Friday, March 07, 2008


pro·cras·ti·nate /proʊˈkræstəˌneɪt, prə-/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[proh-kras-tuh-neyt, pruh-] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation verb, -nat·ed, -nat·ing.
–verb (used without object) 1. to defer action; delay: to procrastinate until an opportunity is lost.
–verb (used with object) 2. to put off till another day or time; defer; delay.

Does anyone have a cure for this deadly disease?

· I’ve tried all the self-help I can stomach.

· I’ve tried timers, lists, rewards and punishments

· Both positive and negative reinforcement.

· Mediation, meditation, journaling, praying, committing to another as to tasking.

· I’ve tried cleaning up the workspace.

· Reviewing the task list every day and picking three to tick off before doing anything else.

My task list gets longer and longer so that the bottom keeps vanishing beneath the computer screen like someone drowning.

Everyone treats it as a kind of joke, ha-ha.

But the consequences are a form of chaos that does not sit well with me. Piles of well- paying work littering the office. Three briefcases full of work sitting outside the office door.

Piles to the left of me, piles to the right of me and I’m stuck in the middle – with my procrastinating self.

And all I want to do is read some back issues of The New Yorker, or one of the three books I’ve started:
The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan

Surfacing, Margaret Atwood (a re-read for me)

Easier than you think, Sylvia Boorstein

Or, head off to see “In Bruges” which I hear is a damn fine movie

Or, work on chapter outlines for the great Newfoundland novel.

Or whine away in my journal about how backlogged and hopeless I feel.

Or get on the phone and whine to friends.

Or write a blog entry and whine……….


  1. So, you're just now experiencing my whole life? Ah Vey! Relax, you have all the time in the world. Do those things you want to do. The rest can wait. Remember, the finest artists starved in their Paris garrets.

  2. I was going to leave a comment, but maybe I'll do it tomorrow. I don't really feel up to it just now. There's no hurry after all. Oh, I seem to have left a comment anyway.

    Perhaps procrastinating's just putting off things that aren't important anyway? Surely the vital things will get done because they're really urgent? And the rest can wait while you tuck into the Omnivore's Dilemma.

  3. RJA:
    The prospect of starving appeals not at all, my dog would never forgive me :>).

    I hate this running into my procrastinating self. Yeah, I did take off and see the movie and read more of the O.D. This still leaves the teetering workload as I comment here!

  4. I'm married to a self-confessed procrastinator, WWW. It becomes infectious after a while. :-(

    You've probably already seen this, but it fits your mood today, and may raise a chuckle.
    (Author unknown)

    The Procrastinator's Creed:

    1. I believe that if anything is worth doing, it would have been done already.

    2. I shall never move quickly, except to avoid more work or find excuses.

    3. I will never rush into a job without a lifetime of consideration.

    4. I shall meet all of my deadlines directly in proportion to the amount of bodily injury I could expect to receive from missing them.

    5. I firmly believe that tomorrow holds the possibility for new technologies, astounding discoveries, and a reprieve from my obligations.

    6. I truly believe that all deadlines are unreasonable regardless of the amount of time given.

    7. I shall never forget that the probability of a miracle, though infinitesmally small, is not exactly zero.

    8. If at first I don't succeed, there is always next year.

    9. I shall always decide not to decide, unless of course I decide to change my mind.

    10. I shall always begin, start, initiate, take the first step, and/or write the first word, when I get around to it.

    11. I obey the law of inverse excuses which demands that the greater the task to be done, the more insignificant the work that must be done prior to beginning the greater task.

    12. I know that the work cycle is not plan/start/finish, but is wait/plan/plan.

    13. I will never put off until tomorrow, what I can forget about forever.

    14. I will become a member of the ancient Order of Two-Headed Turtles (the Procrastinator's Society) if they ever get it organized.

  5. Oh thank you, thank you, T!
    I am going to needlework this and frame it and hang it on my office wall when I get a spare minute, amybe tomorrow or thereabouts.

  6. I came across this post while procrastinating.... I'm a week late with a draft paper and for me that's still good. The only thing I can't procrastinate over is lecture preparation, as the terror of standing up at a set time with nothing to say overrides the terror of actually starting work.

    But for we procrastinators, tomorrow is another day....

  7. I hear you, Jenny!
    I've managed another day of it in this stormy and snow-locked place. I baked some great home-made bread, knitted, and watched two more movies while the work festered and rotted one floor up.
    Yes for you that would be awful, standing in front of your avid students with nothing to say. Keeps you on your toes!


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