Procrastination… Good? (by )

Most people think of procrastination as a bad thing. They see it as not bothering to do the work at hand or going of into a day dream etc... however recently I have found that procrastination is a good thing.

I think that some jobs actually require you to procrastinate, forcing yourself to try and think when you have gotten into a rut can be counter productive, like looking for errors in code for hours on end without a brake - you kind of become blind to what you are trying to do. You need a break - you need a mind reboot, you need to do something else.

The same is often true of the beginning of things, sometime the idea, the germ of a project is not yet ready and needs that little longer. Starting prematurely can stunt it's growth - deadlines are a problems and some of them need to be met but most of industry is actually soft deadlines which makes things easier - I myself manage much better with staggered soft deadlines than hard harsh big ones.

I see my performances and workshops and what have you as rolling deadlines - though there is stress there which I will come onto in a bit.

Back to procrastination, sometimes you need to procrastinate to re-fire the brain and sometimes it is your brain remembering something you need for your project but it can't quiet explain it too you.

For example: when I was doing my Science Communication coursework, I was desperate to include a certain concept but couldn't remember what it was called or who the lead educator was that was involved with it. In frustration I kind of gave up and in procrastinating found myself on YouTube watching Jason Silva who I find energising and stimulating (and yes he's my sort of eye candy but not that kind of stimulating honest!).

About two vids in and bam! The name I was looking for, mentioned as a throw away comment, in excitement I stumbled back and finished the work off in one sitting as it jogged my memory and the associated stuff all came flooding back in an accessible format for me - of course I am dyslexic and ADHD so this maybe a me thing but in that case it may well hold true for other like me of which there are many.

I have countless examples of stuff like this - being stuck with poetry and picking up a maths book and the words for the concepts of the numbers tumbled onto the page to make the poem that was stuck - and so on.

Then there is the stress - I am a stress bunny, I always have been and I think always will be, if I get stressed enough then meditation wont work as I'll feel stressed about wasting the time and so on. This is the point at which procrastination is kind of a saving grace. I can pass the work with reading books, watching films, knitting, painting, writing essays, going for a walk to photograph swans, having a bath, writing a song, playing the guitar, hugging the girls, tickling Alaric and so on.

Obviously most of this is only an option as I work from home/at events but it is something that has been working really well for me. It stops the nose bleeds and the burning skin that warns another out break of shingles is in the coming.

I am far more likely to make a deadline - even a hard deadline - if I procrastinate. It also works really well with the non-focus then hyper-focus thing I have and sort of bridges the gap between the two.

Now to my current stress head - I think I am being successful or the beginnings or something but this means people are now expecting stuff from me, a certain standard et... and that makes me stressed - I can't stand letting people down.

And so I was feeling too nervous and stressed to start on stuff I needed to do to sort my little play out, most of the work is done it just some admin pieces but it makes it all seem rather real and what if my stutter comes back or I am having a bad fatigue day or I'm just rubbish and it's naff and I'm being paid.... and I'm not GROWN UP enough for this.

My procrastination led me to pick up the comic book / graphic novel I got out of the library yesterday - another Neil Gaiman Sandman book. This one is called Fables and Reflections.

The first story is called Fear of Falling and as if made for the situation, it is about a play write panicking and trying to pull out of producing his play. Needless to say it was exactly what I needed.

So I am going for procrastination is good.

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