I would say for most of my life, but honestly it has probably been all my life, I have been the type of person to respond right away when someone asks for my help. In addition to being quick to respond, I am also the person people know that can depend on to get it done. Whether it was personal or professional, if I said “yes”, consider it done. I am quality over quantity. I believe in doing the right thing, for the right reason, at the right time. It is highly unlikely that I will miss a deadline and if I do, what I deliver will be worth the wait.
But lately, I have found myself responding much more slowly. Allowing email messages and other requests to sit for hours or even days before I respond. At first, I thought to myself, “why are you procrastinating on this?” But more recently I have come to realize that I was not procrastinating, I was practicing self-preservation.
Self-preservation, according to Webster, is the preservation of oneself from destruction or harm; the instinctive tendency to act so as to preserve one’s own existence.
Preserve your own existence, from destruction or harm.
Some may say they do not see the connection and that is okay. Your story is not their story, and your path is not their path. For me, taking on projects and assignments that did not add joy or value to my life (or bank account) began to take a toll on me. What I initially perceived as procrastination, was my mind’s way of slowing me down enough to survive and teaching me the art of self-preservation.
Now, when I receive messages/requests, I purposefully allow them to sit. I use the time to evaluate it [the request] for value. I ask, how does this fit into MY goals? Long-term and short term. How much time will this take, and do I have that time available? Not squeezing it in, but truly available. If I cannot see the value for my life, my response must be “no”.
While I am certain the project/assignment has value to the requestor, it may not have that same value for me, and that is okay. Trust me, my “no” leaves room for the right “yes”. By slowing down, I have saved myself from the stress of trying to meet someone else’s needs and potentially ignoring my own.
Procrastination and Self-preservation are not the same. #saveyourself #butdontwastetime