field guide to procrastinators



procrastinators 2

Today is Day Two of NaBloWriMo and so in honor of that – I bring you the cheap and easy posting device:  The List.

Today’s List – Procrastination

The List Maker:  I’m starting with this one because I am making… a list!
This post is essentially an “I can’t think of anything to post today and I’m only into Day 2 of NaBloWriMo!  Because my muse is missing, I stole someone else’s cartoon and created this snarky and amusing blog post.
I love lists.  Year end lists (see space here come late December), grocery lists (with their seductive promise of well-planned, nutritious and delicious meals), to-do lists (I will achieve my goals, in order of importance!) , vacation packing lists (no more over-packing or having to run to Target because I forgot my bathing suit)…  This is a list of many ways to procrastinate.   If you look at this illustration, you will find The List Maker right up top!  Maybe not my first go-to procrastination behavior, but it’s one I can return to over and over again.

I am rarely The Cleaner, because cleaning is often why I am procrastinating.  I will do just about anything, short of debasing myself (well maybe just a little bit of debasement) to avoid using my vacuum.   But, I’ve convinced myself, many, many times that if only my desk were organized and clean – piles of paperwork sorted and dealt with – then I could tackle just about anything.

I am very often The Panicker.  Nothing like some procrastination-induced anxiety to paralyze any possible chance of productivity that may have quietly existed down there in the murky depths of the long shot that I’d actually get to my scheduled tasks.   Xanax anyone?  It’s a twofer, it relieves the anxiety, while gently killing motivation.  Better living through pharmaceuticals, people.

The Napper:  Ahh, nothing beats a restful, indulgent nap in the middle of the day.  Tell yourself that a “power nap” will energize and revitalize you – get you back on your game and ready to move mountains.  (mountains of paperwork?  Laundry? Veggies from the farm co-op that must be prepped and cooked before they putrefy?)  The sad truth is that once you give in to the siren call of the couch, the 15 minute power nap often morphs into “holy hell, how did I sleep for three hours???”

The Sidetracker: – Wouldn’t you rather “work” on the fun thing instead of the more urgent thing?  I absolutely need to write that incredibly time sensitive proposal due tomorrow, but I’d much rather rearrange the pretty glassware on the dining room shelf.  It’s something that needs doing, right?  Doesn’t my dining room look so pretty?

The Social Sharer:  Can you say, “time suck”?  We’ve hit my personal Achilles heel.  Is there a twelve step program for Facebook?  I’ve lost countless hours of my life catching up on the carefully edited to look fabulous lives of my best buds from Jr. High, none of whom I’ve actually seen in 30 years.  Facebook can also serve as a very special RSS feed – just look at the intelligent and up to date, must read articles my clever friends are reading.  I, too must read them, immediately.

Pinterest?  Well, that (and Tumblr) are feeding my craving for creativity.  The hours I’ve spent re-pinning and re-blogging would boggle your mind.  I love to play with pretty pictures, pretend I’m going to cook the amazing recipes I find, clothe my children in astronomically over-priced clothing they will wear while staying clean, their perfect hair never once mussing; planning incredible tropical vacations to pristine beaches on a tiny island off of Thailand; all while pinning  witty, urbane and unique funny or deeply meaningful words set to the perfect photo, using an obscure font for artistic emphasis.   Do you feel the irresistible urge to learn how to create your own GIFs to post on your unbearable hipTumblr?  Made from screen caps from your favorite movies and TV shows?  Just that learning process alone will kill hours if not days of your life you will never, ever get back.  And Twitter?  Following authors, news sources, celebrities and fictional characters not only kills hours of my day, but it gives me a feeling of being in the know. I take these gems and re-post them on my Facebook or Tumblr.  It’s cool to know the next hot meme before it goes viral.  That’s so meta.

The Internet Researcher:  the other name for internet research is “falling down the rabbit hole”.  Bow in awe of where Google can send you.  I love information and trivia, so this one is often a winner.  Ding! Ding! Ding!  Before I know it, it’s dark out, but I’ve learned more than you’d ever want to know about Hemingway’s six-toed cats.  I totally forgot what piece of information I’d been chasing in the first place, but it had nothing to do with Hemingway, Key West, or cats.

The Snacker: how many times in one day can you fill a small bowl with chips?  The small bowl is for portion control, but in order to avoid the work at hand, it must be filled five times in an hour and a half.  Standing at the fridge, door wide open as you stare inside, hoping to find something deliciously new and different that wasn’t there the last seven times you abandoned your work to look – this is another snacking/procrastinating gambit.  Not good for work or fitting into your size eight jeans.

The Gamer:  From Farmville (so two years ago!) to Friends with Words, to Candy Crush, via WiFi or 3G,  at home or in the car, waiting in or holding up a line, on a lap top or mobile device, these will suck up your time and often your money.  (aside comment – don’t you love spending money on imaginary, intangible items that don’t really exist except online?)  You could hijack your kids’ Wii or Playstation.  Even their DS can kill time on the go.  Is it really a good thing to prank your kid on his Minecraft server or destroy her on Grand Theft Auto?  (and oh my god, what are you doing letting them play Grand Theft Auto?  What will the other mommies think???)

The Watcher:  DAMN YOU, NETFLIX!!!
(It’s like Kryptonite to me).

The Delegator: a time honored way to avoid your work.  Farm it out, baby.  We all know that special person who is so busy delegating all their assignments,  then sits back while watching  others complete those tasks.   A true delegator will not only divvy up the work, they will spend hours creating charts and lists of who should be doing what.  It takes uncommon skill set to so efficiently procrastinate while ensuring the timely completion of any project or work set before you.  Go for it.   Your boss will be duly impressed .  Especially since she plunked down, err, delegated that pile of work into your in-box in the first place.

The Perpetuator:  I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.   In other words, hasta mañana, mi amigo.

So thanks for reading.  I’m off to vacuum.  After I check out the pictures of my high school boyfriend’s new wife on Facebook.  (really?  look at that hair color, who does she think she is kidding?)  Have I taken my turn on the three Words with Friends games I’m playing?  I need to do that, and post it so everyone will see what a brilliant vocabulary I possess!  Then I think I’ll head over to Pinterest to check out a recipe using kale for dinner tonight.  What’s the best way to store the kale in the fridge for maximum freshness, anyway?  I’ve gotta look that up.  Yawn, (I was up so late last night watching the third season of Homeland) maybe after I take a well-deserved nap.  Oh, damn, I can’t nap when the couch is covered with folded laundry that needs to be put away.  OMG, I am never going to get this all done – aaauuuggghh!   I need to figure out exactly what needs doing, and what can be relegated to the B list.  Look at the clock, it’s almost time to get the kids off of the school bus – I might as well wait until after they go to bed.


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