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The Role of Procrastination

I am convinced that deadlines exist for people like me—the procrastinators of the world.  As organized as I am, if I don’t have a deadline, it simply will not get done.  I know this about myself and, therefore, I impose deadlines on myself in order to get things crossed off of my to-do list.  What does this have to do with snacking?  Patience, Grasshopper, I’m getting there!

I procrastinate either because I do not want to eat the “crap sandwich” of some project or because I’m trying to make it perfect.  The “crap sandwich” is the part of the process that is not enjoyable but needs to get done to complete the project.  You’re willing to “eat” it because the completion of the project is worth it to you.  (On a side note, I wish I could take credit for coining this term, but Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic, gets all the credit, although she called it a “shit sandwich”).  In lieu of eating the crap sandwich, what do we do?  SNACK!  Ring a little bell for you, too?  Yea, I thought so.

Then there’s perfectionism at play.  Hello, I’m Madelin, and I am a recovering perfectionist.  Sure, I can make light of it now that I’m older and wise enough to know that perfectionism is way over-rated and simply unattainable, but there was a time when I actually strived for perfection—oh silly young girl that I was!  Trying to achieve the unattainable simply leads to a perfectionist who is paralyzed with fear of falling short on the daunting task that you keep putting off.  You see, the fear of not being able to execute with perfection leads to procrastination.  Reaching for that snack when you’re not hungry is a prime example of procrastination at its finest.  I really don’t want to study for that exam or get my documents in order for my tax appointment.  Hello refrigerator, what do you have for me that will put off those onerous tasks?  I see a pattern here.  ?

The next time you catch yourself reaching for that snack, ask yourself what you’re trying to put off doing and just bite the bullet.  Do the thing instead of eating the snack!  It really is as simple as that.  You just need to recognize what’s really at play here and deal with it.  Ugh… time for me to tackle the mountain of tax paperwork that has been looming over my head.  What crap sandwich will you devour today?


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