How I Finally Stopped Procrastinating (the really important things)

A staple attacked me yesterday on the tip of my right index finger. This is the very part of my body I use to scroll with my mouse. And to type. And text. And do a million other things each day.

It hurts. The Star Wars bandage isn’t helping. And my productivity today has dwindled.

Well, not really. I’ve actually had a pretty full day and it’s not over.

I’ve done 2 loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen (but didn’t do the dishes), scrubbed 3 toilets (all left-handed), called 4 doctor offices, texted my husband, and talked to my mom. I also did a bit of client work and marketing. (Marketing on social media hardly feels like work, it is part of the job and so I suffer and sigh through it.)

I mostly noticed the finger injury when I started writing. Yes, writing.

Cha-cha-cha-Changes!

This has been a week of transition. My husband started a new job with a new company which means a lot of adjustments for all of us.

His previous position had him working from home. All the time. For the past three years. His co-workers were in Europe, most working London hours, so they clocked out before our kids even got home from school. This led to quite a few afternoon lunch dates for me and my man. It also enabled him to coach Zach’s baseball, go to the park after school, help with homework and housework and errands and — Sweet era summary: I’ve been quite spoiled.

Today is Day 3 of the New Job. This one has him commuting an hour into the city. He leaves early and comes home 12 or 13 hours later. This is something quite standard around here, something we used to know well, but just haven’t faced in a long time. All that he used to do at home now falls to me alone. I alone am helping with homework and getting the kids to lessons, practices, and appointments. I have yet to learn when I’m supposed to make or serve dinner. It will come back to me, I’m sure! There’s a whole lot more that now falls to me alone, tasks and chores crying for attention, yet I’m sitting at the computer writing. Why is that? Let me tell you.

Procrastinators Anonymous

Hi. I’m Tanya and I’m a procrastinator. It has been zero seconds since my last deferment of work or responsibility.

I know I need to finish cleaning the bathrooms. (We currently have grimy floors under and filthy sinks next to shiny porcelain bowls.) I need to mop the kitchen, clean the oven, change the fish tank filter, and clean the guest room. (We have company coming this weekend.) I also have several client emails and projects to address. I’ll get to all that, but … well, when faced with an overwhelming task list, my default is always to create. That usually means writing or graphic design.

The funny thing is this: I’ve been feeling guilty for weeks, months even, about not writing. I’ve wanted to get on the blog. I’ve wanted to work on waiting manuscripts and update the website and send out a newsletter, but other things always seemed more important in those moments. I just couldn’t get in the right frame of mind to tackle this.

Until today. When I’m overwhelmed by other things. More unpleasant things. Things that really do need my attention.

When my schedule is lighter, I put off writing, perhaps thinking I’ll always have time to do it. But when my schedule is full, I jump right into writing, perhaps using it to put off other things.

Please tell me I’m not alone in this madness. Other people prioritize their procrastination, too — don’t they?

When forced to choose which tasks deserved my procrastination, cleaning won and writing lost. Which means writing really won, and so did I. This is fun, isn’t it?

ADD comic

Back to Routine

This transition actually excites me. I already miss having Rick around. My house is much quieter and far less fun now that I’m the sole occupant for eight hours a day, but this is a good opportunity for me to return to a routine I’ve missed.

When I’m not alone, those with my often become my priority. This is as it should be. I choose to love and serve my husband. I choose to love and serve my kids. I choose to love and serve my guests.

When it’s just me, I get to serve myself. I alone choose how I will spend my time rather than submitting to the needs and wishes of others.

As such, my writing can become a priority again. My schedule can become more routine and less erratic. Even my quiet times of Bible study and prayer can become more consistent.

I have neglected this blog and this ministry for some time. Thank you for your patience with me. Thank you for sticking around even when I wasn’t always here. I’m grateful for you and petition your prayers.

Please pray that I would remain faithful to the gifts and opportunities God gives me. Pray that I would stay focused on Him and His will. Pray that, throughout this transition and new stage of our lives, I would use my time effectively for His glory. I joke about my procrastination, but I really do desire to be used of Him fully, to be active in service for Him and in love for those within my community. There’s so much to be done!

Now, tell me: How can I be praying for YOU?

Talk to me!

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