I’ve been writing in my head but when I think about actually doing it I can’t.
Most people procrastinate to some extent. Even if you just decide to make a cup of coffee or check Facebook to see what your second cousin has named their new pet goat, you’re putting off something else you should or could be doing.
Originally, I planned to write once a week. I thought that was a realistic goal for myself. It really is realistic. I’m just having trouble motivating myself to actually get it done. Every time I have a bit of time where I could write I end up on reddit or catching another pidgey in Pokémon Go. When I think about writing I just can push myself to do it.
I’ve always been a bit of a procrastinator but it’s getting a little out of hand these days. It’s more of a paralysis. I feel like even though my brain is willing to walk though the steps of completing a task my body can’t physically move to do it.
The example I used in my psychological consultation was my youngest child’s one-month picture. With our first child my husband and I decided to take pictures of him every month to post on social media. I had a lot of fun choosing the best one to share and it was always done on the exact day. With our second child we did take the picture, but it was extremely stressful for me. I was getting overwhelmed just trying to take it and I’m pretty sure I even cried afterwards. We got some good pictures and all I needed to do was add some text and post one to Instagram. I still haven’t done it. I posted his two-month picture only because my husband physically sat next to me and watched me do it.
It turns out that procrastinating as a pretty common symptom of depression.
That’s not to say that everyone who procrastinates is depressed. It’s definitely worse for me these days than it ever was. It’s particularly worse when the task is either very important or has a highly emotional component (like writing about my journey).
My Procrastination Plan
Now that I’ve identified how much of a problem this is for me, I really want to work on this. It seems like a reasonable place to start to deal with my postpartum depression. I can visualise the procrastination (a big grey wonky ball if you’re wondering). I think if I work at it, I can shrink it down into a more reasonable size.
I’m going to talk about this with my councillor at the next appointment because I am not a mental health care professional at all.
For me having an action plan is probably the most important part of dealing with anything. Once I know where I’m going I can refer to my plan if I ever get lost. This is actually what I do with actual maps when I’m navigating anywhere.
I feel like some of my procrastination comes from how overwhelmed I feel. There’s so much to do with two kids at home. Plus, I have promised to make things for other people. Plus, I have hobbies. Plus, I should exercise. Plus, I really like YouTube. Plus, I’m paying for Netflix so…
Okay, back to the plan. I think I’ll be more successful if I can combine things. Like right now I’m exercising and writing and listening to music. I’m feeling really good about myself because of that. It might not be the perfect way to do things but it’s working.
I can also clean and watch Netflix in the evening. Why not? It’s not like cleaning needs my full attention.
I can breastfeed and knit. This one isn’t perfect because my current knitting project is a blanket for my toddler to take to preschool and it’s getting a bit heavy to hold.
There are also a few ideas here that I want to try. I know that if I “act as I go” with the laundry I won’t end up with 12 loads to fold at the end of the week. It always feels like so much more work when it piles up.
Oh, I just hit my step goal for the day so that’s fantastic.
I always feel better on Mondays. I don’t make new year’s resolutions. I make Monday resolutions. I’ll often plan things on Mondays and feel optimistic of following plans but by Wednesday I’m slipping and by Friday I’ve justified not following my plan.
But this isn’t going to help me get over the procrastination. And getting over the procrastination should help my overall mindset. Because I need to deal with the procrastination because it’s causing me to put off selfcare that is desperately needed. As multiple professionals have told me, if I don’t take care of myself how can I take care of my children?
- Acknowledge the big, grey ball of procrastination.
- Choose one thing I’m procrastinating about and deal with it
- Make it past at least two Mondays without putting that thing off
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 as much as necessary