Friday, June 13, 2008


I was listening yesterday to a radio show on Procrastination and realized that this is the reason I have made so little progress in my job search. Actually, it also describes why I often feel that I make so little progress in general. (I didn't listen to the whole show, only about 20 minutes of it while I drove downtown at lunchtime, looked in vain for parking, gave up and drove back to work, where I sat at my desk and surfed the internet for the rest of the hour.)

During the show, a caller phoned in who said that every time she sits down to work on her thesis, she feels the urgent need to clean the house. Whenever I get home from work, determined to apply to at least one job today, I always make it a priority to water the plants. (It's hot outside, I don't want them to suffer, you know?) By the end of the evening, I have practiced violin, run a load of laundry, taken out the trash, emptied the dishwasher and cooked dinner. But I haven't applied to any jobs.

I am procrastinating because I am afraid of failure. I have been at this job so long that I don't know what it is like to work for a different boss, in a different setting. If I "sell" myself and my skills well, I may end up in a job for which I am not qualified, and fail! But if I don't sell myself, I will end up in a job that bores me instead of challenging me.

Is list writing just another form of procrastination? I waste time writing the list, and I derive satisfaction from crossing items off the list, but I have never ever accomplished everything on the list. Instead, I transfer the unfinished items to a new list or sometimes just admit that certain things will never get done and I throw the list away. I even write "shave legs" on the list sometimes(!) but that usually gets done within a few days.


Io said...

Sing it sister. When I need to do something that scares me I get a LOT of stuff done...just not the thing that *needs* to be done.
Blogging, I have found, is an excellent form of procrastination.

hopeyg said...

Right there with you on the procratination. I should be studying for an exam at the moment :) A couple of years ago I came up with a new idea of failure which has helped me. I think failure is better described as "not trying". I would rather try and do poorly, then not do anything at all. Here's a quote I found the other day which relates to this. "A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday." Go out on a limb, take a risk, let the plants wither a few days :) Love ya,