Confessions of a Procrastinator
By Kathryn Holmes
I always found procrastinators frustrating. “Make a decision!” “Just do it!” Then one day I realized I was one!
Hi, my name is Kathi, and I’m a procrastinator.
I have four major projects on my to-do list and a few smaller ones that are constant reminders of jobs undone. The weightiest ones have been on the list from between two to ten years. I have now come to the point where I have exhausted all my creativity in finding excuses for not tackling them. They sit stagnant on my to-do list.
It’s not just the big things that I procrastinate about. A few months ago I bought a new car. It wasn’t until it rained that I decided to pull out the manual and figure out how to work the back and front windshield wipers. Last weekend I had occasion to drive at night—which I don’t often do. I took a dark and relatively vacant highway heading about 100 miles west of the city. The clouds covered any reflection from the moon. I kept squinting to see the lane lines. I fussed around with the left-hand stick and got a little sun image on my dashboard. I had thought that meant the bright lights were on, but I felt I had to use them in order to see. Fumbling around with the light shift, I then found the actual bright lights. I was halfway to my destination when I realized I had been driving with only my parking lights on. I’m thinking I should actually read the manual. When my husband gets a gadget in the mail he immediately looks for the instructions and actually reads them. But, I don’t have time to read the whole manual for the car. I’m busy reading my next book.
The project residing the longest on my to-do list is my photos. It doesn’t help that I inherited my mother’s photos when she passed away. I did make an attempt to arrange them about five years ago. Then life got in the way. I needed the dining room table for company. Spring was coming and I wanted to be outside, not working on projects that kept me inside. Another winter passed. Then another. I can’t start until I’m ready to make an impact on the job. In the meantime, another winter is stealing away.
Last year I ordered recipe-storing software. I was anxious to save my recipes when I changed to a new computer. I actually printed out the software directions and found the information I needed. I’ve entered my favorite recipes, but still have dozens more needing to be entered. As long as I have my favorites, there just doesn’t seem to be a rush.
After writing three books I decided my next writing challenge would be a novel. I spent two years thinking of a plot. One day an idea hit me. The story has kept the novel writing idea alive. But, writing a novel is a big task. So I decided to get some writing software to help me coordinate this project. The software has more features than I will ever need. Delving into it seemed overwhelming. Where do I start? I’ve been told the tutorial takes about two to three hours just to go through it. I have not found the time to allocate to this project between walking the dog, going to lunch, and exercising at the pool.
Yes, Nolan Bushnell, I know that “The ultimate inspiration is the deadline.” But, I have no deadlines. I’m retired. I have the time to do whatever I want, and it seems I want to sit in my recliner with the dog on my lap, reading one book after the other. Maybe I’ll just give myself an arbitrary deadline. And if I don’t meet the deadline, I’ll just move it out further… Thanks to my computer I can always cut and paste if I get distracted.
“The more that you read, the more things you know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go!” Thank you, Dr. Seuss, for