Procrastination: Surface Seduction And Getting Lost In The Glow

rain on lake
image: Peter Gasston

Procrastination has many devious ways of tricking us into doing its will. Which is, er, not doing anything very useful at all.

One that we can easily overlook is getting lost in the glow after being involved in a lot of activity. Because we’ve just been so busy, we relax a little and look back at what we’ve done, and maybe even feel a little smug about it.

“Ha, procrastination, what’s that? Look at how much I’ve just created!”

On the surface it’s great that you’ve achieved so much. But here’s the danger.

We can get so caught up in feeling pleased with ourselves that we decide we deserve a little rest. Maybe we’ll just check our email, or catch up with some of our favourite websites for a while, then continue with this great surge of creating we’re in the midst of later.

But “just… …for a while” becomes an hour, then two, and before you realise it most of the rest of the day is gone. That wave of creativity you were surfing seems to have disappeared as if the tide’s gone out!

Yes it’s a good thing to acknowledge what you’ve done, and this encourages you to do more. But don’t get so complacent that you waste the rest of the day.

There’s a second danger here too. Maybe the creating you’ve done and are so proud of isn’t so creative after all.

Maybe procrastination has pulled another devious trick and while you’ve felt really busy for the last three hours, when you look at the outcome, what you’ve actually got done, it doesn’t amount to meaning much.

It’s very easy (and one of procrastination’s cleverest ruses) to be scurrying about on the surface whilst none of the deeper more meaningful work is actually being done.

Imagine a lake in a torrential downpour. If you’re on the surface of the water it’s going to feel like a whole lot of frenetic movement is happening.

But if you were even six inches beneath the surface, all the activity above is virtually imperceptible. A few feet deeper, and it doesn’t matter if it’s sunshine OR showers on the surface, down here in the depths, nothing has changed.

So, the next time you feel you’re being creative watch out for these two common tricks.

Firstly, don’t let yourself ease off that creative flow so much that it virtually evaporates for the rest of the day.

Secondly, make sure that the creative activity is the stuff you really want and yearn and NEED to do in the first place, not just surface distractions.

Be vigilant, keep creating, and we can beat procrastination!

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