Procrastinator? No you're better than that. You're a baker.
Do you put off things to the last second? Do you think of that as a bad trait?
Well if you label it as procrastination, then you most probably do, because society has attached a negative value to it and cast it as an undesirable trait.
What if you were to attach a different label?
What if the time between when you get an assignment and the time you actually sit down to do it is just the creative process? You’re not putting the work off, really, what you’re doing is ‘baking’ the idea.
Yes, the act of "putting it off" encompasses suddenly having bags of energy to tidy our rooms, an undesirable urge to hand-wash the car, color-coordinate your scarves, or scroll through Facebook, the digital hoover of our valuable time.
However, the assignment is still at the back of your mind, is it not?
So as you’re engaging in those ‘procrastinating’ tasks you’re also choosing the ingredients, mixing them, kneading them, letting them rise, and then when the time is ready i.e. when the deadline is dangerously close, your idea is ripe and ready for baking and the results ping out all golden brown and ready to be eaten up.
And actually if you view it as this creating process it’s not such a bad thing. Who is to say that if you sat down to do the assignment the day it was set that it would be of superior quality than if you were to do it 1 or 2 days before? That extra time is like a pickling process (I seem to be going in with the cooking analogies).
Robert Biswas-Diener, a positive psychology coach, calls it ‘Incubation’ time. And Myers-Briggs call procrastinators “pressure prompted” individuals.
Procrastinator, bad time-manager, last-minuter, incubator, baker, creator, pressure prompted persona…
They’re just labels, but they carry different associations and feelings with them.
So if you label yourself as the former three labels, you’re probably feeling guilt.
And carrying guilt around is heavy.
The latter labels might however prompt feelings of pride or self-acceptance, and oh what you can do with those! Pride isn’t something you carry like a load, it’s more of a springboard into more positive action.
I know which feelings I’d rather fill my days with. So be aware of the labels you attach to yourself. And if you must label yourself, do it wisely.
p.s. My newsletters go out on Saturdays. I could write them on Monday and have the whole week free. But I usually write them on the Thursday or Friday, after I’ve baked my idea thoroughly. So they're fresh out the oven served into your inbox. Or ready for sharing…..