March 31, 2012

Lannis: Productive Procrastination

Ever heard of that term? It’s one of my favourites, mostly because it shows up a lot in my household.

In a nutshell, it’s when you have something to do, but instead of doing that Thing That Really Needs To Be Done, you’re busy doing Other Things That Need To Be Done. Sure, you feel very productive, but did the first, most pressing Thing ever get finished?

If the answer is “no, but look at all the other Things I got done! It’s ah-mazing!” you’ve been productively procrastinating, my friend.

And I’m a pro.

Lately, I have a Big Project. Well, two (two and a half?) that should be done. But since they’re for me (as in, I’m not being paid -- nor will I ever if I don’t get off my tuchus and finish them -- but I might be in the future if I manage to complete them well), I keep setting them aside.

Many reasons. Mostly focus. If I can’t properly focus there’s no reason to tackle the Big Project(s), because they won’t be completed properly (and thereby will never be paid for them).

(I’m also really skilled at procrastination justification, if you can’t tell.)

Anyhow, focus will come eventually for the Big Project(s).

Right now it’s the little things I’m having difficultly completing.

Namely, my costume for the Wheel of Time costume contest at JordanCon. (I know, right? Why am I procrastinating?! It’s lunacy, I tell you! Lunacy!)

Want to know what I’ve gotten done in the last month since I stopped working on my costume (read: stopped before I sewed on the last six necessary snaps)?
  • e-filed our taxes (our refund has already arrived!).
  • cleaned our house top to bottom numerous times (I’m usually a rather lazy housekeeper).
  • cleaned Hamster’s cage so often the little guy’s been shell-shocked.
  • read four books and wrote two reviews.
  • filled out paperwork to renew one boy’s passport, including dragging said child to have the requisite passport photo taken).
  • washed and line-dried all sheets and bedding in the house (both winter and summer).
  • reorganized and purged storage caches and all closets in house.
  • reorganized and purged garage.
  • reorganized and purged bookshelves.
  • reorganized and purged under two bathroom sinks and the laundry room sink.
  • created giant pile of stuff to go to Goodwill thanks to all the purging. Blech. (Go on, laugh, it’s a vomit joke.)
  • repotted two plants and shuffled locations of three others.
  • wiped down patio furniture
  • washed all windows and screens in the house
  • cleaned and vacuumed three vehicles (only two are ours -- how’s that for reaching?)
  • began editing home movie clips from 2010 (yes, I’m that psycho who makes home movies -- rest assured, only our children are subjected to them).
  • purged obsolete files off the laptop (necessary to free space for Final Cut Express to work efficiently -- as well as long overdue).
  • washed all winter clothing (and almost put it away. Damn you, March, for remembering you’re March.)
  • began weeding yard (until March remembered it’s March.)
  • clipped claws and all winter-coat mats off the cats (because clearly I’m getting desperate).
My mother would call this puttering.

I call it “getting shit done because I’m avoiding other shit.”

Or productive procrastination, if I’m in polite company.

Basically I’m getting to all the crap that has built up over the winter, and yes, I realize I probably would have gotten around to most (if not all) of it eventually over the year. And yes, a lot of it overlaps with the regular running of the household (cleaning, laundry, administration, etc.).

What shocks me is that I’ve managed to tackle much of it in only a couple of weeks, and with many of those days jam-packed with other activities (family get-togethers; children’s birthday parties; seeing friends; day care; attending author readings; trekking back and forth to school; appointments in general; life, life, LIFE).

But I suppose I need to get around to finishing that costume. Eventually.

Especially since I just preregistered for the costume contest.

No backing out now...

Occasional poster at The Mrs, I'm Lannis - or Leslie, depending on which circles you're swimming. A while ago I decided that I don't care anymore, hence my general standards for life are lower than The Mrs' (but she still loves me.) [Editor: I do]

I live in a small town with my favourite people: my husband, Mr Lannis, and our two boys, along with two cats and one hamster.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might witness my issues with linear thought, road rage, spending more money on food than books, and potty mouth. Be warned

This time last year: Come, Spring. No, Wait.