Procrastination redux


Silk’s Post #141 — It’s after midnight as I write this post. That means I’ve missed my assigned posting day of Monday and slipped silently, under the cover of darkness, into Tuesday. It’s my old nemesis, the monkey on my back, procrastination. And it’s bedevilling me again.

My tardiness this time is filled with portent. It’s a sign. Why? Because by missing my deadline I have landed on exactly the right day of the year for this post.

That’s right: today, October 6th is the one-month anniversary of Fight Procrastination Day. What better time to celebrate it than a month late?

Never heard of Fight Procrastination Day? Neither had I until I stumbled upon it in, of all places, a blog on the Psychology Today website, as I searched desperately for some fresh insights into why I always seem to be chronically behind, and what to do about it.

Of course, as soon as I learned there was such a thing as Fight Procrastination Day, that set me off researching its origin. It’s one of my favourite online procrastination tactics. Unfortunately, the beginnings of this observance are murky. It seems to have materialized from the ether and I was unable to find any reference to when it started or who started it.

I did discover, however, that Fight Procrastination Day shares its celebration on September 6th – which, ironically, was the day after the launch date of our 5writers5novels5months challenge – with Read a Book Day. Cue the theme music to Twilight Zone.

Just over one year ago, on September 30, 2014, I wrote my most popular blog post ever, Wasting Away in Mananaville, and shared it in the Books and Writers group on Linkedin. To date, it has drawn 5,847 comments. Seriously. To this day, people are still procrastinating on their books by spending time commenting and chatting with each other on this thread. I created a time-sucking monster.

But that’s procrastination for you. It’s a zombie. Persistent and unkillable.

It’s also a favourite topic for writers and other creative types – yet more evidence that procrastination is a widespread condition. Kind of a psychological pandemic. The number of analyses, explanations, serious prescriptions, folk cures and pithy quotes I’ve read on procrastination could fill a whole book. But here, courtesy of International Business Times, is a curated list of the “10 Best Procrastination Quotes” celebrating procrastination, published on the occasion of Fight Procrastination Day.

“Procrastination isn’t the problem, it’s the solution. So procrastinate now, don’t put it off.” — Ellen DeGeneres

“I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do the day after.”  — Oscar Wilde

“If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.” — Rita Mae Brown

“I’m a big believer in putting things off. In fact, I even put off procrastinating.”  — Ella Varner

“The scholar’s greatest weakness: calling procrastination research.”  — Stephen King

“Nothing says work efficiency like panic mode.”  — Don Roff

“If you ask me, reincarnation is just another way to procrastinate.”  — Chuck Palahniuk in “Lullaby”

“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.”  — Don Marquis

“Procrastination is like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.”  — Christopher Parker

“I think of myself as something of a connoisseur of procrastination, creative and dogged in my approach to not getting things done.”  — Susan Orlean

So, happy Fight Procrastination Day! Sorry I’m late.

5/5/5 challenge scorecard for the week:

New pages written:  10 (that’s all?)

Word count: 9,320

Rewrites:  None

Blog posts written:  1

Research done:  Many little side-trips

Best new thing: The golden fall light – it’s my season

Apple progress:  18 jars of home made applesauce; only 2 laundry baskets of apples still left that need something useful done with them (pies a strong contender)




2 thoughts on “Procrastination redux

  1. What better time (2/5/16) to comment on this post? Just wanted to say that I’ve been meaning to resume following 5X5 more closely, but I’ve been productive for the past few months. However, productivity entails, or presupposes, procrastination (Facebook exchanges &battles, trying new recipes, etc), and I think the ratio of productivity to procrastination is less than 1:1. One hour of productivity probably makes an hour and a half of procrastination unavoidable. I’ll try to get current again, but sometimes my mind just thinks up good ideas and passages, and the 60 minute:90 minute rule is almost immutable.

    • Welcome back Jerry! I’m thrilled to hear your productivity is interfering with your blog reading! I need to catch some of that energy myself … am still struggling to make writing my priority in practice. I thought I was going to escape a very time consuming club board position in November, but have made the classic mistake of becoming “irreplacable”. So one more year on duty, while I “train” 4 people to take over chunks of my job next year. Okay, that’s just ONE of my excuses, but now that I write it down, it sounds lame indeed! Tell us about what you’re working on!

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