Hello from newbie 'Somu' in the UK
Hello, my name is Somu and I'm a procrastinator. I am open to your suggestions and comments, in response to this and any future postings here, so please don't hold back.
It didn't used to procrastinate, but it has crept up on me, perhaps with the caution brought on by advancing age (I'm early 50s).
Once upon a time, I just got things done. Until this morning, I'd forgotten that at secondary school I'd do homework the day it was set rather than the day before it was due. In my early work life, I tackled things with gusto as they came along. There was no agonising about each new assignment's place in the grand scheme of things; no adding it to an ever-growing list of good intentions to be prioritised to death as important/non-important x urgent/non-urgent, rather than J.F.Doing.It!
Right now, I'm very lucky in many ways. I'm self-employed with plenty of work. To others, I appear fairly successful, modestly (I hope) confident, and in control. But no one can see (or maybe they can) the dread I feel all the time caused by things not done. My office is a mess. My business and home admin alike for the past five years at least have been last minute and poor quality. And instead of deriving satisfaction from completed work for clients, I mainly worry about what I should have done but is late.
One silly consequence of this last thing is being scared to use the phone at work. I avoid it like the plague, using the safety of e-mail and text messaging instead. When my phone rings, my default expectation is that it's someone to whom I've promised something, who is calling to bollock me for letting them down. The reality is that this is never actually the case, but that doesn't prevent a little spike of adrenalin every time the phone rings. I know that the way to deal with this is not assertive self-talk to "man up", but to regain authentic confidence from being up to date with the important things.
Another part of becoming a ditherer is the conflict I feel between long-range goal pursuit and living for the moment. Many self-help books urge us to establish a personal vision, mission statement, values and goals. I've tried (many times), but this doesn't work for me. Encouraged by what I read on this site yesterday, my renewed resolve is very simple: My life goal is "To make the most of today and enjoy wherever that takes me". A bit more specifically, I want to enjoy daily progress towards four things: (1) A tidy workplace, tidy home and tidy mind; (2) confidence and security derived from everything of importance being on target; (3) the thrill and satisfaction of more and better accomplishments; (4) more choices in what I do and with whom, what to decline, where to go and how to live. All these can come, I hope, from overcoming procrastination and making good use of time.
Already today, I used the 'check-in' process here and have done the first two things on my list: The first - a pathetically simple task for a client - has been bugging me for months; and this being the second, from which I've already derived some therapy out of the process of thinking this through and expressing it. And so to number three on my check-in list, an espresso and 20 minute break.
Best wishes to everyone here.