minutes at the most. Type in my prescription number, my birth date and all done. Nope makes no sense!
So I had to make a change. Bullseye! My solution. Very complex. When hubby tells me I do not stop to think. That is how I always end up in trouble. I try to avoid having that conversation with myself before I respond or move. I move immediately. No thinking time. When he comes into the living room I put out my hand and take the bottle and call. I am finished before my brain has had a chance to come up with a reason as to why I could not do it. Instead of thinking I just say “Bullseye” and move. It is like writing a program for a computer. A program is all designed with the..if you do this…this will happen. That is code. So I am programming my brain so that when I say “Bullseye” (out loud or it does not work) I immediately move. For every action there is a reaction. This stuff is Science guys!
Now i am sure there is a great explanation as to why something this strange and simple works. Maybe that is my next area of research. All I can tell you is that it works. It is like cutting out the middle man. You are skipping over the conversation that will stop you. I do it still with the shower. I can be in the middle of doing something and when the thought enters my brain that I need to take a shower…”Bullseye” and off I go. I can say that it is almost a habit…almost! Sometimes I can yell “Bullseye,” for an hour but my ass is not moving. I have gotten accustomed to missing the perfect mark. What I do know is that I get more done now. I should say I get more done within a desired time frame. Now if you happen to be putting on a new roof I would not suggest that it would be highly intelligent to stop midway to take a shower. But the little things add up to big things.
I think that is what my sanity is based upon…little things. I will get overwhelmed if I am faced with something large. I don’t do the big picture very well. So it is all about the little things I do that help me. The bottom line is always, “I am doing the best I can.” If any more is asked of you tell them to stick it! At least once I day I wish I had the nerve to say, “Spend a day in my body honey and then discuss what you got done!” Especially to my Mother or my best friend who really is the living breathing version of the energizer bunny. (I do not know if he is international). But I know. I know the size of my accomplishment when I do something right away instead of procrastinating. I deserve a friggin medal! The little things. The next thing you know the day is over. And much to my surprise I may feel like I accomplished something. No matter how small…IT COUNTS!