Blog entry by Faith Muwar Mpara
It has been a long while and I want to share some questions that I have with you.
I am not sure what the shape of this writing will be. I am writing to put words to what I struggle to process. For some reason, I find it easy to process what I can word. It is one of the reasons why I have several log books and a digital one that runs to 800+ pages every year.
I have found myself panic and struggle at the approach of deadlines. I have struggled almost every time that I am approached to make instant decisions or to work at short-notice. My addiction to excellence makes this hard to perceive this in the quality of my delivery. I almost always have to shield the internal turmoil and appear calm to shield what always appears like a monster to me in these situations.
This week, I have had to deal with just two of these instances. In yesterday’s case, I had to develop a PowerPoint Presentation in preparation for the case competition today. And the thoughts going on in my mind were;
1. We have not done enough analyses yet.
2. I wish we had more time to work (I know this will have made very little difference)
3. I am too structured to produce something worthwhile within this time.
4. Will this be one of those times when we just fail?
5. Do I need more time or more focus?
Well while all this was going on, I went about everything and anything but the pressing task. Well, I have a good number of excuses as well; I have two remote internships going on concurrently. I am also the ambitious first daughter who wants to sponsor her younger brothers in foreign universities next year; so, I have two part time jobs. As you can imagine, I have a full to-do list and all I have to do is robotically continue to pop tasks off this list.
Finally, by 2:30 pm (I was expected to submit the full presentation by 3pm) I face my procrastination, have a bath and move to the table. At this point, another team member has developed sections of the work and I only have to complete it.
I disconnect my devices from the internet, keep relevant resources nearby and complete the work in two hours.
At this point, I evaluate my day and wonder what I had been doing all day. If all I needed was two hours of focus or a little more to get the work done, why did I exhaust brain space going through the motions? It is computationally very inefficient?
What exactly did I need to do the work earlier? Was it more time, bravery to ignore my worries or focus?
Participating in the Landmark forum has helped me to learn to put the past behind and create the possibilities that inspire me. So, I am not beating myself up about yesterday endlessly. I can create the possibilities that empower me to be who and whatever I want. I am not struggling to make sure I have a complete formula to avoid this in future either, tomorrow will come with what it will. I am learning to observe my behaviours and the hidden commitments that I have.
Do you ever wonder what makes you procrastinate too? Have you had to ask the hard questions and demand authentic answers from yourself?