Hello, I am President of the Negro Procrastination Society….

Are you always on time? Early?  Do you turn in your projects weeks before deadline? Are you the person who has their Christmas shopping done with the presents wrapped by October? Do you plan meals out for months in advance?  Do you follow your budget?  Are you disciplined?

Then this post is NOT for you.  It’s for the procrastinators such as myself.  But if you’re orderly, we still love you. In fact, us procrastinators need you in our lives.

Hello, my name is Raegan Mathis and I am President and Founder of the Negro Procrastination Society for Colored Folk.

I accepted this position last week after God and I had a talk.  Actually, we were boxing – I box with Him a lot.  I lose all the time, but I’m like Jacob in that way.  We have regular talks about blessings.  This time was no different – I still lost. I win, because I lost.

Mostly because I felt convicted about the areas of my life where I’m slacking.  There was this realization I’m giving too much attention to the wrong areas of my life.  It’s more so that the priorities I have are being set out in the wrong order.  Period.  I have priorities.  However all of them aren’t in first place for attention.  Not only that, but I’m not working at my best possible potential and I need to figure out why.  Is it fear? If so, of what?

Really, it comes down to compartmentalizing and focusing respectively on things in a more efficient and satisfying way than I have been.

In other words, it’s time to go hard or go home. It basically comes down to the fact that I need to stop that shit.  At this point in my life, there is too much at stake to lose something because I sit on the opportunity until the last minute,  then want to cry and lay out because I missed out.  I have control over seizing those opportunities or not.

What’s interesting is I don’t know where I get this procrastination gene from.  Both of my parents are mad organized and in fact have OCD to a certain extent about how they want things, about being on time, about planning early to the best of their abilities. I am really crazy about certain things – like the bathroom and kitchen being clean, my bedroom being clean, no dishes in the sink, whether or not I turned the stove off (I’ve been known to come back home and check it), I check for my phone, keys and wallet all the time.  I know.  But when it comes down to work – job, blog, book, apps for opportunities, business things for life, I clock out sometimes.  I wait until the very last minute to make things happen.

I think it’s because I’ve gotten away with it too many times.  There have been so many times, I’ve been able to “pull it off” so to speak that I’m exhilarated by the rush I get when make things happen.  But why do I have to be like that? That whole – let me leave at 3pm when I know I have a flight at 5pm and it might take 45 minutes to get to the airport, but I’ll make it business…is not the business.  It’s almost like I’m daring myself to see if I can do it.

It’s the wrong attitude.

I don’t want to keep testing the waters on things.  I just need to get busy and at the very least, do the work I need to do.  Be on time, be early.  Get the work done I’ve set out to do or have on my plate.

I mean, how else do you succeed? Sure there are people who receive everything just handed to them – but there’s a cost.  There’s always a cost.  Procrastination has a cost too.  And I can definitely say I’ve paid the price for it over the years.  I was thinking about two things – Marianne Williamson said, if I may paraphrase it to read as I understand it – that God basically holds your blessings for you.  They are yours.  So it’s not like He’s out here giving away your book deal or that house you have your eyes on.  Then there is the other side – how many times was God ready to give me something but I wasn’t ready?  I hadn’t done the necessary work to even handle what He was going to put on the table.   So I’m the one who’s holding God up?  How is He going to give me anything else when I’m not properly caring for what He’s given me now?

Yeah, I need to get myself together.

As we watch people succeed and get the things they want out of life, it’s not that they’re smarter or better.  Maybe they are better at what they’re doing than others, but mostly it’s because they are working.  And they’re working hard.  They’re working when we’re procrastinating.  They’re up making designs and plans.  In other words, excuse my french, they’re not fucking around all the time.

Procrastinators are a unique group.  I’ve read something to the tune of us being perfectionists.  We wait until the last minute because we know we won’t get it just the way we want it.  Again, my theory is that I’m bored and not using my gifts in the right way – mostly why I started this blog.  This for sure happens at work where I have a project that has 7568 parts to it or more and I’m like ohhh, lemme just wait one week until it’s due and I have to stay up all night, all week, in order to get it done. Who does that? I do.

