Only a few days until April 15th, tax day, and of course I am thinking about procrastination, aren’t many of us? In fact, writing this blog is one of about twenty things I did today to avoid what I really “should” be doing, but then again, I am getting things done that I probably would not have done had I not procrastinated. Ah, the first pro of procrastination!
I find that I procrastinate when I really do not want to do something because it is boring, requires too much thought or I would just rather be doing something else. Today is a beautiful and warm day, the first in quite a while, so I took a long walk in the park with my dog Bella. Another pro of procrastinating: Bella and I got some exercise and the sun shone upon us.
And then there is this very organized but very tall stack of paperwork I need to go through for work, and I need to carefully read and review it all, but it is such a big, tall pile and although I love what I do, I cannot bring myself to do it today. However, I am thinking about the contents of the pile and as my thoughts are marinating I am getting more focused on the direction I want to take. This kind of procrastination is really part of the process of defining goals and objectives. It is a getting ready mode that is necessary for thoughtful analysis and decision making. Procrastination is on its face a way of avoiding a decision, or could it be a way the mind synthesizes and works through scenarios that will lead to better decision making?
For many people who live with Autism, and their families, there are often difficult and challenging things that others do not have to contend with in the same way. For instance, this week people will be celebrating Easter and Passover, and it is a time when family and friends gather together. These gatherings are not easy for people living with Autism because of social and sensory impacts and many procrastinate on accepting invitations, not because they do not want to go but because they do not know if they can handle it. In these cases, my suggestion would be to think about why you are stressed out and procrastinating. Maybe you will come up with a few things that you “fear” will happen if you go to the gathering, and then you can hopefully figure out a strategy to work this through, or even talk it over with the host of the gathering (after all, they invited you so they must care about you!). Procrastinating your decision about whether you will accept the invitation could actually be a good way to get yourself prepared and comfortable with your choice and will also help clarify your situation for the host.
Procrastination has a bad reputation, but is it really deserved? When we procrastinate we allow time for new and maybe better things to happen. When we procrastinate we get more focused as we race towards the deadline. And speaking of deadlines, I need to finish preparing my taxes and stop procrastinating!