How many times have you convinced yourself “it’s okay” that you didn’t manage to do something because of how busy you were? I know I have, multiple times. So much so in fact, that I’m starting to realise that procrastination is an art I’ve fine-tuned over the years.
But one of the most common mistakes we can make is confusing being busy with being productive. Spending 12 hours a day in the library does not mean you are going to score 100% on an exam. Especially not if those 12 hours actually equate to only 2 real hours of studying, then 10 hours of snacking, checking emails, online shopping and chatting to the other people next you. Spending 2 hours in the gym every day doesn’t guarantee you’re going to be fitter than anyone else if what you’re actually spending more time doing is posing at the squat rack rather than burning calories. But we all do it (procrastinate, not pose at the squat rack). We convince ourselves we’re SO busy, ALL of the time that unsurprisingly, certain things fall off of our ‘To Do’ lists every single day. Here are some classics:
Keeping that new dress for a “special occasion”
Now this is something I do ALL THE TIME. I end up wearing the same clothes to work every single week because I don’t want to “waste” my new clothes just sitting about an office. Which means I now have way more clothes than places to wear them to. And the only way I could possibly get through them all is if I were to dress up every single day for the next 3 months (hmm, maybe that’s an idea for when quarantine is finally over?). I even have fancy socks which I don’t ever wear because I’m saving them. For when? Who knows! The more I thought about it as I started to write this, I realised just how ludicrous it sounds. So I’ve decided tonight is the night to wear my fancy socks. That’s right, tonight, my 5th Sunday night in quarantine, feels like as good a time as any to debut my sparkly pewter-coloured socks. Okay so no one will see them, but boy do I feel fancy!
Putting that item in your online shopping basket…“for later”
How many of you spend hours browsing online for the perfect item, reading reviews, checking sizes, colours, materials….all for nothing? Just out of interest, I went onto my Amazon account to see what I currently have sitting in my shopping cart and I found a hairdryer, a phone cover, a memory card, a hoover, a book and a picture frame. Now the only item I actually NEED out of those is a hairdryer as mine broke the other day. The others are things I at one point seemingly deemed SO important that I had to spend time looking them up – probably instead of doing the dishes or putting a washing on – only to leave them sitting in my online shopping basket, abandoned and ignored.
Saying you’ll start your new exercise regime come Monday
I’ve grown to love fitness in the past 5 years. Or so I thought. What I’ve realised is that I’ve actually grown to love the social scene fitness has opened up for me. Be that going to the gym with a friend, meeting new people at an exercise class or playing a team sport. So as soon as I don’t have that social interaction as my motivation, BOOM, procrastination level shoots up to 100%. Right now I have the “excuse” that we’re not allowed outside here in Spain to do exercise, but I technically have millions of YouTube workouts at my mercy and a perfectly good open space on my living room floor I could be taking advantage of. And I’m not. The exercise I have decided to do in the past month has been either because a friend challenged me to do it, or because I was joining friends to do an exercise class via Skype. But hey, at least I’ve made an effort, right?
I’m now on day 33 of quarantine and I’m starting to look at being “stuck in” as a blessing in disguise, as it’s giving me the chance to do things I should’ve done a long time ago. Like wearing my sparkly socks (none of you can see, but my feet look so great right now, even if I do say so myself).
I say quarantine is our time to face procrastination head on! Who’s in? Do that workout, call that friend you’ve been meaning to, sort out that kitchen cupboard, learn how to dance, paint that picture, read that book. Whatever it is you feel like doing, do it, it’s worth a shot, right?