It’s a little ironic – I’m sitting here procrastinating about writing about my procrastination. I’ll go get another glass of water. That’s better. It’s 11 p.m.; I’ll really can’t let it go any later. One friend has noticed that I’m often posting to this blog at 2 in the morning.
It’s not that the day hasn’t been full and active. I played tennis this morning, took care of errands at the bank and post office, renewed my driver’s licence, did my daily practice, napped, watched a bit of a tennis match online, talked to my extended health insurance company and lit candles for Shabbat.
But I’m just getting down to writing this posting. And I haven’t touched a most important task – packing for my move to Vancouver Cohousing. Next Friday the movers come and I have to be ready but I haven’t filled one box yet.
My earliest memory of procrastinating goes back to Grade 8 at McPherson Junior High School in Burnaby. To that point I had been a high-performing student. We were supposed to have prepared a science notebook for a parents night. But I delayed and delayed. In desperation, I played sick.
Somehow, I actually got sick and spent a month at home. When I got back to school and took exams I got B and C+ grades instead of A grades, and the sky didn’t fall in. After that, I gave in to delaying more and more. At university, I worried more about procrastinating over getting papers done than about the contents of the writing.
In the work world, as I noted yesterday, toiling for daily newspapers forced me to meet deadlines every day. Outside of work, being married to a non-procrastinator was very helpful to keep me organized. But we divorced 23 years ago, and I haven’t done so well on my own.
It has cost me. At my job, I chronically failed to claim for medical and dental expenses. I haven’t been late with my taxes but am always last-minute. Even now I haven’t taken care of all the paperwork from a change in bank account numbers and could face penalties.
Life is the choices we make and I take total responsibility for my procrastination. Scientists have been looking into this bad habit. A study by researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder has found that a tendency to procrastinate is affected by genetic factors, which are also linked to a propensity to be impulsive.
How about you? Do you procrastinate? Do you have strategies to overcome delaying? I saw this illustration.