Left-Brain Overload & Right-Brain Reignition: A Personal Up-date

I should have been a man. I am a terrible multi-tasker. I HATE juggling lots of balls at once. I like to focus on one thing at a time, finish it and then change focus. And I am a terrible, terrible procrastinator. Only my mother, my father, my sister and my husband understand how bad my procrastination truly is. I am sure I should hire a coach or a hypnotist or a psychologist or a fortune-teller or someone to help me confront this problem but quite frankly, I don’t feel like it. Right now, I just feel like there are too many puzzles to build, places to see, play-dates to be had, books to be read, interesting courses to study, friends to have dinner with, runs to go on, for me to want to dedicate time to learning about the implementation of anti- procrastination techniques. Perhaps one day I’ll feel differently but so far, in my life, I have never been a fan of following methodologies. I don’t say they are not good or they don’t work – they are just not for me.

And so for the last two months my focus has been on passing a first year Microeconomics test, passing my very first university level Maths test and passing the Ecos exam. During that time I also expended an enormous amount of energy 1) stressing about the latter 2) waking up in the middle of the night with anxiety in my chest stressing about not having really begun preparing for the latter 3) finding hugely important domestic and administrative tasks to attend to (some of which I had procrastinated doing for two to three years) to avoid studying for the latter.

In short, it took me back to my boarding school days where I would leave studying for tests and exams to the 11th hour and would then go and cram for them by lying in an empty bath after lights out until the early hours of the morning. (Lights out was a strict policy but the bathroom lights remained on all night so this was a cramming method employed by myself and other, fellow crammers. (Remember that, Busi Roberts? I can still visualise us cramming together in the middle of the night in Std. 9).

I had exactly four weeks between my Maths test in late May and my Ecos exam in late June and I VOWED beforehand that now that I was 35 years old, I would no longer procrastinate and I would calmly study daily for 4 weeks.


Just before my exam, my amazing husband agreed to help with the kids (together with our amazing weekend nanny, Thembi) while I holed myself up in The View Hotel in Auckland Park for two nights prior to my exam. All I can say is, thank God for David who has been supportive of my desire to randomly study commerce subjects “for fun” – both in principle and in practice. Despite everything I have said about the type A stress that I bring upon myself when I study or work, it has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in recent years. Yes, I’ve hated it at times, but overall I’ve absolutely loved it and I am so grateful for the privilege.

So that is why I have felt “unable” to blog over the past two months or so. I’ve loved the challenge of engaging my under-used left brain but I’ve also very much missed the right-brain stuff like writing my blog and reading books. It feels really good to be back in this space. To kickstart things I took part in a blogathon at The Common Room in Parkhurst organised by Elance on Thursday evening. I almost pulled out when I saw the topics which were very much geared towards freelance writers and on which I had very little insight and zero experience. But it felt good to sit down and write, to meet professional writers or part-time writers, to log-in to my blog again and to start thinking about blogging and writing again. It also prompted me to finally do something about the writing course gift voucher that my sister gave me for my birthday (in late January – oops). I am booked and will be attending next Monday. I am told to bring – wait for it – a notebook and pen. How cute is that? My handwriting is so atrocious I can barely read my own shopping lists but it’s at Croft & Co in Parkview and I do love a good excuse to visit Parkview (and Croft & Co, quite honestly). My mom went to Parkview Junior and Parktown Girls, my grandparents and my mom and uncles were members of the Anglican Church in Parkview for decades and the suburb has retained a pretty and interesting main drag – the likes of which have largely been decimated by shopping malls, high walls and complex living.

And, of course, David pranged his car in Parkview on an evening in April 2006, a couple of hours before proposing to me in Scusi Restaurant…

It’s now 5:30 and I can hear Joe chatting to himself over the monitor. Time to go and warm up his bottle on this lazy, family Sunday morning. Adieu, gentle reader. I will be back in a few days to blog about losing 11kg since mid-March and all that good dieting/ food stuff I am so obsessed with.


  1. Natalie, I remember those nights all too well, wrapped in our blankets as those baths were cold…..Glad you are enjoying your time as a student yet again. I’m taking a break for a few years before I go for my MBA…that’s if I don’t change my mind 🙂
    So glad you’re back in the blogosphere….you really ought to consider writing a book!!!! Enjoy the writing course…hopefully it will inspire you ….

  2. Wow, Busi. An MBA. That’s amazing. And inspiring. Well done for even thinking about it out loud with a full time job and a little one. And thank you for your kind comments 🙂