It’s been a while since I’ve used a quote for the basis of my Friday column, but Mark Twain’s words seem to aptly sum up the terrible condition that has been ailing me for some time now: procrastination.
As with most debilitating conditions, it started off relatively quietly and without much fuss. I have always been an achiever, I set myself a goal and then attempt to move Heaven and Earth just to reach it. No task was too big or too small for me, I would meet each challenge head-on and laugh in the face of any resistance.
At least, I did for a while…
I’m not quite sure how it started. It seemed as if putting a relatively small task off until the next day was no big deal. ‘It’s only the washing up, and there’s hardly any there. I’ll do it tomorrow,’ I told myself, before curling up on the sofa with a hot chocolate and a DVD.
Procrastination transformed from being a naughty little distraction to something that I couldn’t get off of my mind. The art of putting off until tomorrow what could be done today was addictive. I got a certain kind of thrill at throwing caution to the wind and rebelling against social norms. ‘Who cares if I have a pile of clothes washing to do, there’s always tomorrow.’ Well, that only works up to a point – the point being where you run out of clean clothes to wear.
Since living on my own, my procrastination has steadily increased to the point where, two weeks ago, I was forced to spend two hours ironing three week’s worth of clean washing. I had put it off repeatedly until the laundry basket had been piled so high that I could have climbed atop of it and touched the tip of the Eiffel Tower.
There are only two chores that I complete with any regularity, they are food shopping (because a gal’s gotta eat) and clothes washing (because my mother always warned me that you never want to be rushed into hospital with dirty underwear on). The rest of the house chores are inevitably left until I can no longer ignore them. I only ever empty my trash when the bin begins to overflow or the contents begin to whiff a little too much for my liking, but I have managed a work-around in that I never buy any fish products, therefore reducing the risk that I’ll stink my living space out within a day. This ensures that the smell of rotting fish doesn’t overpower my olfactory senses.
Before writing this post, I got up early and did my weekly grocery shop. It was only when I got back to my car that I realised that I was getting low on petrol (or ‘gas’ to my US readers). The forecourt was approximately 500 yards away (and which I would have had to drive my car to fill it up), I stood and pondered for a number of moments as to whether I should fill it up or head back home. With one last glance at my fuel gauge, I decided that my hankering for a cup of coffee was more pressing than filling my car.
I have promised myself that I will fill my car when I take Connor and Molly out tomorrow, failing that, I’ll fill it up on Monday as I have the day off from work. I already know that, deep down, I won’t fill my car up tomorrow or even the next day, I’ll wait until the last minute and end up forcing myself to get up even earlier on a workday just to fill my car before I run out of fuel.
Procrastination is such a debilitating condition and I know that I should probably be proactive and do something about it. I think I’ll leave it until tomorrow though.