Procrastination has a bad rap. Have you noticed that we constantly shame ourselves and others for putting things off? It is a major piece of our collective culture. I am proposing that, instead, we think of procrastination as an asset - a mechanism that helps us produce our best work. Then use it as you would any other tool, without guilt or apology.
I have come to recognize the symptoms of trying to force an idea before it's time. I am antsy and distracted, and the feelings of frustration build. If I don't listen to those intuitive signals and try to push through anyway - the results are utter crap. It doesn't matter what it is or when it is technically due - whether it is planning a presentation or meeting, generating lesson plans for a class, producing an artistic or creative project, writing a blog post, designing a piece for social media, or developing the language around a new program or service for DRC. I find that these things are often "ready" to come out, seconds (OK - maybe minutes or hours) before I absolutely need them.
The notion of viewing my "put it off till tomorrow attitude" as a positive trait coalesced a couple of weeks ago when I had a phone call scheduled to discuss some details for volunteers at the Center this Fall. A week before the call, I tried to write down a list of things to talk about - my mind was completely blank, and so was the sheet of paper. I put it aside (with the usual self-condemnation popping up throughout the week) and, then, fifteen minutes before the actual call, I sat down and generated a comprehensive list of ideas. The week-long angst I felt was, as usual, all for naught. The conversation went smoothly. I didn't sound unprepared (stupid) or harried - and we hashed out a practical plan.
Funny enough, the idea about writing this piece hit at the same time. But, once again, even though I pulled it up, out of the depths, every now and again - it was not quite ready to be born until today. Yup, I procrastinated a post about procrastination!
I never know what will trigger the readiness of any idea to see the light of day. I do know that they are constantly churning away, just beneath the surface. If my dreams, of late, are any indication, there are a ton of them bumping into one another down there and creating total chaos.
What it all comes down to is that ingenuity (and learning, for that matter) cannot be forced. The energy (juice) has to flow uninhibited (without internal guilt or external shame), the vibes and conditions have to be just right, and, most importantly, any idea has to be allowed time to develop, fully, without conscious effort, before it deigns to make an appearance.
When you give yourself and others the gift of procrastination without guilt, judgment, or condemnation, the resulting freedom will allow you (and them) to generate your (their) best work ever.
A New DRC Program
As COVID-19 alters everything we previously accepted as normal, families are scrambling to find a viable alternative to the options presented by their local school districts. Many parents are frustrated by the rigidity of these plans and are looking for something more flexible - that fits within their own schedules, and allows them to keep their kids home.
While I was speaking to one such Mom yesterday, I offered our two existing options: in-person membership or consultation. In the midst of the conversation she said, "I wish there was a third option that included the consultation services, allowed us to stay at home, and had the option for my kids to interact with other kids and meet with a mentor virtually so they are accountable to someone besides me." That was the moment that I remembered that I had developed that exact program when DRC first opened (The Deep Root Center Distance Learning Program was originally created because St Lawrence County is so large and I knew that everyone who wanted to use DRC would not be able to get to Canton). It never took flight - it simply wasn't the right time.
Now, six years later, is the perfect moment for that exact program! If you are seeking an alternative that is flexible and customizable, with opportunities for engagement with other kids and a mentor, but are not yet comfortable leaving home - this program is exactly what you are looking for. Learn more here, including the membership levels, and then contact us to get started on designing your family's Distance Learning Plan.