Today I spent two painful hours putting together business cards for some of my team. They’re off to a ball and we couldn’t have them turning into pumpkins with no business cards now could we. Of course, they should have had business cards a year ago. I just HATE dealing with the formatting software. I procrastinated because I don’t like the task, I find it intimidating (having absolutely no design skill) and annoyingly detail driven (gathering up mobile numbers and checking them twice etc). My faffing about on this matter cost me a lovely big 50% mark up because I needed express delivery for the big event. I could have spent that mark up on my graphic design team and had them do it. But no, I opted to procrastinate out of spite. I will not be beaten by XYZ Printing’s business card template.
The ironic truth about procrastinating
I was going to do a deep soul searching exploration of the nature of procrastination for this blog – not because I feel the world deserves to know but because I have a deadline. The deadline is sitting open in my other window. I have tried to do it three times but it’s planning and it’s hard and the client has sent me so much information that I can’t seem to translate that into a strategy. I am overwhelmed by that task – more than just disliking, it’s out of my comfort zone because I am struggling to communicate with the client. And that’s where I procrastinate most – way over here outside the comfort zone.
Why oh why is the reward not enough?
Whether it’s an annoying, mundane task that I put off out of hatred (hello GST due right now too) or it’s outside my comfort zone, the reward for finishing the task (once the blood pressure drops and the tears dry) is a massive high – either a wow, I did that high or a wow, that’s out of the way finally high. So, why isn’t that high enough to stop me faffing about?
Ohhhh, it’s the faffing about that produces the high!
The faffing about and being anxious about having to do an intimidating or “kill me now” task is what actually generates the high of getting it done. They’re relative. The more faffing, the bigger the high. I have to say, without the post-game high, I’m pretty sure the ATO never sees a red cent and I end up in prison because it’s the only thing that’s going to get my BAS submitted! So, the anxiety, that triggers the procrastination, that triggers more anxiety, that triggers a last minute rush to get it done… this is what triggers the high of accomplishment.