Monday, September 12, 2011

The Confessions of a One-Time Exhausted Procrastinator

Hello Bloggies,

My name is Nichole White and last semester I came down with an ailment known as Exhausted Procrastination.

*cue rehabilitation group welcome*

It started out with just missing a few deadlines I'd set for myself. I was tired, I told myself; I could write later. I could always write later. I could finish reading that book later, because I had other things to do that were more important. I could wash a load of laundry later… right now I just wanted to finish resting.

But "later" never seemed to come. Pretty soon it wasn't just my writing that was behind, but my school work as well, and my room was getting messy because I was avoiding the fact that it needed to be cleaned. Then I started arriving late to meetings, school, and even Church sometimes. I made all sorts of excuses. "I live an hour away from just about everything," I told myself (which is actually true...) "It's ok if I'm late once or twice… people will understand my dilemma."

But "once or twice" grew more frequent. Soon I was skipping classes because I was late enough to them that I didn't want to be embarrassed by walking in. It wasn't that I didn't like the classes… in fact, I enjoyed sitting in and listening to the teacher lecture (for the most part). I just didn't want to walk in so very, very late. "Well, it's ok," I thought to myself. "I'm a good student. I don't miss that many classes… not if I can help it. One miss isn't going to kill me."

But my problem worsened. One miss turned into two, and two multiplied to four. I was getting nowhere in my writing life, my room was now a total disaster, and I was starting to fall behind on homework… mostly because I didn't know what homework I was supposed to be working on. My life grew more and more busy as the semester progressed, I kept insisting on adding projects to my agenda, and there was this big monster load of work to be done that loomed over my shoulder.

And like the good procrastinator that I am, I kept putting it off. The final result was the semester ending with me feeling slightly less than satisfied with my grades, a car-load of things that still needed finishing, and my book staring at me with big, sad eyes every time I turned on my computer.

That was me last semester, in the Spring of 2011.

That is what I'm trying to beat off this semester, fall of 2011. So far so good.

Now I admit that last semester I had really bitten off more than I could chew. I had tried to take on 17 credit hours all at once while also singing back up vocal 1 at my church every Sunday, writing my book, looking for a job, etc, etc… My life was soon disheveled and I was exhausted. My exhaustion is what triggered my procrastination, I know. The truth is, I really WAS tired, and I was at the school (which really is an hour's drive away from me) everyday from 8am to about 10pm. Even staying at school so long, there really wasn't enough hours in the day for me to give my homework the proper attention it needed, so half the time I bluffed my way through a few pages of any given subject and then tried to ignore the rest of it. Of course I wasn't satisfied with my grades… I couldn't even keep up with the homework! The school policy is about 3 hrs of homework to every hr of lecture/class time… more sometimes, depending on which subject we're talking about. Three hours is not enough time when you are taking a foreign language and don't already have a decent general knowledge of the language and/or culture. <_< From there, my exhaustion led to an extreme writer's block which took a little over a year to clear up. It was the most horrible, writing free year of my life (not to mention the only one). Pretty soon, I could just barely get myself up in the morning (waking up at 5:45 am every day is really NOT my thing…) and by the end of the semester, I started to cry every time I thought about all I had to do. It's not the kind of thing I would wish on anyone else. I am not super human, and I don't pretend to be.

That said, I wonder what would have happened if I had simply dropped a few of my classes, refocused my life, and had really gotten down to the nitty gritty with my school work. You see, I even procrastinated on dropping classes… I procrastinated so long that by the time I decided to drop classes and save myself, the option was already moot. I think that might be what REALLY killed me last semester.

This semester is a fresh start. I have a new job and I purposely decided to take only 13 credit hours in order to give myself a much needed break… that's still full time at my school, which means I get all of the benefits of a full time student, but it's also about 4 credit hrs less than last semester, plus my homework is fun and relatively easy. My room is clean and will hopefully stay that way, my closet is cleaned out and all laundry washed, work on my book is now moving forward again, plus I've started to take art commissions while still singing back up vocal 1 at my church. I let procrastination and exhaustion team up to beat me once, but I'm determined to sock them back this semester… hard. Right in the paunch. I haven't missed a class yet and don't plan to start any time soon.

The moral of this blog post? Well, I guess there are two morals really.

  1. Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today


  1. Don't bite off more than you can chew

Trust me on this one: when exhaustion and procrastination decide to team up and jump you, they give you quite a pounding. :P

However, this time I've got them by the tails!! :D


More book reviews coming soon! And perhaps some therapeutic rambling. I'm also working on several new commissions, and have recently finished the maps for two of my WIPs that I plan to post about soon.

And I've noticed that I now have 65 followers! Yay!!! ^_^ When I hit 70 I'm thinking about hosting a giveaway, a contest, or some other type of fun, competitive event. So tell your friends about the P&P!! The sooner I hit 70 followers, the sooner you get to find out what amusing and enjoyable mischief I have up my sleeves. ;D



Galadriel said...

Thanks for the reminder. I am taking a full 18 credits this semister, but we have quad classes too, so it works out to 14 credits first quad and 12 second quad...a nice balance.

Imogen said...

A month ago I was in the same boat as you. I was preparing for two music exams, while working, and doing schoolwork, and rehearsing with a choir, and fitting in sport, and other lessons. It was exhausting, but thanks to my family I made it through ok.

I'm glad you're finding things easier this semester. Life is so much better when there's a little free time.

Adele Treskillard said...

Whoa, that's quite a tough story. I commiserate, though I'm not sure I've ever had stuff pounce on me quite so hard. Here's to praying you get all your rest, all your homework, and all your WRITING in this brand-new semester. That's the beauty of it: each day is new ;)


Star-Dreamer said...

Imogen: I know what you mean! If it weren't for the support of my family, I would have never made it through the tough time. One more good thing about living at home: you have the support constantly. :D

Adele: the writing is definitely key. ;) And btw, I hope to get some work done on the ending of WB tonight... I can't wait to read it!!! It's been sitting in my computer now for... what? three or four days? And I can hear it calling to me...

"Nichole... Nichole... you know you want to read me! Read me! Read me!!!"


Jessica said...

Wow! That is hard and amazing! Way to go at hitting procrastination hard.

I know I've missed you around the blogesphere and I hope this year goes better for you!