As you can imagine, that choice produces exactly the opposite of the desired effect. And much as I hate it, I have come to recognize that procrastination -- while perhaps more a bad habit than an actual decision -- is as much a part of my personality as my sarcasm and my tendency to overcommit just a tad.
The fear that accompanies procrastination is crippling. How will I get it all done? What if I don't? Or, worse yet, what if I do and -- after all that work -- it's terrible? And since it's fear that sucked me into procrastination in the first place, it's a pretty scary place to be.
I know what works -- I just don't do it. Baby steps work. Starting somewhere -- anywhere -- works. Making a list of what I have to do works, especially when I can follow it with the delightful sense of satisfaction that accompanies checking things off the list.
But when I'm really overwhelmed, even the thought of making a list is intimidating. Having all that stuff bouncing around in my head is bad enough. Seeing it all strung out, one item after the other, is more than I can bear.
So, I put off making a list.
Sometimes, when I'm finished, I'm more overwhelmed than I was to begin with. More often, I feel a sense of lightness -- one that arises from not carrying all those to-dos around in my head. Usually, a logical starting point emerges and I tackle it with a renewed sense of energy and purpose because finally, I have a direction. A path out of the wilderness that is overwhelmed procrastination.
And each time, I ask myself the same question.
Now why didn't I do that in the first place?