It occurred to me recently just how wonderful I am at perfecting the act of procrastination!
I am forever putting things off until the utmost last minute, promising most faithfully in the future not to display such behavior. I shall never put myself into such stress and agony again, I would proclaim!
Before I know it, I am repeating this act again and again and again.
I came across an article two days ago about procrastination how to detect it (as if really had to go through the list, nonetheless, I did) and how to combat it. Much to my horror out of a list of 10 criteria I had fulfilled every single one! I even went through it again, in the hope of finding one which did not apply to me!
I closed my computer and thought about the implications of what I had just read. I needed to create a definite anti-procrastination plan immediately!
I began by, as suggested in the article, making a very precise schedule each morning of what I need to do, a time when I shall do it, and a stated intention.
Ok, done. Easy enough. I excitedly created my plan and was read to go!
Attempt 1. Day 1.
I was actually able to stick to my schedule, although a struggle it was! It as sooooo difficult for me to refrain from repeatedly checking my emails, hoping that they would distract me from my task at hand and onto a surfing journey far away from that which I was initially doing. NO, I fought that temptation and carried on. By the end of the day, however, I was excessively, tired, depleted of any energy to do anything else but lay my body down. I went to bed miserable and tired.
Attempt 2. Day 2.
I stated my intention, made my schedule for the day and began. I got repeated unexpected phone-calls, which I had to take care of immediately. This completely put me off of my schedule and I stressed-out manically as I tried to get back on track. I ended the day stressed-out, life-less, and brain dead.
Attempt 3. Day 3. Feeling exhausted, I peeled myself out of my warm covers, wrote my intention and created my schedule for the day. I made sure, however, this time to include more time to enjoy lunch (90 minutes) and and an hour tea break.
This was my plan:
During my lunch break, I would invite one of the president of a sustainable food organisation in Germany for a lunch interview. I wanted to find out more about the concept of slow food and its connection to sustainability (coming soon!).
After the interview, I would continue working for another 2 hours and take a tea break of another before working again!
For my tea break, I would invite a neighbor of mine to stop by for a short cup of tea. I figured that after a nice hour of chat and tea, I would be up and ready to work again until the evening!
Ok, so this was the plan, not too compact,and filled with enough free time to clear the head and fill the soul.
And now, this is what really happened:
My morning work session was slow and I lacked motivation to get anything done. I managed not to be taken away by the waves of the web or emails, and slowly plowed through my work. I waited anxiously for 12am to come around, and each tick of the minute-hand seemed to have occurred in slow motion.
My lunch interview guest arrived on time and proved herself nothing short of being simply charming! It was a wonderful, fruitful and cheerful exchange of culinary experiences and I have the feeling that this could be the start of a thriving culinary friendship!
Our conversation flowed, and I lost track of time until my cell rang to remind me of the time.
I was off-schedule by 2 hours.
As soon as my lunch guest exited my door, in came my afternoon tea guest. 30 minutes later another friend of mine popped in, followed by yet another friend 10 minutes after that, completely unexpected but most welcome!
I did not have a chance to clean up from lunch, and so my guests picked at the various left -overs. We laughed, ate, exchanged, laughed, ate some more.
A couple of hours later, I looked at my watch and went over to my desk to glance over my intention and schedule for the day. I had the choice of stopping this wonderful gathering and focusing on my schedule, so as not to procrastinate.
I thought about it and thought about it. I felt guilty for not following my schedule.
And as I turned around to let them know that we had to break the session, I bit my tongue and watched my friends chatting, laughing, getting up from the sofa to take more food, clearly feeling very much at home, and content. I watched them for a short while and as I heard one of the guests mention that he urgently had to prepare for a conference the next day, and another guest mentioned that she had to complete some work for the following day, and the other guest stated the urgent need to pack for an early morning flight overseas, it seemed the perfect time to cut in.
As I walked over, they all got up to leave and within one minute, a conversation was thrown back into the circle and we all sat down. It as too much of a special moment to break up. I threw my guilt out the window and let myself go with the flow of the present..I relaxed and melted into the moment and just let is flow…and it was good!
Our gathering carried on into the late evening. In fact, it was nearly midnight and if it were not a week night my feeling is that it would have continued much longer.
I slipped into my bed, so full of positive energy and “grate-fulness”. I was so grateful for this perfect day of friendship, exchange, laughter and food. I was so grateful to have the freedom of choice, the possibility of being able to enjoy such company. I took a look at my anti-procrastination list, shook my head and said…ok, ill do it tomorrow!
Ps. That said, I woke up the next morning with so much positive energy that I completed all the set-work from the day before and more within no time! Sometimes it is okay to go with the flow….you never know where it shall lead!
The meal I served was a three-course pumpkin path. Each dish had some element of pumpkin within And of course, it was all vegan. Here is my recipe for vegan pumpkin pie: