I’m just a perfectionistic procrastinator

As I’ve previously mentioned, the university phoned me two days before lectures were scheduled to begin. The purpose of the phone call? To inform me that I’ve been accepted to study medicine.

Until the advent of that phone conversation, I had been planning to study my second choice – BA Languages. And, well… the difference between orientation week for BA Lang and actual lectures for MBChB is pretty hefty! Since that Monday when I went to the varsity to register for MBChB, I haven’t really had a leisurely moment to sit down and blog.

Quite frankly, the amount of work is not as bad as I expected it to be. But there’s still more than enough work to keep me busy for all of my spare time and a bit of my sleep time too! And yet, I am not busy in all of that time. And when I’m not busy with my work, then I feel depressed that I’m not getting my work done! (As a result of this, I don’t get anything else done in that time either!) It’s a downward spiral that I struggled with in matric as well.

Balance. It’s all about balance.

I do want to get my work done! Don’t get me wrong – it’s not that I have an aversion to my course work – actually I love it! I have a problem with procrastination…

And on that note, I’ll finish this post tomorrow… (Just joking.)

I just don’t get down to actually starting to do the work. And of course, the more I procrastinate, the more I hate myself, the more depressed I get, the less work I get done!

I also have a problem with perfectionism.

There are days when I get working and I’m being productive and then someone interrupts me. And then I get grumpy. I mean, can’t you see I’m working!!! I don’t have time for you!

Wait! Stop right there!

Did you hear that? “I don’t have time for you!”

Isn’t that tragic? That I could miss out on precious times when I could be a blessing to others, because I am not prepared to pause in my work for 5 minutes. Because I’m afraid the work might be done less than perfectly. Because I am selfishly focussing on my work, my progress, my prestige instead of grasping the opportunities that God gives me to serve others.

I am called to serve others. (Luke 13 : 3 – 17) If even “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10 : 45) then how can I do less?

I have often used academic progress and achievement as an excuse to get out of other things. “No, I can’t do that I have to do my homework! I can’t help my sister with her homework because I have to study for a test so I can get 100%! I can’t help you to understand your work so you can pass your test because I have to overachieve on mine…”

Yeah sure, it’s God glorifying when I do well in my academics. But if my achievement is at the cost of my relationship with my sisters, does that still glorify God? If I do well, because I selfishly refuse to do anything other than academics, does that glorify God?

And now I’m studying medicine! A course that is renowned for being an absolute overload of work!!!

I do not want my degree to come at the price of 6 years of selfish, recluse-like academic concentration. I want to look upon all interruptions to my Plan A for my day as God’s Plan A for my day. I want to develop a willingness to serve. At any time and in any place!

And to do all this, I need to get rid of my habit of procrastination.



4 thoughts on “I’m just a perfectionistic procrastinator

  1. Wow, Renate, I love this post. That’s convicting for me (a fellow procrastinator πŸ™‚ ) Although I don’t go to university, so I can imagine the work is ten times worse. So are you studying to become a doctor? All the best!


  2. Hi Gary

    I’ve been thinking about your comment. Yes, I agree with your insinuation that balance is not always the ideal. Sometimes, you have to be prepared to go way out and to stand up for what you believe in. Some things should not be compromised on.

    However, within the context of my post, I was saying that I need to work on achieving a balance between working hard (not procrastinating) and actually making time to care about others.

    I hope that clarifies things a bit! πŸ™‚


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