Some people mistake procrastination as a symptom of laziness, but I believe it to be a byproduct of fear. In the simplest sense, procrastination is a form of protection, or self-preservation. If I’m unsure that I will be successful in doing something, I’ll put off doing it to pacify a fear of failure. If I feel that something will be unpleasant, painful (emotionally or physically), or challenging, I’ll table it for later to spare myself the agony in the moment.
Picasso said, “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”
Will my soul be tortured eternally in the hereafter if, once I die, my laundry is found clean, yet unfolded? Unlikely.
Though procrastination will not directly kill me, nor will it threaten my legacy, it does prevent me from getting things done, and from being able to live my life to the fullest every day. Plus, if I’m going to distract myself from the task at hand, I need to have something to be distracted by. These are seven ways that distractions are slowly, and with cunning calculation, effing with my ish.
1. My house is now filled with ugly crafts
One day I decided that I enjoy doing crafts. Coincidentally, I decided this on a day when I had 1200 words left to write and three hours to do so. Because I discovered that crafting was an excellent way to avoid my obligations, there are now really poorly woven dream catchers and handmade ashtrays all over my place. I will sell you one for $5.
2. I rarely get invited to things that have definite start times
Leaving the house can be tricky. You have to brush your hair, put on clothes that are not yoga clothes unless you are going to yoga, find your keys, and exchange pleasantries with others. Because of this, I can find a million reasons to stay in my house longer than I should. “Sorry I missed your son’s bris, the grout in my bathtub was looking grey this morning, and I couldn’t very well just leave it that way.” Eventually, people just stop inviting you to things like movies, dinners, and circumcisions, because 9 times out of 10, you’re never even close to being on time.
3. My* Internet bill is THROUGH THE ROOF
When you’ve run out of yarn for crafting, the next best thing to do is masturbate. Toss on a little Internet porn, and you’ve got yourself at least a half-hour of pure, uninterrupted responsibility-dodging. I call this procrasturbating. The trouble with this is that even the free stuff costs money in a roundabout way. Eventually, a notice will come to “your” house stating that you’ve exceeded your monthly usage plan, and you owe dollars.
*It’s my neighbor’s Internet bill. I’m going to eventually pay him back with the small fortune I make from the crafts I sell.
4. I can never wear what I want
I have such a love/hate relationship with clothing. I love having it. I love wearing it. I love washing it. But folding it, hanging it, and putting it away is SUCH a pain. So I just don’t. Because of this, it’s usually left in heaps on my floor, and because of this I can never find what I want when I want it. So when you see me wearing a wool curling sweater in August, do not believe me when I tell you that “the air conditioning bothers me” because that’s a lie. It was the only article of clothing on a hanger. And I’m probably super hot.
5. I’m still smoking
I still smoke because, duh, I’m always “gonna quit next week” and I never do. Plus, every time I think about quitting, I feel compelled to make an ashtray (see above) and then I just get confused.
6. I miss out on awesome opportunities because I forget the world isn’t running on CST [Carli Standard Time]
What do you MEAN the offer is no longer valid?! I got this coupon in June of 2013, and I cannot see why it would no longer be good for a free soft serve cone! What do you MEAN you’re married?! Wasn’t it just two Christmases ago that you asked me out for appetizers and drinks?! How on earth did you manage to meet, wed, and procreate with someone else since that time?! The moral of the story is that everything has an expiration date, and opportunities (as well as attractive, employed, well-mannered men) wait for no one.
7. I’m writing about procrastination
I was going to write a detailed thesis about how my enmeshed relationship with my mother has in some way impacted my ability to achieve and maintain true intimate bonds with anyone other than myself… But when I sat down to write it on Monday I remembered that my Tupperware drawer was in disarray, and then it was today, and so.