I also believe many procrastinators are at damn near genius level.  Like how else, besides for the grace of God do we manage to pull things off? That’s a blessing.  That’s ingenuity.  But we’re using that power in the wrong way.

It should be used to get ahead – not keep up.

I know if I stopped procrastinating, I’d win more.  I wouldn’t have room to be upset.  I’d know I had put forth my best effort. Procrastination is self-sabotage in it’s worst form.  Mostly because it’s a silent, slow way to sabotage our own success.

Fact: Did you know that ONE(1) hour of proper planning will save you 200 hours of correction?

I want you to think about it.  How many hours have I spent chasing my tail all because I was too lazy, too afraid, too nervous, too whatever to do the one hour of work I needed to do that would change my life?

Look, planning and preparation and the non-slack for whatever it is I want to do will not only bless and honor my life, but it gives me the chance to bless and honor the lives of my family and friends.  I get to help them when I have time and money.  I love my life and I love myself.  When I’m procrastinating all of the time, it doesn’t show the love.  When I procrastinate, I’m saying things aren’t important enough, I’m not important enough, to handle these things in advance.

I call foolishness and bullshit.  Because we know better.  I’ve been out here doing what I want to do, when I should be doing what I’m supposed to do.

Sidenote: I started reading Judy Smith’s Good Self, Bad Self and it’s about managing your good and bad qualities (self) to avoid crisis. She says the very qualities that make us successful are the same ones that can take us down.  The quality in itself has both a good property when managed correctly and a bad one when not – opposite sides of the coin.  That thing right there sat me down and made me think.  I’m still reading and still thinking.  Like – if I know by waiting until the last minute will produce nothing but a headache and possible failure, why do I do it?  Is that a quality I can turn on it’s head?  What’s the opposite side of this and how do I get to it? When I get the answers – because I will – I will report back.  Wayment – do you know the answer to this? Leave me a comment below.

One other thing, sometimes, procrastinating makes us feel better.  Having to actually DO something may mean it’s not something we hate or dread.  In fact, maybe we know it’s going to be painful.  Hence why we’re ignoring it.  Hmmmm….but maybe it still needs to be done.  There’s too much to list on all of the things I don’t want to do, but I will say when I do the things I’ve been avoiding, I feel better about myself and it causes less worry.  Avoidance doesn’t make the matter go away. It’s like hiding under the covers as a child from the monsters in your closet. If they really are in there do the covers save us?

So today, if there’s something you’ve been putting off that you know will benefit your life, let’s stop right now and spend one uninterrupted hour just doing that thing.  It may be research, a phone call, looking for something you’ve lost, prepping your family for something, putting in that job application, going to the doctor,  searching for new opportunities or brainstorming.  It could also mean, just cleaning your house so you can see the floor and actually use your kitchen.  I’m just saying.

What’s been your experience procrastinating? Any recovering procrastinators out there? Any advice on how you managed to change?  Comment below or tweet me @fromraewithlove.  If you’d like to join the Negro Procrastination Society, just tweet me and let me know.  We’ll have to keep an eye on each other.

I’m going to do better.  We’re going to do better.

Love,

Rae

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11 thoughts on “Hello, I am President of the Negro Procrastination Society….

  1. It’s funny, i am strict about bring on time, am usually early and am a planner by trade and nature
    But that doesn’t mean that I don’t procrastinate!! 🙂

  2. Reason #3124 why I know we’re kindred spirits. I swear, so much of what you speak to has me feeling like “hold up, is Rae spying on me from inside my mind?” LOL. This procrastination thing is real. So real. I am definitely that person who will have two months to do something but will start on it two days before it’s due. I’ll get no sleep but I’ll rock the sh*t out of it though. And as Atlantic Starr said in “Secret Lovers” – none will be the wiser. Of course that’s not accounting for stuff I’m avoiding b/c it’s painful or ugly. Just regular stuff. As far as punctuality, I’m rarely intentionally late, but I also believe time is a made-up construct that doesn’t really require strict adherence in most cases. Don’t make me wait though. LOL. I’m so many things. Anywho, I could go on and on. Great post, as usual!

