Sunday, November 16, 2008

Published November 16, 2008
St. George Spectrum & Daily News

The other day, as I was studiously working on my geography homework, I noticed I had a new email from a member of my class. This student was looking for a partner with whom she could share the work of the time intensive field report project we’re all supposed to have been working on for the last three months. I shook my head in disbelief, wondering how on God’s green (and highly geographical) earth she ever expected to complete the project with only a week and a half to go before its due date.

You know that part in movies where people are listening to music and someone unwanted walks in the room and there’s a sound of a record being scratched and then everything just stops? There are moments in my life when I hear that scratched record and everything in my consciousness just stops and I’m left saying, “A-buuuuuuhhhhhhh” for a few confusing moments. This was one of those moments.

The imaginary music stopped for me when I realized I was not the person who wrote the email in question. How could this be? I am the procrastination queen! I wrote the book on procrastination. Well, I’ll write the book when I get around to it. How is it possible that I started working on this assignment only a week after it was given and will be turning it in nearly a week before it’s due? Who am I and what have I done with myself?

Being someone who thrives on personal change and progress, it’s always disconcerting when I realize I’ve made some big change for the better without even meaning to. The more I think about it, the more I realize I’ve been treating all of my schoolwork like this since going back to college in 2007. Not only that, but I also registered to vote immediately upon moving here, and I registered my car on time, and I got all the kids registered for school a month before the start of classes.

Somewhere during the last few years, I hit and surpassed a milestone, and I haven’t even been able to brag about it until now!

When faced with a situation like this, I do what any normal, American woman would do. I embrace denial. If I developed the maturity and organizational skills to stop procrastinating without even realizing it, the only thing to do is to start procrastinating again and grow and progress again…but this time on purpose!

Yeah, that’s not going so well. I decided to start by procrastinating while I wrote this column, visiting other websites rather than write. So what did I do? I ordered my husband’s Christmas present…with 42 days to go before the big day. Then I sent an email to my Ethics instructor, to get a head start on studying for this weekend’s big test. It seems even when I try to procrastinate, I avoid procrastinating.

I don’t know what this means for the future I dreamed about. Now that I finally have it in me to organize meetings of Procrastinator’s Anonymous, write my definitive work, Better Left ‘til Tomorrow, and go on a procrastinator’s support tour, I’m no longer able to represent procrastinator’s at all. Nobody’s going to believe a procrastinator who actually meets deadlines.

I know I should take comfort in the fact that my book, Organizing for the Reformed Procrastinator, is already halfway finished, but I’m too busy accomplishing things to notice.


Anonymous said...

You have every write to brag - congratulations :D
I found this article whilst searching for some advice on how to stop procrastinating...and being able to feel your joy is wonderfully uplifting. I hope that some day I will be able to look back and feel the same way, finding it equally difficult to waste time! haha
For now, I'm just going to try my best every day and with a little bit of luck *fingers-crossed* and a lot of effort... I'll get there :)

Congrats again - you deserve it, you horribly constructive person ;D