Procrastination and the old year

PROCRASTINATION. That’s something I’ve always been good at. Putting off until tomorrow the things I should have done today.

Sometimes those delays are relatively unimportant. I suspect we all tend to put things on the back burner but eventually we get round to sorting them out but there are some issues that can’t be put off until another day without having a longer term negative effect.

Training and exercise are typical.

I mentioned in a previous blog that I’m trying to get as many miles in on the bike as I can, in preparation for some big cycling events next year. I know full well that this is the time to lay a foundation, the long slow runs that burn fat, reduce weight and give a training base to build on later, but sometimes it’s not so easy to get in those long runs. In this personal context I’m talking about bike rides in excess of three hours or so.

With events like the Loch Ness Etape, the Caledonian Etape and the Ride the North event on my radar for next year, not to mention the little jaunt between Mizen Head and Malin Head through Ireland that Hamish and I will be tackling, I started getting the miles in last October.

The Autumnal weather was good and it lasted right through November as well and things were going very well, until December arrived. December of the storms…

But it wasn’t only the weather. I developed a dose of man-flu at the start of the month and when that was sorted out I niggled an old injury in my right knee, an injury that has needed some fairly intensive physio.

Come the middle of the month I had lost lots of cycling days then came the series of wet and windy storms that has marked this final month of the year. And that’s when the procrastination really kicked in.

When you look out of the window to sunshine and still, dry weather it’s no problem putting on the cycling gear and heading out for 2 or 3 hours. But when it’s cold and the wind is rattling the windows it’s too easy to use the weather as an excuse not to bother.

But it’s procrastination that is the real problem, and I’m a champion procrastinator. It’s a problem in my everyday work. I sit down at my computer in the morning, decide my work for the day and then become absorbed in something on the internet.

It might be social media, it might be an online newspaper, but it’s enough to divert my attention from what I should be doing. Then I decide I probably need a little walk round the village to clear my head a bit, then I remember I should go to the post office and by the time I return it’s usually lunchtime.

After lunch I go through the same process and eventually settle down to write an article or whatever about 4 in the afternoon. I think that’s why I spend most evenings writing!

But training is different, because you can’t catch up. Days missed are days lost and miles lost. And I need all the training miles I can get.

I think that’s why I rounded off 2014 on a reasonably good note. For the past few days the weather has been foul. Wind and rain, rain and wind, snow and wind, wind and snow! Horrible.

But I’ve stuck with it. I’ve managed to kick procrastination into touch and while the bike rides haven’t exactly been delirious fun the after-ride sensations have been great.

There’s something about that blend of adrenaline and endorphin rush along with the knowledge that I’ve achieved something against the odds. And when that good-feel factor kicks in on Hogmanay it’s even better than usual, because I know that I’ve worked hard and can, for a few hours, indulge just a bit.

And that’s what I intend doing now, so for the moment can I wish everyone who reads this blog the very best wishes for a Happy Hogmanay and a prosperous 2014. It’s going to be a big and exciting year, especially for us Scots – I hope it’s a big and exciting one for you too, wherever you are!



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