Back in August 2013, The Daily Post posed the topic of the day as procrastination. Here is my response. Eight months later.
What’s the big problem with procrastination anyhow? I’m a huge advocate. I’m definitely pro-crastination. I try to do a little procrastinating every day. Actually, before I get on with this post – just a thought.
What exactly is crastination anyway? I guess it must mean ‘delaying tasks’. If I’m pro-crastination, I’m in all for postponing my deliverables. So logically, if I were that strange breed of person who sticks to the task at hand and gets things done well ahead of a due date, would I be an anticrastinator? And what would happen, if an anticrastinator and a procrastinator were in a relationship? Would they cancel each other out, as in mathematics, or would they destroy each other and the surrounding environment, as in physics?
Enough of this nonsense. I’ve got real nonsense to write today.
Don’t I get a lot of stuff done when I’m procrastinating? Sure, I may not get to the main event, the critical deadline item. But I do get to lots of other stuff. That kitchen drawer would never get cleared out if it was not for my dilly-dallying on the tax return. The lawn would not look so good had I not delayed completing my presentation.
In my defence – I wasn’t always a procrastinator. I used to finish early, but the dear Mrs Drew quickly pointed out that I most definitely should not be finishing before she was done. Hence the origins of the innate abilities of the male procrastinator – taught on the most critical stage of all, by the most critical of audiences.
When I’m in full-on procrastination mode there is no task too mundane for my attention. I’ve tackled the ironing pile, I’ve made beds, I’ve sorted through my collection of commemorative and US State quarters (I’m about halfway to the whole country – next time I’ve got a critical deadline I will let you know which I’m missing). My attention to the alternative is unwavering when there is a priority to be addressed.
And what about all those times when I did come through and deliver ahead of time? One of two things invariably happened:
- I would get more work to do to fill the remaining time
- With time to spare, the idle hands of the originator would review my work and dare to suggest changes
- Having reviewed my outstanding output, the originator would realise their original request was incorrect. My work would then have been entirely in vain.
Clearly, there is huge benefit to procrastination, and very little downside that I can see. People talk about procrastination like it’s a bad thing. Those would be the anticrastinators, no doubt. But I do my best work when my back’s to the wall; when the deadline is looming like a cliff edge. I’ve no intention of falling over that cliff, so I will dig deep and push through. I will never missed a deadline, and I will always deliver a quality product. Eventually. Hey, most of my blog posts would not be here if not for my own self-imposed deadline (post every Wednesday and Sunday, no excuses).
So it seems deadlines are the crux of the matter for procrastinators. If it’s not due until a week Tuesday, why start it right now? If only other people knew that fact when giving me a job to do, they’d short-change me on my schedule. I could then procrastinate at will, and still hit the deadline!
And if people truly understood the motivators for the expert procrastinator, they would leverage that considerable expertise. They would ensure they approached this procrastinator with a Trojan Horse. The outer wrapper would be another, diversionary task requiring all my abilities of delay and deflection. Within the horse, there would lie the true purpose of their mission – the real task for completion. I would be so intent on deferring the apparent requirement I would apply all my efforts to the alternative.
So there you have it. True irony indeed. A post on procrastination, delivered on time and budget. And eight months after the initial prompt.
Are you a procrastinator? Is this necessarily a bad thing? Tell all below!