The gap between intent and action

EEK! What started as an idea to talk about my colourful new blog title header and how it came to be, has now got the potential to become a PhD thesis!  So I’m going to make a concerted effort to rein in my thoughts on this one… if that is at all possible!  I had intended to talk about the new title header that I put up on Sunday night.  I wanted to try it out to see what it looked like, and ended up umm-ing and aah-ing about it for a while before engaging my ‘Fearless in 2015’ mantra and leaving it up there.

Yes, there was some definite hesitation in putting it up there, but I figured given I had been faffing about with the logo for several months, it might as well see the light of day.  As I’ve alluded to in previous posts, I’m a master procrastinator and from the time that I decided I wanted to create a blog, procrastination has dogged me at every turn.  Pressing that publish button on the kind of posts that I wanted to write meant that I was putting myself in a very unfamiliar and uncomfortable position, so I defaulted to the mode that has become a pattern whenever I feel (or anticipate that I may become) vulnerable… and that is to procrastinate.

I seem to have a fabulous ability to justify my inaction and gloss it up as research, planning or preparation when in actual fact, it’s merely a convenient ruse to mask my inability to commit to an action.  In this case, my initial plan was to start getting stuck into writing this blog.  I came up with the idea and the name of the blog nearly a year ago and decided that once I was on maternity leave (in June) I’d really get stuck into putting my thoughts down in writing.  But then my marketing brain kicked in, telling me that I couldn’t possibly start the blog without lining up all my ducks.  I needed to have a marketing plan written and a brand developed as well as secure all relevant social media handles and domain name registrations.  And so that’s what I did.

And whilst the plan for this blog was never to be a commercial so called ‘mummy blog’ or whatever pigeon hole it falls into, that’s the way my brain works and made me feel as though I was actually moving forward with something.  My approach tends to be an all or nothing one.  It’s like the big picture thinking part of my brain protests when I haven’t lined all the ducks up or it becomes so overwhelmed that it can’t process how to chunk it down into manageable parts and as a result I put off doing things because it’s not perfect or I haven’t completed certain things prior to commencing new ones.  And believe me when I say that I’m aware of how paradoxical that sounds.  After all, whilst in theory I get it, in practice I’m not naturally organised or systematic which is confusing, even to me!

But unfortunately for me that’s how I roll across most facets of my life.  Take decluttering for example.  I have been attempting to declutter my house since my first round of maternity leave started… over two and a half years ago! Needless to say, the first time around, it just did not happen.  People think that as a stay at home mum, there must be a tonne of time to get everything done.  To a degree there probably is some truth to that, however if you’re like me and get your energy from other people, then staying at home and actually working on projects is quite a challenge.  And I find it hard to keep up the motivation to achieve things at home – at work, a completely different story.  I suspect it has something to do with accountability.

So to deal with my decluttering this time, I created a bit of an informal plan – I signed up to do an online 20 day decluttering challenge. With all the information at my fingertips I was convinced I would succeed.  I loved the idea that someone had done the hard yards in figuring out what area of my house I should start on first and what tasks I should complete in a systematic way.   I think I got to day 9 before the wheels fell off that bus!  Because of my all or nothing mentality, when I missed a couple of the tasks I felt like I wasn’t doing it properly so it was easier to tell myself I would start over from scratch at a ‘better time’.

The psychology behind procrastination and the personality traits that tend to be prone to it has always fascinated me. And like the trail of breadcrumbs left by Hansel and Gretel (or perhaps more fittingly, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung), I have spent the afternoon following pathways of self analysis and query.  Which is awesome, but not very conducive to the time limit I had set myself of writing this post – must get work on getting posts written within an hour and not the six hour epics they tend to be lately.  Especially given it’s now nearly midnight and I’m trying to type and read the sub-titles of the Swedish version of the Girl who kicked a Hornets Nest at the same time… Note to self – Must work on shorter and less time intensive posts!

So I’m going to come back to this, because there have been some interesting things crop up in my ‘research’ today.  The concepts of procrastination, personality types, fear and self sabotage have all collided opening up a whole world of psycho-babble which has set the synapses in my brain off like fireworks.  So stay tuned… you may very well find me lying on a couch…


Are you a procrastinator? Is there something else you should be doing right now?


2 thoughts on “The gap between intent and action

  1. Pingback: Hello February! | A life like ours

  2. Pingback: False starts and forgiveness | A life like ours

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