My Dad used to joke that my grandmother suffered from a debilitating mental condition: inertia. We all thought this was funny and true. She had (and still has) a way of arguing for the status quo rather than change. In fact, she's able to spend impressive amounts of time and mental energy thinking about doing (or not doing) whatever it is she's trying to avoid--or at least delay.
Apparently it runs in the family.
After very careful consideration, I've come to the conclusion that my biggest weakness (or one of them) is the ability to simply act. To get off my ass and Just Do It, whatever "it" may be. Instead of doing it, I'll think about doing it. Or I'll put it on the list of other its to do when I actually have time to do them. Or I'll think about all the reasons I shouldn't do it. Or... you get the idea.
It's not a simple matter of procrastination. There's more to it than that. Procrastination is a simple. You just keep not doing it. But I make a mental "project" about not doing it.
It's not a fear of change. At least I don't think it is.
I think I'm just really good at over estimating the amount of stress that something really will cause, time it will take, and so on. Often times I'll spend far more time and energy thinking about it--more than it takes to Just Do It.
Here's a simple example. I've been "almost done" with a chapter of the book for quite a while now. I needed to sit down and put the finishing touches on it so that I can send it to some people for review. And so they can tell me how far from being done I really am. I've been thinking about it off and on for several days now--thinking about how much time it's going to take, because this sort of thing always takes more time that it should.
Well, it didn't. And then I realized that this has happened before. Many times.
Perhaps there's a good way to overcome this problem. I'm not sure what it is or how to go about figuring that out. But maybe by writing about it I'll be just a bit more likely to think less and Just Do It more often.
(And no, this has nothing to do with Nike. Nothing at all.)
The problem reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite books:
Argue for your limitations and sure enough they're yours.
I used to think I really understood that statement. But I'm only now beginning to appreciate it.
Oh, bonus points to anyone who can name the book without the use of a search engine.
Posted by jzawodn at May 12, 2003 11:29 PM