Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Word (or Three) about Deadlines

One of the resolutions I intend to make for the new year is to stop procrastinating.


I wake up on Monday, write out a To Do list that must be completed by the weekend and then spend the next five days concentrating on anything but that To Do list. Then, Saturday rolls around and I go into Panic Mode and try to get everything on my list accomplished by sundown.

It's a sickness, I tell you. lol.

But that's the way I've always been when I have a deadline. Book deadline. Day Job obligations. Life obligations. It doesn't matter. I usually wait till the last possible moment and then drive myself nearly insane trying to get it all done before the proverbial bell rings.

The fact that I almost always make it isn't the point. Well, mostly not the point, anyway.

The thing is, I realize that I have a problem. So, when January 1, 2007 rolls around, I intend to stop procrastinating. I will complete my To Do lists on Monday, rather than waiting till the weekend. I won't put off till tomorrow that which I should damn well be staring today. Well, that's the plan anyway. lol.

So, what about you? Do you have any bad habits you'd like to break when the new year rolls around? And, better yet, how do you handle deadlines? Since the whole procrastination thing isn't going to be working for me anymore, I probably need a few pointers. lol.



Christie Craig said...


It never fails to amaze me how much time and effort we put into putting things off. Personally, I think if I took half the energy I put into the art of procrastination and put it into getting things done, I would be so amazingly successful.

Sometimes, I think I put things off, just to feel the buzz of living on the edge, the do-it-now-or-die" kind of high.

Ahh, but I dream about being organized, of never dealing with the stress of last-minute deadlines. I even put a new day-planner on my Christmas list. I swear, I'm going to try to be better.

Recently, I was talking to a fellow PASIC member, Colleen Thompson, and she had this peaceful, blissful look about her when she said, "I turned my book in ahead of my deadline."

All I could think was . . . Darn, I want that feeling. I just hope it's as addicting as the do-it-now-or-die buzz.

Nancy Morse said...

The only New Year's resolution I make is to make no resolutions. Who am I kidding? I never keep them, anyway. Right there I eliminate the stress of having to stick to them. Maybe you're putting too much pressure on yourself by making a list for the week. Then if you don't do the things on the list, you feel guilty. Guilt and anger are the 2 biggest motivators, but always for the wrong reasons. If everything gets done anyway, why not just accept the fact that this is the way you are? If you weren't meeting your deadlines, if the house is always a mess, if the kids don't eat because mom didn't get to the grocery story, if the electricity is shut off (you get the idea), then it's time to worry.

I procrastinate over personal matters, never business. My major item of procrastination lately is a colonoscopy. I've been putting that off for months, and I should know better because my best friend passed away from colon cancer. I know, I know. It's not so much the procedure, but the prep. I'll just leave it at that.

JoAnn Ross said...

Maybe you're not procrastinating, so much as prioritizing? Since I always somehow manage to pile too much life stuff on my plate (which also happens to be spinning like those plates on poles in the circus), I've given myself permission just to tackle things when they're approaching critical mass. Such as never packing for a trip until about eleven the night before we leave, but that's okay, because I'd rather get up an hour early to finish in the morning, than risk not getting the prior obligation done because I jumped the line. This drives my sweetie, who'll pack two days in advance, nuts, but he always agrees it works for me. I can, btw, get books in early; all I have to do is set my own deadline and after a while, I start believing it's the REAL one. lol

I think this may be genetic. My grandbabies are coming on Wednesday, and my grandson, who is definitely a "live in the moment" guy keeps asking his father, aka my kid, how many more days. Patrick asked him the other night how come he wasn't asking how many days until Christmas.

Parker merely replied, "First things first, Dad."

JoAnn, off to start decorating the Christmas tree, which always takes three days, for their arrival :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, guys! I appreciate all the feedback and suggestions.

I like JoAnn's take most of all, though. I'm not procrastinating, I'm *prioritizing*. LOL. But, honestly, I know I need to get better organized.

Have a gloriously happy holiday season!


Shanna Swendson said...

Oh, that sounds like the story of my life. I make an ambitious to-do list on Monday, then Tuesday through Friday's to-do lists are all "Stuff from Monday that isn't done yet." Which is usually the entire list.

I'm trying a whole new priority and goal-setting thing for the new year, but that's actually a lot of procrastination material because I have to write out all my goals and affirmations and stuff, which of course has to be done before I settle down and do any actual work.