Procrastination and Resisting David Bowie's Package

I struggle with procrastination daily. It is hands down my #1 downfall. I procrastinated on writing this post, it's been percolating for weeks and now that it's written I procrastinated posting this post - it was supposed to be posting for a new series I'm going to start called Motivation Monday, yet here it is Tuesday and I'm just now posting.

I don’t ever necessarily mean to procrastinate (although to be honest there are times I do it on purpose!), it’s something that seems to just happen naturally. I’m going to get on the internet and look something up, then 2 hours later I’ve been sucked into a black hole of Pinterest and research on organization that I will never ever put into place. Or I’ll start watching Netflix and 6 episodes of a new show later I emerge from the fog and realize I’ve wasted my entire day.

Recently I was watching Labyrinth for the 50 millionth time and as I became mesmerized by David Bowie and his package, again!, the thought popped into my head that his package is not unlike what procrastination has to offer. Now I’m not talking about his generous, albeit spectacular, codpiece. The package I’m referring to is his offer to Sarah, his effort to seduce her.

Yes, yes I do.
 Sure it sounds great in theory to succumb to his package (awesome, amazeballs, life-altering), all I will feel is regret and disappointment. See David Bowie (well, Jareth that is) is a liar. He promises you the world, but will he ever make good on those promises? Survey says – most likely not. He tries to seduce us by saying things like “Fear me, love me, let me rule you, and I will be your slave,”, but deep down we know what he actually means is we will wind up forgetting who we are, what is important to us, and eventually become HIS slave. Never able to remember the all-important line to make him back the fuck off.

Instead we submit to his awe inspiring, glitter fueled, synthesized proclamations of love and obsession until one day we wake up and find ourselves with a back full of worldly possessions we could care less about and have lost sight of what we find important. As our world falls down around us, we try and break free – try to shatter the illusions we have created, or have let other create for us, hoping we don’t become battle weary as we fight our way through untold dangers and unnumbered hardships. Every day we fight and strive until finally we see the light and reach the center thinking we are home free – only to be faced with his package once again.

This time however, we are prepared. Today we fought his package and were not seduced – even though we really and truly wanted him to rule us. We remembered he has no power over us, but what will tomorrow bring? More than likely we will feel the urge to run away from our responsibilities and gifts and give him the baby. We must fight that urge and be able to say the right words to resist him and all he offers. We can overcome his package – procrastination has no power over us - we had the power all along.

Now that we know we have the power, what can help keep us on track?
  • Break your task down into smaller pieces, a.k.a. efficient planning. The larger goal often becomes overwhelming, but by breaking it down into small manageable chunks you are more likely to focus and get started. Do not get pulled into the non-effective planning where you give a large goal, but no actual action steps. David Bowie’s Package, loves vague goals. He is warded off by actionable steps. 
    • Vague: I want to lose weight
    • Efficient: I want to lose 10 lbs. in the next 8 weeks. I will determine my total calories expended per day based on the TDEE method, resolve to cut my calories by 20% per day and will use a tracking app to make sure I am eating within my calorie goal. 
  • Find your tribe. Connect with a group of like-minded individuals, either online or in person, and set a time to meet and discuss your goals, progress, etc. Accountability is a powerful tool. 
  • Don’t get distracted by shiny objects. The internet is a great way to waste a bunch of time, so is TV, or anything else that takes your focus away from what you set out to do. Don’t fall into the internet’s oubliette and become trapped! Use productivity tools if you must that will block the internet – or better yet, unplug your modem! 
  • When in doubt, dance it out. Movement gets the juices flowing so crank up the Magic Dance and get your “want to” going! 
  •  Race against the clock. Set a timer for 10 minutes (or 13 hours) and see what happens. Anyone can spare 10 minutes to work on a piece of their goal, and that 10 minutes may turn into 13 hours once you get going! 
Procrastination can also take many forms. I was asked once how I always have so many projects going at the same time. When I started to think about it, it wasn’t because I was focused or that organized, it was because I am a procrastinator. I do usually have several projects going at once, but once I get started it is hard for me to finish. Having several going at the same time makes it look like I am busy, which I am, but I’m not being effective with my time. Procrastination through work. To me, it’s one of the worst kinds of procrastination because it lulls you into a false sense of accomplishment.

What it boils down to though is fear. We are so afraid to take the first step because we fear failure, or
even success that it freezes us. Recognizing the fear is the first step, moving past it is hard, and doesn’t seem to get any easier, but it is possible.

Remember, things are not always what they seem and David Bowie’s package will show up at every turn to try and derail us, don’t give up and remember as tempting as he may be in his splendor, he has no power over you.