1. I have the tendency to over-complicate things.
2. I procrastinate. A lot.
3. I am a perfectionist, but only with regard to things that have little or no value to anyone. I will become absorbed in tasks like rearranging files on my hard drive. Or establishing the perfect naming conventions in a script with three functions.
I believe that perfectionism develops as a way to avoid making progress while still sort of feeling like you are doing something meaningful. It alleviates the nagging feeling that occurs when you know there are matters to which you should attend. It lets you focus on something with which you are already familiar, which can sometimes be more palatable that doing something entirely new. It lets you stay in your comfort zone, expend little effort and all the while you get to feel a certain superiority about your devotion1.
I put off starting tasks and projects that do not demand immediate attention because I make it a giant ordeal in my head. Because it is now a giant ordeal, it probably has some important implications or consequences or something, and will likely have who can even guess what impact of unfathomable magnitude on situations I have yet to even conceive of.
Certainly, for something so important, I wouldn’t want to run the risk of starting incorrectly. Need to consider all the factors. Do some research. Come at this thing from all angles. Clean my desk. And now it’s like mid afternoon, so I should probably get some lunch. And run to the store – and a couple other errands while I’m out. Get all this low-hanging fruit out of the way so my mind will be clear to tackle this really important thing I have to do.
I actually get kind of a lot of work done while trying to avoid doing any particular given task. I feel like I ought to be able to exploit this somehow to improve my life.
Once I manage to get started on something2, I rarely encounter the sort of difficulties that I had envisioned during the triage stage. It’s like, if I could just initiate a task without picturing every potential difficulty, I would have no issue. I should allow myself the comfort of believing that if I just nudge myself forward a little, my brain will go with it and keep things rolling.
But I don’t really have that kind of trust established with my brain. It has totally fucked me over in the past when we had to decide whether to play Age of Mythology3 for three hours or get started on the philosophy paper due in eight hours.
1See also: prayer.
2I will work diligently until it nears completion, then fuss with minor details to avoid finishing and starting over with something completely new. One method I use to this end is starting a new project.
3In fairness, I did lay low the enemies of Ra that day.