I am a terrible procrastinator. In the sense that I am very good at it. You know what I mean. I have these small explosions of activity - like sending off queries to five agents and blogging about it all before 10 a.m. - and then I spend the rest of the day doing nothing but watching silly TV shows and breaking up with a friend (more on that later).
Until it's time to go to bed, but I decide to pop open the computer "just for a bit", get absorbed in said New Yorker article and blog again. Not quite a model of productivity, but it beats staring blankly at television pixels.
There were a few points made in the article that I found particularly interesting.
First, that procrastination doesn't make people happy. If they're putting off something to do something more enjoyable, that's usually not thought of as procrastination. Real procrastination involves not doing something and agonizing about it. It is therefore completely irrational.
Yup. Sounds like me.
The second thing is that procrastinators are more often than not insecure perfectionists. Apparently:
Again, this all sounds eerily familiar.
Third and finally (naturally, the ex-BMer in me can't resist making three points), research suggests that procrastination often results from an inner battle within one's divided self. Sometimes there really is a good angel and a bad angel sitting on your shoulders, and while they duke it out to decide which is the best course of action, you end up doing nothing at all or, worse, doing something vaguely in between and just messing it up altogether.
Which brings me to my earlier point. Wait, which point? Fair question. The one about the friend break-up.
I'm the kind of person that prides myself on being a good friend. I may not always succeed but at least I try very, very hard. But there are just some people, some people who know how to push all the right buttons and make me lash out at them in a way I am bound to be embarrassed about later, and profoundly regret. And so I'll crawl back, make apologies - but taint the apologies in thinly veiled recriminations and buckets of self-pity.
I blame it on my divided self. One of my selves really wants to be friends with these people (or this particular person who shall remain nameless for his sake). The other self doesn't (because I bear a grudge, because I'm jealous, because I don't understand him). Both selves are stubborn, doped up on steroids and refuse to admit defeat. And so begins the endless "I hate you, come back" wars.
So tonight I think I broke up with my friend. For his sake. For both of mine. Who knows. And who knows how long it will be until I pretend it's all bygones and beg to be his friend again (because I love him, because I care, because he's wonderful) so we can start the whole miserable show over.
Think about it. You have one of those people in your life too, don't you? Well, now you know. It's because of your divided self. That's why you're procrastinating and haven't made a decision about whether to keep him in, or out, of your life.
The New Yorker said so, and thus it must be true.