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  • I am a serial procrastinator. I don't know why. The feeling of accomplishment is far nicer than the looming dread procrastination brings. "Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today," Thomas Jefferson said, and well said it was too. Why indeed put off till tomorrow what you can do today when you know that you won't do it tomorrow, or the day after that or even the day after that? Why do you do that to yourself, Gibson?

    So many times I've set about doing things with good intentions and failed to achieve the goal I've set myself. Most of the time it's a timing issue. I didn't finish the drawing as quickly as I'd have like to. I didn't set myself enough time to sort through my work. I underestimated the task I set myself. I still haven't learnt my own strengths and my own limitations.

    Another reason for this, I am sure, is my mindset. I have struggled a lot with getting myself into a good place and this struggle is perfect for procrastination. Convincing myself to do hard work whilst having to motivate myself in a manner which I can only describe as pushing a boulder up a mountain is far less attractive than reading articles on the internet.

    But once I've read the articles, I'll get back to work. Wait! I haven't caught up on all the quiz shows I like to watch. I can put them on in the background whilst I'm getting on with things.

    I've learnt a lot of new useless information (I like obtaining seemingly useless factoids for my bank of general knowledge in the hopes that I will storm pub quizzes.) Oh look, my brother's walked into the room to see how I'm going. We can have a bit of a chat, he's my very best friend. He always makes me laugh and he'll spur me on.

    And so it goes.

    Eventually, I reach the point where I have to try and power through the work. Lots of all nighters and steely determination. The work does get done but I am drained and can't help but think this vicious cycle will repeat itself once again. Really, why do you do this to yourself, Gibson?

    I have a habit of starting projects and abandoning them not too long afterwards. Not because I want to but because a stone cold fear grips me, my creativity dries up and it is far easier to go back to my usual methods of procrastination. Sort it out, Gibson!

    Since graduating from university, I've tried to ease myself into projects. Give myself time to consider and room to breathe, that's my plan. And if creativity fails me, I'll just try to read more. Books fell by the wayside during my final years in education and I had so missed the feeling of turning pages, continually discovering treasures.

    My new relaxed approach was unintentionally well illustrated yesterday when I completed a digital drawing. It was a form of procrastination itself, based upon a picture of two baby sloths I had found on the internet and spent a disproportionate amount of time looking at. I finished the drawing at my own pace, which was really pleasing. I was a sloth myself, moving as slowly as I needed to. Procrastination doesn't need to be my enemy, just as long as I don't stay too friendly with it.

    N.B. One of my best friends asked if I would object to my sloth drawing being placed on a wall in her office. Work crafted with care inspires similar work.
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