Procrastination

July 2007

 

With the help of procrastination and laziness, I get lots of stuff done. I use procrastination as my time management system. I have a prioritized mental list of the things I need to complete. But I rarely complete tasks in priority order because motivation is required before a task can be initiated. I do little things while putting off the big things. But a great deal gets done because all those little things add up.

 

Hereís a good example of a highly productive weekend day, fueled by procrastination and laziness. I work on my quilt to put off finishing this article. I watch two Gary Cooper movies while I quilt. By noon I get so hungry I have to go downstairs to cook lunch. Iím too lazy to walk back upstairs while lunch cooks, so I decide to put that coat of polyurethane on the bi-fold door that I set on the kitchen floor a few days ago for just that purpose. Then I put the dogs in the basement so I can eat lunch in peace, and while Iím down there I put a load of laundry in the washer. I go back upstairs to eat and then quilt, and after a while decide the dogs need to go outside again. I want to keep an eye on them while theyíre in the yard, so decide to wash the dishes so I can watch them through the window. Then we all go back upstairs to finish the quilt and watch another Gary Cooper movie. When I need a little break, Iíll do some more laundry, finish this article, and put the second coat on that door.

 

By the end of the day, this article and the quilt will be finished, the dogs will be tired, the laundry will be done, the door will be dry, and I will have had the pleasure of six hours spent with Gary Cooper.

 

My best use of procrastination was the time I accidentally tiled my bathroom floor. I had a few extra hours before heading over to see a play. I decided to rip out the old flooring to use up the time. That went so quick that I started putting down the new tiles. I missed the play. Luckily, I made it to the performance the following day and the play was all the better because I sat there feeling very efficient and productive.

 

Now if I could only get last yearís taxes done before my extension runs out. Oh, and one more thing. The number of little tasks one completes is directly proportional to the priority level of the big task that is being avoided.