Tuesday, June 12, 2012

get off the couch! or, the art of productivity.

depending upon who you are, you may or may not know that i have a rather massive problem with procrastination. i've known this about myself since high school, considering there were certain mornings on which i would wake at six a.m. in order to bust out a seven-page paper, due that very same day (and in some cases, that very same morning). 

i don't know what it was, but... something about those times gave me a little thrill. 

look at the degree of procrastination i can get away with, i'd squeal to myself. look what i can get away with.

i most certainly praised myself for this ability - it gave me a sense of being untouchable by any assignment which may have been thrown my way. and, even though my grades weren't stellar on the tasks i approached in this way, they weren't terrible, either. 

fast forward a couple years, & you'll find me in my junior year of college. an admittedly procrastination-laden time period, marked by egregious skippings of meetings, classes, & well... everything that wasn't a fraternity or sorority social function. while it sounds like i was doing what most college kids do - a whole lot of partying, not a whole lot of class-going, the truth is that i was letting myself be miserable, & simultaneously i was fooling myself into thinking i was happy about it. 

allow me to paint you a picture: there were days when, instead of venturing outside the four walls of the apartment i shared with three other girls, i would cook myself an entire pot of pasta (heavy on the alfredo), park myself in the papasan chair in the corner, & devour hour after hour of harry potter and the whichever book i happened to be on at the time

i know - it sounds a bit fun. it sounds a bit like something you'd do after a rough day. 

the problem was that this routine (if you can even call it that) became a habit. a habit that showed up on the scale (hello, mass consumption of carbs!), a habit that showed up in the state of my affairs (hello, rocky relation/friendships!), and a habit that showed up in my general well-being (hello, malaise!, laziness!, mild depression!).

but the scariest part of this whole lazy parade, is that the moment i decided not to do something - the moment i decided to skip another sorority meeting - the moment i decided to stay in bed instead of going to class - i felt an overwhelming sense of freedom. of excitement. of power. 

i don't have to do anything i don't want to do, i'd laugh to myself. 

i was reminded of this feeling upon my arrival back in kinston, from my trip home to shreveport. the contrast between my shreveport-self & my kinston-self was evident: in shreveport, i was running myself a bit ragged with activities, not wanting to squander one minute of time there. conversely, upon my arrival back in kinston, i gave myself license to laze on the couch, watch endless strings of gilmore girls, & be, in general, a lazy bum. and oh, how luxurious it felt at first. oh, how mindless this sort of indulgence can be... but, also how emotionally taxing the results. 

i won't bore you with details, but a similar result to my junior year pasta & harry potter binges began to manifest itself: arguing, feeling gross, feeling worthless. and truthfully (and perhaps a bit harshly) being a bit worthless.

it was only just today that i realized - again for the umpteenth time - that sometimes it's worth forcing myself out of bed, forcing a cup of coffee down my throat, & forcing myself to dive into the day's activities, however mundane they may be. that just pushing myself to begin, enticing myself to embrace the art of productivity, will always be the biggest battle i face. 

and i don't know about you, but those minutes - ok, sometimes even an hour or two - of being miserable in the beginning, is always worth it at the end of the day, when you're sore from working out, when you can produce a highlighted list of completed tasks, when you can say that - sincerely - you seized the day. 

even if seizing the day meant lighting a few candles around the apartment, writing a blog post, & just simply feeling that inspired feeling again.

yes. it's worth it. 

photo: coffee on the porch in shreveport \ instagram


Morgan said...

Thank you for this! I am the queen of procrastination and know how you feel at times. Keep this postive attitude up and you will be solid!

Brandi Carpenter said...

I can relate to this on so many levels! Loved this post!

Ashley said...

Totally worth it!

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

I was never a procrastinator. I always did things right away. But as I get older I am becoming one. I'm currently going through a bad phase of, oh whatever, I'll just sit on the couch and veg out watching TV as I eat horrible food. I am so stressed at work that it's become my "safe place" and it's not OK. Just ask my midsection lol!

I'm glad that I am not alone in this and others have the same feelings. I literally just started reading The Happiness Project. Hopefully it helps :)

Thanks for sharing!

the sunday currently, volume 125.

reading a mish-mash of things right now. I don't usually like to read more than one book at a time, but I am in a reading rut... and I...