We all use it. It’s an addiction human beings, for the most part, have integrated into their lives so well that they occasionally don’t even realize when they are using it. It can take up hours of our time, keeping us focused on anything except what we told ourselves we were going to do that day. You know what I’m talking about; you use it too.
It’s funny how, sometimes, we don’t even realize we’re procrastinating. “Oh, I just need to clean the bedroom up a bit before I get started on editing my novel.” “Those dishes are piling up, this homework can wait until I do those.” This blog post, though something I needed to do today, is even a form of procrastination. I have lots of work to do for my class, and instead I’m writing this post and playing games on Facebook. It can wait another hour or so.
What do we do when we realize we’re procrastinating? Do we stop and immediately get to work on what we’ve been avoiding? I know I don’t. I tend to smile when someone points it out, and continue what I am doing. It’s amusing to me that other people seem to think I would care that I am putting off doing something I know is important to do. If I cared, would I be playing with cute little critters on a Facebook game?
And it isn’t just writers who procrastinate. Everyone does it. It’s as though one person tried it, and said ‘Hey, you’ve got to try this procrastination thing! It’s fantastic!’ and, as humans so often do, everyone had to try it out and be one of the cool kids. It’s funny, because everyone will tell a friend, or family member, that ‘they shouldn’t put things off, it’s important to get it done quickly so you don’t have to worry about it later.’ But everyone procrastinates, and while the advice may be sound, it is a bit hypocritical to tell someone to finish what they need to right off when you are probably putting off doing something yourself.
Procrastination is a tool we all use, every day. Even if it is to avoid doing something useful, like dishes or cleaning fishtanks. There will always be something else that has to get finished before starting on the one thing you needed to do today.
I’ve got to get this blog post done. Then I’ll just check facebook. Then I’ll get to my classwork. Another hour won’t hurt.
How often do you catch yourself avoiding doing writing, or editing? And do you follow a pattern, or do you find that you just do random things to procrastinate?
(Today’s post inspired by Jo Ramesy‘s Facebook status!)