Look I’m going to make this quick and to the point, yes, I know, not my usual forte’.
I learned the word Procrastination in third grade, My dad sat me down and told me that under NO circumstances was my procrastination going to be tolerated! Society had no place for procrastinators!
Well, I’m her to tell you, Bob was wrong and it sure does have a place! You just have to know how to embrace it and make it work for you.
Look, I won’t lie, I made my school years much more stressful than they had to be because I put off everything. It wasn’t so much, the putting things off that created the chaos in my life, as it was this inability to manage my super power of procrastination.
As an adult and an adult in a high stress sales profession, I learned very quickly that if I wasn’t going to jump on the organized, efficiency bandwagon, I better make my procrastination work for me. I loved the entertaining clients and the game of getting the contract signed, I just hated (more than anything) the follow up paperwork that went along with all of that, you know like expense reports and call logs…. the thought still makes me want to crawl into a hole.
So, I would fill up all my schedule with social work entertaining (a must do in sales) and just keep piling up the paperwork knowing that the night before deadline was nearing. Then, I would pile all of my paper work into my gym bag (it had long since grown beyond my brief case) and I would stop by my favorite Indian restaurant, grab dinner and a bottle of wine to go and I would have a date with Susan and her Success.
You heard me! It was an evening that I celebrated the success that I had every month. I always got my reports in on time and no one (well, maybe my assistant) was the wiser.
When you are a procrastinator there are only two ways of dealing with it, in the closet which can be quite messy, because, c’mon, procrastinators aren’t great closet cleaners. Or…. You can embrace it as a super power and manage your life in a hugely successful way!
We all have deadlines, and when you have deadlines it is up to you to manage the time you have between point A and point Z. If your anything like me, You can’t even start the project until you know you are really cutting it close in the final stretch. So wait! You have other things to do, so do those.
What you can’t do is sit around stressing over the fact that you are procrastinating. THAT is a waste of time and energy. Do something, even if it has absolutely nothing to do with the item with the deadline.
Procrastination is a not the killer of creativity, as a matter of fact, some of us have creativity that THRIVES in the last hours of a deadline, it’s the stress that we create over not accepting our greatness in the world and working with what we have!
So the next time you are berating yourself for putting everything off until the last minute, stop, do something wonderfully fun, grab your favorite take out and have a date with your success, whatever that may be. You’ll make your deadline, you always do!