Procrastinate Now! Okay, later.

Bart Simpson writing "I must not procrastinate" on a chalkboard

Years ago, I went to see comedienne Judy Tenuta in London. She joked that her mother used to say to her, ‘You will never amount to anything because you always procrastinate’ and her answers was ‘Just wait…’. (It’s funnier with her delivery, I guess!)

Anyhow there’s a great article in the BBC News Magazine about procrastination.

Here are some reader submissions:

  • When we first got married, my wife brought home a whiteboard on which we could list the jobs that needed to be done. About a year later it disappeared. Just before our silver wedding anniversary, I found the whiteboard in our garage. There were about 20 jobs on it. None of them had been done – and most of them still needed to be done. Steve Swift, Alton, Hampshire
  • I started up the Stirling University Procrastination Society in 1980. It was a resounding success. Not one person bothered to return their registration form on time and we never got round to holding any meetings. Well done us. Yay! JohnB, Berkshire
  • In October 1987 a husband assures his pregnant wife that he will put shelves in a tall kitchen cabinet in order to make into a storage cupboard. The shelves are finally put in by our son (the “bump”) when he is 16 years old. Over the 16-year period I heard an endless line of excuses. I could have done it myself, but I am dangerous with drills and cables, so tend to leave well alone. After all, he was going to do it and turned down a joiner friend’s offer to do it when I first mentioned it. Sarah Clark, near Morpeth, Northumberland

And like blokes everywhere, I say ‘I’ll get round to putting that shelf up, there’s no need to keep nagging me every six months.’

What’s your favourite procrastination excuse or story?

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7 Responses to Procrastinate Now! Okay, later.

  1. Andrew Munro August 31, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    Excellent. I’ve seen that headline on the BBC site for a few days but hadn’t got round to reading it.

    • Matthew Stibbe August 31, 2012 at 8:22 am #

      I was meaning to read it properly for a while too! :)

  2. Jude September 1, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    I recovered from procrastination a long time ago. My problem is having about 20 too-many projects. But I work on them on a rotating basis, even if it’s just 15 minutes at a time, and eventually they get done. Part of the solution is doing the worst thing first. My brother, on the other hand, has never finished a project. He built a beautiful bookcase, but he never got around to painting it (I did it, after he moved). It’s like a weird mental problem. Even when things seem to be finished, like the stained glass window he built, those of us who know him realize that it isn’t really finished in his mind because he planned to do 1, 2, 3, or 4 more things to it. He inspired me to actually finish things.

    • Matthew Stibbe September 1, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

      It’s funny the way two people can have completely different attitudes to getting things done. I’m totally list-driven and dedicated to ticking things off but I’ll completely ignore anything that’s not a list. My wife, on the other hand, can’t make lists but seems to do an amazing amount of stuff.

  3. Dan Ray September 8, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    Not promoting myself, it’s just easier to copy/paste the link to my thoughts on procrastination:
    http://danraysucks.wordpress.com/2012/03/03/ill-do-it-later/

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