Finding Time To Quit Procrastinating

I’ve been meaning to write a Week-Ender about the woes of procrastination, but I always seem to put it off.

Go ahead–procrastinate a little!

But no more! Today, I am going to introduce a subject–procrastination–that I know lots of people will want to comment on. If they get around to it.

So if you think you want to jump into this discussion, do it now, while you’re thinking about it.

I’ve heard it said that procrastination is best put off until tomorrow; I’ve also heard that procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.

I can’t count all the times I’ve put off doing something and by the time I got to it I had missed a deadline or a golden opportunity.

I think we all procrastinate to one degree or another. Am I wrong on that? Are there people out there who find time and energy to get to everything every day? If so, I’d like to hear how they do it. What’s their secret?

I am not a habitual procrastinator–or maybe I am but just don’t take time to think about it. I never mean to put things off; things just sometimes seem to get overcome by events.

For instance, I have a headlight out on my truck. It’s been out for about two weeks now. I know I need to fix it. I had a note taped to my bathroom mirror reminding me, but after a week or so it sort of became part of the mirror and I stopped seeing it.

So I moved the note to the coffeepot, because I figured I’d see it first thing in the morning, which I did, but then got off on other things and didn’t see it again until that first cup the next day. That’s been going on for a few days.

I’ve set the reminder alarm on my cell phone to remind me, but I keep re-setting it because when it goes off I am doing something else and can’t get to the headlight right then.

I remember I need to replace the light when I’m driving in the dark, worrying about getting a ticket (do they issue tickets for busted headlights? I’ll have to find out…tomorrow, or when I get around to it). Then I forget about it once the sun comes up…

Apparently, procrastination has been around a long time. British poet Andrew Young said that procrastination is the thief of time way back in the 1700s. So I guess when I procrastinate I could consider it carrying on an old tradition.

Actually, procrastination may be emblematic of today’s rushed society. There seem to be so many important things to do, all of them with deadlines and drop-dead dates and timelines. So we have to continually shift priorities.

The thing about shifting priorities is that as a priority goes from number one, to two, to three and on down the line, eventually it is going to slip off the chart. It will be a blip on the radar screen that may get your attention if you see it; otherwise the BIGGER BLIPS take priority.

It’s like my headlight, which is blipping and I am going to get to it, but first I need to finish this BLIPPING blog. Maybe I’ll tape a note to my forehead about that light; I’ll let you know how that works out.

Another phenomenon about priorities is that many times as they slip down the list or even off the list, you realize they weren’t even priorities at all.

A really professional procrastinator can justify waiting to see if a fallen priority hits the list after it’s fallen off; if not, it wasn’t really that important in the first place.

I’ve read on Internet sources that procrastination is a complex psychological behavior that affects everyone to one degree or another. (By the way, the Internet, IMHO, is a major contributor to procrastination, because it provides a wide variety of tools to distract you from your priorities.)

So, I suppose, since everyone suffers from this malady, and misery loves company, then I must love procrastination because I am among friends.

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