  3. You talking to me with this! I feel like mine is doubly back asswards because I can either procrastinate, or be anal (a la the first commenter). Being the overanalytical person that I am gives me pause on way more than it should. I’m learning to listen to God more, and hoping that I don’t miss when I should move on some things.

    • Amen!!! I was just praying this morning about this and the fact that I feel like I am behind or made the wrong decisions which put me behind. So it causes issues. But we are all going to get better. I swear I’m working on this so I don’t get my curls snatched.

  4. I am guilty of all of this. Lord knows I could be swagging it out something serious if I could just buckle down and get things done. That’s why I’m spending time every day devoted to being more productive. I loved what you said about God already has your blessings, He’s just waiting to give them to you. It also reminds me of the adage that faith without works is dead. God won’t bless you for nothing. You’ve got to put in effort in order to receive the desires of your heart. Great post, honey. 🙂

    • LOL @ swagging it out!!! Thanks love You and me both but we’re going to swag it out regardless. And yes, I really believe God has the blessings there and He’s waiting for us to get our acts together. I swear I keep Him entertained.

  5. Rae remember when I sent you the e-mail the other day about us being cloned? Handcuff me and throw away the key cause I am guilty as charged. I don’t understand my issue fully because when it comes to the J O B, I do not play, there is no hesitation whatsoever there. I am tackling, prioritizing, crunching numbers, reviewing with speed and accuracy that sometimes the computer needs to catch up with me. Let a friend or a relative be in a crunch and I have the solution pronto, but when it comes to self I wait until the last minute.
    It’s like if I do something on time much less ahead of time it does not feel right you know. Like somehow it won’t turn out right or as good as I expected it to if I don’t do it at the last minute. I really do crave that rush I guess. It could be something that may better my future and I will sit on it, why I don’t know- fear of the unknown or rejection or maybe change. Sometimes it is because you simply don’t want to do it.
    I moved about 7 months ago and I have things in my basement that I need to organize but have been putting it off. Being the orderly neat freak that I can sometimes be it really bothers me inside that I have this uncompleted task. It is a separate room from the neat area when you first come down the stairs, that’s where the washer & dryer, freezer & shelf sits so its easy for me to pretend and not look further into the other room cause that will be my reminder all is not well. I say to myself I have had many changes in the past year and there are more important things to worry about or not worry.But I should get it done because it’s for my own piece of mind and lord knows I need to keep my sanity right about now.

    • I do remember!!! Loved every bit of it and well, it’s possible we are cloned – Battlestar Gallactica anyone? Girl – I get it. Let’s talk about my closet. I am sure there are monsters living in there. I have not straightened that thing out and well – I pay for it. I go rummaging through it all the time, expecting something new to show up or digging for shoes. And it’s a mess. I should have been working on that the last two days I was off, but internet, tv and blogging won. LOL….its terrible. But you’re right – when I finally do it, I’ll be proud of myself and then mad I didn’t do it earlier. You know? And for the record, you are not allowed to lose your mind at this time….

  6. I’m guilty but in a different way. I’m anal about projects and I like to have things done and ready on time. I procrastinate the most when I just don’t want to do something. If it’s something I want believe me it’s done but things I could care less about I wait. And wait. And wait until I have no choice but to do it. If it’s a job I’m not really invested in I may have to be at work at 8am but I’m getting up and getting ready at 7:30 am when it takes me 45 minutes to an hour to get dressed and another 15 minutes to actually drive to the job.
    Just food for thought have you considered you procrastinate just because it’s something you don’t want to do?
    Anywho good article.

    • Hey Stacy! Thank you. You know what? I’ve thought about that. There are some things I actually want to do but I still procrastinate and I need to work on why I do that. I have a feeling it’s tied into fear of failure. Like – what if it doesn’t work, what if I don’t make it. I did it with the blog for the longest time. I didn’t think I was ready to write, put my feelings and business out there. You know? Things I don’t want to do flat out get sidelined. LOL… But I am the same as you when it comes to not being invested. It begins to show because I am getting started too late, etc.

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