Tuesday, April 15, 2008


On my last flight I picked up "Spirit" magazine and read an article that hit very close to home. I love to do things last minute. What about you?

"I set out this morning to do one thing--and instead I did 20 others. I folded my laundry, cleaned out the spice cabinet, scrubbed the toilet, and Swiffered away the dust bunnies from the corners of my apartment. I e-mailed my mother, Skyped my best friend, and boned up on my knowledge of zodiac signs, including the Libra (ruled by Venus, if you must know). I've scanned the Times, the Observer, and the BBC. I have five windows open on my computer and four of them have to with Britney Spears. But its' the fifth one that I can't bring myself to click: a blank Word document. I've had four weeks to write this essay. And now, with just hours to go until my deadline, I'm finally beginning. Just the way I like it."


"Without procrastination, I might know the meaning of hard work. But would I know the meaning of "bacn" -- a runner-up for the 2007 New Oxford American Dictionary word of the year? Not likely.

"But it's not just mindless trivia non-procrastinators miss out on. Some of mankind's greatest breakthroughs owe a debt to laziness. 'What do you think Isaac Newton was doing sitting under the apple tree?' asks Jorge Cham, creator of "Piled Higher and Deepr," a procrastination-themed cartoon. 'He certainly wasn't in the lab working. The things you do when you think you're procrastinating are sometimes a reflection of what you want to be doing.'"


"Of course, many of us still might resist flirting with the consequences of tardiness. But sometimes we need the pressure cooker to reach our full potential. While turning in a project a day early might impress your boss, there's something to be said for rolling up your sleeves and pulling the kind of epic all-nighter you haven't attempted since you last donned dorm pants and shower sandals. ... Which scenario would you remember more?

"Never has it been easier to procrastinate, and for that, I'm thankful. We should embrace our creature comforts--just not all the time. After all, we still need to do our jobs, answer our mail, file our taxes, pay our heating bills and call our mothers. In fact, I'm going to dial mine right now. It's at the top of my list. Just as soon as I read what's going on with Brittney."


kjirsti said...

I loved this line: "The things you do when you think you're procrastinating are sometimes a reflection of what you want to be doing." I certainly have my episodes of procrastination, but sometimes I think I error on the opposite side. I have a recital in a week, and it is driving me absolutely batty realizing that there are all of these things on my list, that CAN'T be done for another week. It doesn't make sense to bake the cookies, do the grocery shopping, or even hang posters.