Saturday, 20 July 2013

Master of Procrastination

Some days - most days - it's hard to get started. I don't know why. I seem to be entirely averse to routine in my life and that does mean that I'm not as productive as perhaps I could be. How do I feel about that? A bit frustrated with myself. A bit annoyed. I'm not sure if it's my own expectations that lead to these feelings, or the perceived expectations of others. Whatever. I do eventually get things done. Usually at the last minute - in a mad rush - with heart pounding and brain screaming "You can do this!!" It's not that I don't have enough time. 

NB: Everyone - yes, you too! Everyone gets 24 hours a day. Everyone gets 7 days a week. You see where this is going. So how is it that some people get so much done, and some of us so relatively little? 

I think the difference is probably that some people are masters at procrastination and others manage to be masters over it. A fine line perhaps but what a massive gulf if you juxtapose the behaviours of the two groups. 

Let's check out the Masters of Procrastination first (after all, this is my field of expertise). What do they (we) do? And how do we do it? Well I'm going to tell you what happens with me, and I hope you'll let me know later in the comments how you work it...ok...maybe we can help each other here. 

Masters of Procrastination

  1. Write lists - circle, colour code, brainstorm, add details, re-write, doodle, make a cup of tea.
  2. Dream - think about what it would be like to have everything done. Decide to do the hardest thing on the list. Can't find the list. Begin to look seriously for the list. Find a letter from an old friend. Sit and read the letter. Get out box of old letters to put it away and end up reading them all. Make a cup of tea.
  3. Find list by kettle. That was lucky. Worst thing on the list. Eat the frog first. You've all heard that haven't you? Eat the frog first. Do the least attractive thing on your list first. Ok. finger down list. Check emails. Oh yeah, I'll do that. While computer warms up make another cup of tea. Check emails. Answer a couple. Delete a couple. Unsubscribe from a couple (what was I thinking?). Notice list again. Oh yes, I have a lot to do today.
  4. Notice that the computer screen is a bit grubby. Go to get microfibre cloth from pantry. Pass the kettle - uh-oh! Make a cup of tea...and some toast.
  5. Clean computer screen (which is not on the list). Add to list so you can cross off. Making some progress now! Big smile! Draw smiley face on list. 
  6. Have shower, get dressed in clean pjs. It's a stay at home day. Oh hang on, I have to get to the hardware. It's on the list. Can I leave it until tomorrow? Yes, that's ok. Cross off list. Ah, that looks better. Write list for tomorrow. Top of list; go to hardware. Is any of this sounding familiar? I could go on...

Understand that it will be a little harder for me to do this next part, but I'm hoping you will all tell me about your great habits that show you have become the master of your own life and destiny and no longer (or never did) bow down to the temptation of  "I'll do it later". I'm going to give this my best shot.

Masters over Procrastination

  1. Get out of bed when alarm rings or 5 minutes before (how do they do that?).
  2. Get dressed in excercise clothes (which were laid out the night before).
  3. Go for a walk or do yoga/Pilates/calisthenics/gymnastics/cartwheels/swimming/mountain-climbing.
  4. Have a shower - sweaty clothes in laundry basket.
  5. Get dressed for the day (work clothes or home clothes. NOT pjs).
  6. Apply make-up. Dress hair. Smile at self in mirror. 
  7. Check time. Six am. 
  8. Have breakfast - muesli with fresh fruit and yoghurt. Freshly brewed coffee.
  9. Go to work or tackle today's list which was recorded on Iphone on the way to work yesteday and added to during the day. 
  10. Brush off distractions and interruptions with a steely determination.
  11. Get every job on the list done (always!) and create recorded  list for tomorrow (none of this paper lists rubbish!). 
  12. End of day - get evening meal out of the freezer (all prepared last weekend and packaged in single meal increments - neatly labelled - 7 different varieties x 4 weeks).
  13. Set out exercise clothes for the morning....How do they do it???

Perhaps I'm dreaming. In the end we all get from one day to the next, whether it's in a flurry of confusion with bursts of nostalgia and multiple cups of tea (and creatively flexible lists) or with regimented diligence and adherence to the plan, or something mid-way between the two. 

I've just found my list for the day. I've eaten the frog. I've written the blog. It's not really the frog. I was lying. Sorry. Now it's time to eat the let me check that list again. Pictures? On top of tomorrow's list.

Have a great and productive day everyone. Remember to leave a comment!!

PS Notice how I didn't give the wake-up/alarm clock routine for the Procrastinator - well I'm just not going you know, my phone only allows me to set 5 alarms...


  1. Oh love I love your blog Kerry and all you have to say! Its nice to know too, that I am not the only procrastinator! I seem to get worse the older I get too! X

    1. Thank you Hannah! I'm delighted that you enjoyed yourself here and I hope you'll drop in for a cuppa often :)

  2. No 5 of the procrastinators list has to be my favourite, made me lol. And so many cups of tea, so many trips to the loo, be difficult to fit in too many other tasks. And isnt a procrastinators life so much more relaxing sounding than a non-procrastinator. Im not sure which category i fit into - im just a very slow worker! Oh i dont know, reading thru the list again especially nos 2 & 3 and of course if you do emails, you have to do face book - and if you see a friend on fb has written a blog...Thanks for the morning giggle Kerry, love, K x

    1. Hi Kim. Glad you got to giggle. If we don't laugh we cry! I love that you referred back to the numbers. I had to go back and check. No 5? It's a favourite of mine!! Love to you too xox

  3. ha yes. when I do write lists and I'm not actually getting the things on the list done in my venturing about the place, I then add the the things I've done so that I can cross them off too. Makes me feel much better.
    very fun read Kerry!