Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

The Mole and last minute adrenalin

Another deadline met by the skin of my teeth. I want to analyse it right now. I want to be mindful of my behaviour, hoping that this will point the way to change. Without a deadline I tend to just put things off indefinitely, or make the task much bigger than it already is (like expanding my research or the scope of a project, or thinking about what needs doing in the whole house rather than focussing on one bit). The size then fills me with dread because I can't envision completion.

SO, I have at least for my writing engineered a weekly deadline which requires me to physically hand over what I have done. The writing project is not something that's has been forced on me but something that I have chosen to do. Nevertheless (that pesky internalised demand resistance), I have enormous difficulty getting it done. These last couple of days (today was the deadline day) are more or less typical:

I went to my supposedly Internet free writing zone early yesterday morning, and after about ten minutes of reading through earlier work I got a pop up on my computer saying there were important updates and that my computer would automatically shut down ( I hate it when it does this because if you don't heed it straight away it is likely to close down on you at some other moment and erase the few fragile words you have managed to write). So it updated but in the throes of it loaded Google Chrome and app store and I realised that I was Internet connected. 3 hours past as I went through all the apps offered. All the while I was thinking 'I am seriously going to risk not meeting my deadline if I don't stop and get writing'. That was the responsible me,meanwhile the gremlin was saying 'what excuses can I make to K for not having managed to hand over?' And over the years that gremlin has managed to be remarkably plausible.

I was away in the afternoon, but before I went I loaded freedom software so that I could cut myself off from the Internet for my next writing session. I also loaded the pomadore app that times you for 25 mins and then gives you 5 minutes off ( and 15 mins every two hours). Because it is an Internet app it has to be turned on before you activate freedom. This got me writing again in the evening,each spurt had a defined task and i found i didn't fidget as much knowing there was a timed break. I began to think there was a chance I would meet the deadline, and also AND THIS HAPPENS EVERY TIME my mind began to clear and I worked the same system this morning finishing within minutes of having to run to the appointed handover time. It is as if I have to be well and truly panicked to be able to make clear choices about what to edit and what to keep, and even more importantly what the kernel of the story is and which thread is the dominant one. It is that adrenalin hit that does it for me - usually, but not always - I always doubt that it will.

And now, again, I will be beginning a new writing week and have to work out some strategy that is not so painful either mentally or physically - the late night/final day play havoc with  my incipient RSI.