The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Procrastination

Some years back, I showed the Five Tibetans to Scott, and the first thing he did was deconstruct them. Apparently he applied the idea of moving in all six basic planes from a discipline called Shadow Yoga (and I wouldn't be surprised if he had input from other sources as well) and put the Tibetans in a re-arranged sequence, changed the protocol and added some missing motion (side to side and twisting) and created FlowFit. Extracted from FlowFit, the concept of Six Degrees of Freedom, something central to the CST approach, began to appear in his other work: Prasara, TacFit, and more. Now Coaches Steer and Murdoch over at "Bodyweight Exercise Revolution" have created a six-part program centering on the abdominal muscles, and they're giving it away for free over at bodyweightexerciserevolution.com

If you have grown beyond the basic Tibetans, I would strongly suggest that you check these guys out. Twelve minutes of work that improved endurance, burns fat, and trains the abdominal core as well as working your body through all six planes of motion? THAT is efficiency. Here's an idea: do five minutes of Turkish Get-Ups, followed by twelve minutes of this routine...you'll be totally trashed in 17 minutes flat. You've probably never seen most of these exercises, and that means big fun for us kinesthetic masochists. Good times.

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Tananarive came back last night (thank goodness) and we stayed up watching "Dexter." I'm delighted that my Favorite Serial Killer finally made a mistake in judgement, and killed the wrong person. This is critical, because without that it is too easy to forget he is a monster. He may be a charming, brilliant, funny monster who TRIES to do good...but he is a monster, nonetheless. That makes the show far more fun. And poignant. Don't we all struggle against our self-perceived monstrosity at times?

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Procrastination came up repeatedly as a negative personality trait with a positive intent. Now, some procrastination might not even be bad...it depends on whether we get the job done. If so, that's just our personal style. Here is the most important question: DO YOU KEEP YOUR WORD TO YOURSELF?

In other words, if you promise yourself that you're going to spend an hour a day doing something, and instead you spend seven hours on Sunday, at the last minute, and still get it done...cool. BUT...next time, did you promise yourself you were going to spend an hour a day, and break your promise to yourself AGAIN? Or did you shrug, realize you like doing things at the last minute, and go with the flow?

In the first, word-breaking case, you have a problem.

1) you lied to yourself. You had information clearly indicating the "hour a day" pattern was not in alignment with your nature. Why did you set a goal you already knew you wouldn't keep? Dangerous.

2) You broke your promise to yourself. Bad. I promise that if you have a habit of breaking your promises to yourself, you won't be able to control where and when it pops up.

Does your pattern of action allow you to create what you want, in a manner that pleases you? Then it's just your pattern. What others perceive as Procrastination might just be your style. But if, on the other hand, you put off balancing your checkbook, or exercising, or having "that talk" and constantly end up blowing it entirely, that is another matter altogether.

So the first thing to decide is: is this habit pattern in alignment with your goals, values, and emotional charges? If you continue to behave in this fashion, will you make the impact on the world that you desire? What will happen in a year? Three years? Five years?

If the answer is: "awww...I get it done." Then fine. If the answer is: "I'm going to be stuck in a rut" that's different. At that point, we have to start asking what motivates the Procratination, how it distorts your reality, and how you lie to protect it. And you have to learn to differentiate between eccentricity and self-destruction. Ask:

1) Will my life remain in balance if I do this?

2) Will I keep my commitments if I do this?

3) Can I do this and be honest with myself and others?

4) Will this behavior produce more pleasure than pain for myself, my family, and my community?

If the procrastination is a dream-killer, you have an obligation to correct the situation. Either change your habits, or change your dreams. Otherwise you are leaking critical psychic energy.

6 comments:

Olddude said...

In this age of branding and bullshit I don't think Sonnon gets enough respect. Recognition yes but respect is different.

suzanne said...

steve
is that the current season of Dexter, you're talking about?
or were you watching one of the past seasons DVD?
because through the seasons we've watched here
up through the current one
he hasn;t yet killed anyone
wh was outside the code.

he thought he had
but by the end of season 3 turns out the guy killed
(jimmy smits brother)
was NOT sqeaky clean at all
but in fact did fit the code
so I can only assume
you meansomething from this season

do tell!

Dan Moran said...

Current season -- I didn't see Sunday's ep, but Sunday before Dexter apparently killed the wrong guy -- a nasty photographer, when the actual killer was his assistant.

Dexter and Saving Grace (tipped to me by Steve Perry) are the only American tv shows I'm watching, and Grace is on its way out.

God bless the BBC. I may move to Britain. :-)

Marty S said...

I was going to respond yesterday, but I kept putting it off.
There are two main reasons I procrastinate. One is just a short attention span for anything that can be done without much thought. The other is I really don't want to do whatever it is and I hope that if I stall long enough it will go away.

Pagan Topologist said...

In my experience, what appears to be procrastination often is not, at least for those of us dealing with ADD. My brain seems to work on things outside of my conscious awareness, and after days or even weeks, things go easily which were apparently impossible before, since I had not made the necessary connections.

Ernessa, author of 32 Candles said...

So far my tendency to procrastinate hasn't been a dream killer. But this post did make me feel guilty about not keeping promises to myself. I wouldn't put up with that from anyone else, why do I put up with it from myself? Inspired to go get stuff done now. Thanks!

Though it should be noted that I was procrastinating by reading your blog, soooo.... you might not want to encourage your readers to stop procrastinating.