The writing program we’re doing for school this year emphasizes just jumping in. He calls it Doing It Okay. There’s no pressure to get it right—just get something down…anything! It’s only the first step, and you’re not expected to have a finished product.
But the thing that really amazed me was when he talked about procrastination. Since I am one of the world’s worst procrastinators, that got my attention. I hate the fact that I shove things back until they are unavoidable. I hate what I do, but I keep doing it! I’ve never thought of it as an excuse, but his explanation was this: if we perform poorly, then we can tell ourselves, “Oh, well, I was just too rushed. If I’d had more time, I could have done a better job.” It all boils down to fear. I’m afraid that I can’t do an excellent job, so I wait until I hardly have time to do it at all. Then I can reassure myself that I certainly could have done better.
It’s a whole new thought to me. I wonder if this is what’s going on in the dark recesses of my brain, and why I have such a hard time doing things ahead of time? So many, many times, I have determined that THIS time I will do better, this time I will start earlier, this time I will NOT wait until the last minute.
And so many times I have, once again, come skidding in just as the door closes, just as the bell rings, just as the clock lurches toward the deadline.
Am I making excuses? Deep inside, am I actually afraid that I can’t do the job as well as I want to, so I sabotage myself? I wonder.