I’m trying a new thing today. My friend Sarah has a blog that I’ve been reading for a while now, and she posts monthly for Project Reverb. About a month ago I decided having someone send me a personal writing prompt once a month wouldn’t be such a bad idea, so here I am. Trying it out. What does March have on tap?
Habits | If you could magically change one of your habits, what would it be and why?
How is it that this very first prompt seems to cut me to the core? Because I do have some very bad habits. Or at least the BIG bad one that seems to affect any and all the smaller habits. And that would be procrastination.
I will put off anything until the last moment. The Boy especially hates it when I cook, and instead of putting things in the dishwasher or just washing them right away, I put them in the sink, to deal with later. I am the master of putting items on my to-do list, but instead of doing them right away, figuring out a way to schedule them on my calendar with reminders that pop up once the hard deadline starts getting ever closer.
Do I need an oil change? Let’s wait until the light goes on in my car!
Perhaps the state inspection? March is 31 days long. I’ll get to it before then.
How’s my bathroom look? Icky, but no one else ever goes in there, so it can wait.
Dentist says I should have a frenulum snipped? “Not Important” + “Not Urgent” = two years passing.
Low-priority work project with a nebulous deadline? Push, push push…for months.
But no one can or should survive that way. It’s not healthy. It doesn’t make for a life experience conducive to productivity or achievement. I tend to find myself unhappy in the mess, unhappy when I am rushed to do things, and unhappy with myself for putting things off for so long. Because without fail, I will find myself in the moment having just barely met a deadline saying “Why didn’t I do that earlier? It wasn’t as bad as thought it would be.” But I just worry about things, and overthink, and get myself into a place where before a project is finished, it feels like it is too scary to ever complete.
I can barely even imagine a world where I am not a procrastinator. I would get all the things done. I wouldn’t ever put things off for silly reasons. I wouldn’t miss opportunities, or kick myself for letting stupid mistakes pile up in the time that I waited to do a thing. But would I be me? Probably, yes. And there’s still a lot of things that I do to mitigate my procrastinator habits (see: reminders of things that are due on my calendar and to-do list). Shame is also a motivating factor. Fear of reprisal. But these can’t and don’t work all the time. So for now, I simply recognize that this is my worst habit. And keep working in the hopes that I can and will get better over time. Because there is no magical fix for procrastination, and waiting around for that fix is just another waste of my time.
So – what about you? What are your bad habits? Or…which would you wish away magically if you could? How would it change your life?