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The Art of Procrastination

The definition of Procrastination is the act of putting off or delaying a task or tasks, especially something requiring immediate attention.

Is this an art? Not really, but "The Art of Procrastination" sounds better than "Oh shit, the building is on fire and it's probably my fault!" As any ADHDer will tell you, when a task is interesting, they can lose themselves for hours in it. If it is deemed uninteresting/boring, procrastination abounds.

I was tasked with creating a few binders at my office. Binder-making is one of the job tasks I hate most. It is boring, requires running back and forth to the printer, and attention to detail. I'm typically fine with the attention to detail, and I get my steps in by going between the printer and the assembly area, but it is massively boring and I would rather do anything else. (Just like I'm doing right now. I have two half-done binders that need finishing, but here I am, working on this blog post.)

It's far from ideal, and eventually, at some point today, I will finish the binders. It's the meantime. I tell myself I'm waiting for a document from someone and shouldn't abandon my desk in case it comes in, but in reality, those binders are not going to make themselves, and the excuse only allows me to procrastinate so long before turning into an emergency.

For me, procrastination comes mostly from boredom. If I find a chore or task uninteresting or tedious, I avoid it as long as possible. This is even with the medication that helps me focus. And it does; I am currently focusing on anything other than the thing that needs doing.

Why is this so common among ADHDers? Because we ADHDers thrive when our interests are piqued. We will spend hours hyper-focusing on all the interesting, fascinating, fun things we possibly can, but when it comes time to do something boring or tedious, we'd rather pull teeth from a crocodile than deal with the boring thing. Boring/tedious is so beneath us.

The threat of the deadline is what spurs us to action, to get the thing done before all hell breaks loose, but it can be so stressful, especially as time is not exactly linear for ADHDers. Interesting things will speed time up; we lose track of time when we're enjoying ourselves. However, time slows to a standstill when faced with something utterly outside our happy places. So the binders will make time go by slowly for me because I hate them. Screwing around on the internet is so much more fun, especially with sites like where I can lose myself in subjects that fascinate me. (I'm a big geology buff. Plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanos, tsunamis, carbon dating? Yes please!)

So what is my deadline for this binder project? Close of Business (COB) today. That means I've still got several hours to complete them. But what if something with a higher priority comes up in the meantime? The binders will remain incomplete and unfinished, which is very bad.

So... I have procrastinated long enough. I will get to it as soon as I finish the lunch I haven't started yet.


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