This is a Christmas present for a homeless person - a girl between the ages of 5 and 9.
I just filled up the box with its assorted materials last night.
I turned it in this morning.
Today was the last collection day.
I have had the box for ONE MONTH.
Yes, I waited until the very last minute to complete the task.
Was it procrastination, or was it Parkinson's law?
According to many psychologists, the foundation of procrastination is fear, or anxiety about a future unknown outcome.
Sometimes, I do procrastinate due to fear and anxiety.
And other times I don't.
I definitely didn't wait a month to buy supplies and wrap a shoebox because I was afraid, or worried about not being perfect.
I simply didn't do it because I was prioritizing other activities up until the point at which my time ran out.
That's where Parkinson's law comes in.
Parkinson's Law states that "the task will expand to fit the time given."
If you gave me an afternoon to buy the supplies, fill the box and wrap it, I probably would have gotten it done.
If you gave me a week, that's probably how long I would take.
And if you gave me a month, that's probably how long I would take.
The word procrastination, or procrastinator, is associated with a whole range of unpleasant self-talk, and accompanying emotions.
I could have spent the last month looking at the box and saying, "Theresa, what is wrong with you? You're such a procrastinator! Just get on with it. It's not that hard."
But that's not what happened.
Instead, I looked at the box each day and said, "I will get it done. Just not right now."
And last night I did.
Just in time to turn it in this morning.
No need for negative self talk.
No need for name-calling.
No need for guilt or shame.
For me, it wasn't about procrastination.
It was all about Parkinson's law.
The task expanded to fit the time given.
And that makes me human, not lazy.
Are you procrastinating on something, or are you simply applying Parkinson's Law, and being human?
Read Deeper Not Faster
I am Theresa Destrebecq.