Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Tag Archives: procrastination

Prioritizing doesn’t work for me

My wife had her first round of chemotherapy on Monday and Tuesday. It went as well as one can expect this sort of thing to go – they were long, tiring days but she doesn’t appear to feel any worse from it. After another round or two (the treatments will be monthly) her energy level should start coming back up.

I was to my eye doctor today for a checkup on the macular degeneration in my eyes. Our daughter drove me into and around the city since I really shouldn’t drive when my vision is blurred from the drops they give to dilate my pupils. All was well and I had an enjoyable day with my daughter and youngest grandson.

OK, now we are done for a while with the things that others make happen to us and its time for us to make things happen. For me, that means catching up on the work I do for my bookkeeping clients, catching up on the writing that I have committed to doing, moving some bushes in our yard and getting ready for lawn mowing and other yard maintenance.now-1272358_1280.png

This brings up the perplexing question of what I should do first. I can spend hours trying to figure that out. There are some items on the list with fast approaching deadlines. Sometimes a phone call or text from a client will move me to action. Sometimes I start doing the thing that seems most important, but my mind seems more focused on another.  More often, I get frozen in dithering mode, trying to decide where I should begin.

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I think the light has finally dawned  – for me prioritizing is just another word for procrastination. I need to make a list of all the things that need to be done – otherwise I’m apt to do nothing until prodded into action by some outside force. Making the list takes a few minutes, trying to prioritize the jobs could take forever. The key is to start somewhere so I can cross one job off the list. Immediately, the load of all the other undone jobs becomes that much lighter.

Home office blues

The other morning I sat down in front of my computer and thought of everything that needed to be done. I had a talk to prepare for Toastmasters the next evening, a blog post to do, an article to write, income tax returns to prepare for a couple, and bookkeeping files for three clients that needed attention. And my office is really in need of a good cleanup. All seemed equally urgent.

So I started to do a little research for my talk, sorted through the information for the income tax returns, looked at what needed to be done on a couple of the bookkeeping files, answered some emails, checked the weather and the news, and finally realized I wasn’t getting anywhere.

So I took a coffee break, and spent a little time combing our long haired cat. Being as this is a home office, I can take a coffee break any time I want. The cats are wonderful stress relievers, also a good excuse to take a break now and then.

Some helpful Bible quotes came to mind: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might,” and “He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.” That made me feel even more guilty for my procrastination.

Then it dawned on me, more clearly than it has before, that I am not a procrastinator, I am a ditherer. The answer to all the work before me is to START SOMEWHERE! Pick one job, give it my full attention until it is complete, then move on to the next. As long as I am dithering about which is the most urgent, none of them are getting done.

So this is my motto from now on. Everything I do to get one job completed and out of the way will make it easier to get to the next job and get it done.

Wish me well. I think I still have a genetic predisposition to be a ditherer, but I hope that writing out this confession will have some sort of therapeutic effect and help me overcome the dithers.

Excuses

Faithful readers of this blog will have noticed that I was absent for almost a week.  I want to sincerely thank everyone who continued to check out the posts on this blog, even while nothing new was being added.

No, I did not leave home on an extended trip, but other things came up which hindered me from being able to write for this blog.  Here is my list of excuses:

1. My keyboard died.  Because I do some translating and writing in French, I use a French-Canadian keyboard which has  extra characters and a couple of extra keys.  I have been using the same keyboard for 20 years.  We have moved seven times in those years and I have lost track of how many computers I have used it with.  It has performed faultlessly until the other day when I think I finally managed to jar something loose inside and it ceased to function.  I stole the keyboard from my wife’s computer.  I knew that would make life difficult around here if it continued, but it gave me time to buy another keyboard on eBay.  For some reason, all the French-Canadian keyboards listed on eBay are located in Texas, so it will take a little time to get here.  Meanwhile, a friend helped to salvage peace in our home by offering me an old keyboard that he wasn’t using.

2. I am planning major changes in my bookkeeping practice.  This requires getting a website up and running and learning two new software programs.  I am knee-deep in webinars for these programs.

3. I am having lengthy long distance phone calls regarding corrections to the proofs of a book that I translated.

4. I was asked to write an article for a school paper published by the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite and the deadline is approaching.

5. I received a request to write a Sunday School lesson.

6. I received an invitation to give a talk to the annual meeting of the Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan.  That meeting is still four months away, but it reminds me that I need to do more research for a booklet I want to write on the beginnings of the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite in Saskatchewan.

7. Our internet was down for 24 hours.

8. I need to get caught up with my bookkeeping work.

9. Winter is approaching and there is still outdoor work that needs to be done.

10. We are experiencing an invasion of maple bugs (aka box elder beetles) of almost biblical proportions.

11. I seem to have a special talent for procrastination.

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