by Fancy Fairchild
June 15, 2013
I’m raising procrastination to a high art. Example: I am supposed to turn in my mileage documentation by the fifth of the month—it is now June 15 and it’s still in the folder, line upon line (64 or so) and I haven’t calculated the mileage on Bing yet.
Last night when I got on the computer to do it, I started playing solitaire. I finally won on the sixth try—then looked up other free games, looked up Bradley Manning and NSA articles on World Can’t Wait, tried to watch a youtube video, and browsed political and other blogs until I was exhausted and went to bed.
I finally threw away my book about overcoming procrastination. The program in the book required too much perseverance. Besides, it didn’t fit on the shelf crammed with books about being organized; “How to Get Things Done,” “Organizing for A.D.D.,” “Clutter-Free Living,” etc. I misplaced a library book about clutter and hoarding called “Buried in Treasures,” and didn’t find it for weeks. I had to pay an $11 fine. (This is totally true: I wish I was making it up.)
Procrastination puts me into a bummer mood, because what has to be done is always mildly irritating, like a squeaky wheel that needs to be greased. Trouble is, I’m too interested in other things to get the WD40, so to speak. Once this week I sat down to do the cursed mileage, and inadvertently left the t.v. on. The movie “Elephant Man” had just started, and it was absolutely wonderful (again). The sad plight of John Merrick drew me in. I was touched and teary at the end of the movie; the mileage papers, unfortunately, were not touched.
Paperwork is my absolute WORST. When the pile reaches a certain volume/mess ratio, I put it in cardboard boxes behind the couch. When there’s no more room, I put a pretty piece of cloth over it and try to pass it off as an end table.
Going through a box, I find many articles ripped from newspapers about interesting things I plan to write about someday, recipes from a magazine that might be good, a coupon for an oil change that has expired, information about an exercise class taught last spring at the local community center. A common theme emerges.
I never procrastinate when it comes to playing with my dogs, watching a movie, reading, cooking and eating a good meal—in fact, these enjoyable activities can become skillfully applied procrastination tools. Two positives about short term gratification are that at least it’s gratifying and also fairly easy to achieve. Now what is to become of that mileage that was supposed to be turned in three weeks ago? I just don’t want to think about it right now…