I have transformed procrastination into an art form.
I possess this innate ability to postpone the inevitable until it really needs to be done. Until that specific moment in time, though – that moment when I know it’s finally make or break, when it’s either go big or go home, when it’s do this now or forever hold your peace – I am the queen of telling myself that it’s okay to leave things for now. In the process, I come up with the most ridiculous excuses for why I cannot complete a certain item on the to-do list at this very moment in time.
Some of my latest excuses include “It’s the weekend, I’ll decide on Sunday,” “It’s the week, I’ll decide over the weekend,” “I’m not in the mood today, but I’ll definitely do it tomorrow,” “One more episode of The Good Wife and then I’ll get to it,” “I need to cook/do laundry/mindlessly scroll through Facebook/stare into space first.”
I know myself well. I know that this is my modus operandi – to leave things until the last minute and then curse myself for being so last minute. To force myself into making decisions because it’s now too late to mull over them any longer.
It’s really not healthy.
At the moment, I feel myself slipping back into this familiar pattern. I realised the other day that I have five weeks to go until I leave Dubai for Kathmandu, where I’ll be volunteering for a few months. So I freaked out at how much I have to do between now and then, and then proceeded to do nothing about it. Yesterday I at least took it a step further – I actually sat and wrote out a to-do list. That helped to empty out everything that’s on my mind onto paper. It’s a good start.
But it’s not good enough.
Today, a full day of doing nothing stretches before me, and yet when I looked at the first item on my to-do list, I felt a surge of anxiety fill my chest and then proceeded to open Netflix instead.
I realised that I put things off not because I’m lazy – in fact, I’m a very organised person and leaving things until the last minute goes against this super neurotic side of me. No, I put things off because I’m always afraid of making the wrong decision or of fully committing to something that I fully intend to do.
I am going to Nepal, there’s no doubt about that. Right now, it’s all I want to do, so it’s not that I have any doubts. But finalising things always fills me with anxiety to a certain degree and I realise now it’s something that I need to overcome – for my own sanity. Nothing good ever comes out of leaving things until the last minute. Time and time again, I’ve missed out on cheap airline tickets or deals because I’ve procrastinated too much and missed the boat. And for what? I cannot recall a single instance when I have gone back on one of these plans. As such, I may as well power through this fear of making the wrong move, trust myself, commit to the process and get the hell on with it.
So, in the spirit of change and taking my own advice, I will now open another tab and book my flight there. No debating which option to take, no worrying that something cheaper will come along, no dilly dallying over dates. Nope. I’m just going to do it, and I will not press publish on this post until I’ve done so.
P.S. Yes, I’ve booked and I’ve also crossed several other things off my to-do list. Hurrah! This is happening and I’m so excited!