The misunderstood beauty of Procrastination

Procrastination is a beautiful thing.

Quit rolling your eyes! I am *not* rationalizing. It’s true. If I weren’t exceedingly accomplished in the fine art of procrastination, I’m not sure where I’d be. When I think of all the wonderful things that procrastination has done in my life, I just get all teary-eyed. Sniff.

Okay, maybe I am going a bit overboard, but it’s true that I’ve learned a lot of very useful skills from being a procrastinator. What are these skills, you ask me? Well, since you’re so interested, my loyal audience, let me share with you. In fact, I’ll even put these useful skills in bulleted-format, to make it easier for you to read. No, no, no need to thank me. I’m just helpful that way.

  • I know how to prioritize. Without procrastination in my life, I’d be hopelessly lost in a sea of responsibilities, without any idea where to start. Thanks to procrastination, however, I’m very good at assessing my duties and assigning exactly the importance they deserve.
    • Example: I was a latch-key kid from the age of eleven on. I know exactly how long a task will take me. Nobody understands the true value of time like someone who leaves EVERYTHING until the last minute. As a teenager, I knew that if I started putting the dishes away ahead of schedule, I had a tendency to linger. However, if I waited to start putting the dishes away until I heard the sound of one of the parental units’ vehicles coming up the driveway…weeell, it’s absolutely amazing how fast your hands can move when your adrenaline is pumping. I also know that if you take everything that’s out of place in the living room and shove it in a box, and then hide that box underneath your bed, it can look like you spent HOURS cleaning the living room.
      • Note: Procrastination and forgetfulness are a dangerous mix— the Parental Units were rarely pleased when they found boxes of important items/bills/vehicle registrations/tax returns/etc underneath my bed months later.
  • I can multi-task. I’ve proven that I can simultaneously pay my bills on the LAST possible day (over the internet)…while typing out a book review on a book I’ve never read… WHILE making half-hearted conversation with the boyfriend over the telephone. Hah. Beat *that*.
    • Speaking about that review… I’ve learned the tried-and-true method of reviewing a book you’ve never read. Are you ready for this? It’s great. (Note: You have to be a fairly-fast typer, as well as a fairly fast reader.) Okay, here goes:

      • Divide the pages in the book by the minimum amount of pages necessary for the report. (Example: a 200 page book divided by a 10 page review equals 1 page review for every 20 pages.)

      • A page usually fits approximately four or five short paragraphs (double-spaced), give or take. So, dividing that into the pages, that would be about 1 paragraph for every 4-5 pages of book.

      • A paragraph is composed of at least four sentences. So, dividing that into the pages, you must type one sentence for every 1 page. Voila.

        • And Dr. P, if you’re reading this—thank you for my “A’ on _Last Days of the Sioux Nation_. I’m so sorry, but I can’t remember a single thing about that book, even though I turned in a 15 page report on it. It had a pretty cover, though. Wait… I do remember something about the book. I remember thinking that one of the Native Americans on the cover was in very good shape… in fact, I thought he was downright hot. I also remember wondering, very briefly, about whether or not I actually deserved to go to heaven. I mean, there I was, reading this well-written (actually, it was kinda boring) book about the travesty/near genocide done to the Native American population by our nation…. and I was checkin‘ out the abs on a very-dead-dude. In fact, I just found a picture of it on the Internet. I’m sure you can all agree with me. Yes, I’m a shallow little Californian, but you have to admit— but that is one athletic Sioux-guy. Check out his six pack.


  • I’ve learned that somethings can be put off, while others can not. You can talk your way out of late-payment fees on a lot of things. You can even talk your way out of missing jury duty, if you’re persistent enough. You cannot, however, talk a library out of turning you over to the collections agency if your fine is over a certain amount. Librarians are a rather rigid sort. They take their books very seriously. I’ve also learned that putting of returning your library books can cause the late fees to accrue at a horrifically fast rate. Did you know that it’s possible to owe a library over four hundred dollars in late fees? Neither did I… until procrastination taught me that.
  • I’ve learned that you can NOT put off shoveling snow. Putting off shoveling snow allows that beautiful, fresh, fluffy snow to freeze into not-so-beautiful ice, and you end spending the rest of winter clambering over a brownish-mound of ice just to off your front porch. Winter snow becomes a lot less romantic when it becomes winter icky-brown-gunky ice.
  • I’ve learned that you can NOT put off throwing away the carcass of a dead, rotting deer. If you do, maggots will take advantage of your laziness, and set up residence. Would you like details? Well, tough. I think I’m going to share the story of my pet dead deer (Edward) at a later date. Edward was with me for six weeks. He deserves more than a passing mention.

Okay, I’m sure I can go on and on… but you get the point. There’s no way any of you can argue with me— where would I be without the valuable lessons taught to me by procrastination?

Hmm. You know what? I don’t think I want the answer to that question, because I’m pretty sure that the answer to “where I would be” might involve an alternate universe in which my credit is still good, my savings account is full, my bachelor’s degree is already hanging on my wall, and I’m driving a vehicle that DOESN’T have a cracked cylinder head because I put off taking it into the shop. I think I’m depressed now. Sigh.

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