I have been having a battle of wills with my inner saboteur. It needs to stop!
My desire to become an author has taken over so much of my time, that I find myself chasing my own tail. I want to write all of the time. I let life get in the way. I tell myself that I ‘really should be……….’ I add different excuses all of the time! It wouldn’t be so bad if I actually did the things that I tell myself that ‘I should’. Ironically I have perfected the art of NOT doing any of the important things, I waste time, often I can’t even work out where the time has gone.
Yesterday I settled down to do an important rewrite, ready for a competition. I was exhausted, it was late, but I persevered, typing, rereading, retyping.
Then the message appeared……..
Windows 10 is reconfiguring an important update on your computer. Please save your work or cancel.
I was too busy writing, I thought that It would be alright to finish what I was doing first. WRONG! The update completely took over my laptop before I had saved my work. I convinced myself that it would be safe somewhere. WRONG! Finally at 1.30am the install had completed, I eagerly went to Open Office to check my work – totally gone! Several hours of work wasted! I’ve tried to convince myself that it obviously wasn’t good enough & that it will be better at the next rewrite. Do I believe it? Hmm, not sure.
Unfortunately my solution to this wasted work was to spend 5 hours wandering around the town today, instead of putting my head down & getting on with the job in hand. Procrastination in the extreme. I do this sabotage in many different ways, for example I hate having a pile of dirty dishes In the sink, when I want to write. Simple. Wash the dishes! No, I sit down, or maybe do something else rather than do them. I don’t mind cleaning the dishes, so why don’t I just do them? Another example, I noticed while in town, that my mobile needs charging. That was over 9 hours ago, it still needs charging. I can’t receive calls until it is done, nor can I settle to anything else because I keep telling myself to charge up the phone! It would take no more that a couple of minutes, yet rather than do it, I’m writing about not doing it! For some reason this sums up my way of putting things off. It really annoys me, yet I continue to do it.
I have been inspired to write this now because I have just read a blog about making excuses for not writing. Is that what I am doing? Am I so critical of my ability to create something worthwhile, that I am using the flimsiest of excuses to put off the completion of any of my writing projects? I know the answer. I do this a lot. I have used excuses throughout my life, usually for avoiding something that would take minutes to rectify. One childhood memory is of trying to avoid cleaning my teeth, or washing my hands. My Mother would check my toothbrush/ hands for evidence of use. Knowing this, I would go to great lengths to wet the brush, squeeze some paste down the plug hole, ruffle the towel etc, which took me much longer than just doing it! I was a child then. That was well over half a century ago. I’m still using the same, illogical reasoning towards avoiding tasks. I want to do them, I want to get things done. I want a clear, uncluttered home, allowing me to have clarity of thought yet I still make excuses to myself that prevent me from doing them.
Bizarrely I don’t do this where other people are concerned. If something needs doing for someone else, I do it as soon as possible. Why is it different when helping others? The answer is that I don’t like to let people down. This seems to suggest that I don’t mind letting myself down! Aren’t I worth more than that?
What can I do to challenge this behaviour?
The answer is so simple – I just need to do, rather than think about it! I made a start recently, I installed some to do apps on my phone & iPad, to allow me to keep track of things that I need to do & allow me to prioritise my tasks. I felt quite pleased with myself. Good start I thought. Hmm, I now have daily messages telling me about the overdue tasks, I haven’t even ticked off any jobs that I’ve completed!
Now I could use this ineffective idea as an excuse to stop trying. I could delete the app. I could ignore it. Or……….
I could do something radical – I could actually try again. No excuses, no delaying tactics, I could simply start at the beginning of my list & work through it. Making excuses is a really pointless exercise, something that should have been left behind with childhood. So I will try again. I won’t give up. I have an incredibly busy life yet could easily make more time if I simply became more organised & got on with the job in hand.
Having got this off my chest, I’m going to have an early-ish night & make a positive start in the morning, after a good nights’ sleep, but first have to put my phone on charge!!!
bye for now, take care everyone.