Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Been meaning to post this

I've been wanting to write about procrastination, but I keep putting it off. This is perhaps the reason you don't see more published on the subject. I often wonder why there isn't a "PA" (Procrastinators Anonymous), but then I realize that it would never work as the people who need to be there would never come, because they would be putting it off for another time. Procrastinators are nothing if they are not predictable.

Here are some general misconceptions about procrastinators. The first misconception about us is that we are lazy. While it may be understandable that some people might confuse procrastination with laziness, there is an important distinction. What is the distinction, you ask? A procrastinator has intentions of doing things, while someone who is just plain lazy has none. See the difference? It is all in the intent, and while the end result may still look similar, there really is a *big* difference.

The second misconception about procrastinators is that we are always making excuses. We aren't, it's just that we have to constantly justify our reasons for never having things done.

The third misconception about procrastinators is that we are inconsiderate. Again, we really aren't. We happen to know that it will get done, we just don't know when.

Another common misconception is that we do this on purpose. We don't. Procrastination can actually be a genetically inherited trait, passed down recessively, of course.

So, how do you know if you are a procrastinator? Do you find yourself with a 'To-do' list that never gets crossed off? Are you constantly saying things like, "I've been meaning to....." "I'll get around to it eventually" or (my personal favorite) "Better late than never!" If any of this sounds familiar, then you just might be a procrastinator.

I know I am in good company. If procrastination weren't a societal problem, then there wouldn't be so many "Belated Birthday" cards to choose from in the stores. There wouldn't be "Last Chance" sales. There wouldn't be a need for fines for overdue library books, because there wouldn't be any overdue books. And there certainly wouldn't be expiration dates on coupons.

If that isn't enough to convince you that there is, indeed, a large population of procrastinators, then consider this. There are in existence "Procrastination Societies"; groups which gather other like-minded, well-intentioned, genetically challenged people together-- although one club claims that anyone attempting to become a member will actually exclude that person from membership (as, after all, a true procrastinator would never take the time to sign up in the first place!) They even have a newsletter that sometimes goes out when they can get around to writing it. I don't know, because I never get it-- I haven't signed up yet.

However, it is without hesitation, if you will, that I say, if I could say only one thing about my fellow procrastinators, it is that they are the most optimistic people you will ever meet. Think about it: Who else but a procrastinator can have so much faith that there will be a tomorrow in which to put off the tasks which should have been done today?

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