I was happy to have a dreary, rainy weekend. As a world-class procrastinator, I have been putting a lot of things off. I was behind in some projects I had taken on for other people and the deadlines were getting closer. Even though, like a lot of people, I do my best work under pressure, I had been finding lots of ways to put things on the back burner.
The rain was partially my fault. I had spent an hour Friday afternoon washing and vacuuming my truck, and I had it looking good, so of course now I’d had to drive through puddles whenever I went out.
But the rain meant I wouldn’t be able to pick up the windfall of branches or power rake the moss or cut the grass or pressure wash everything that doesn’t move. My neighbours have been doing that sort of stuff and I personally think they have started too early in the year because now their yards look better than mine. It makes for a long season of trimming and primping.
So after a healthy breakfast, I put on some easy listening music, adjusted my chair and fired up my computer. I was ready to work and clean up that file on the edge of the desk.
I prepare a quarterly newsletter for an organization I belong to, so I opened my publisher program, which I have just mastered and now find out it is out of date.
“There are better programs,” I am told but if they involve learning new procedures and processes, they are not easier to me.
I type in Winter 2015 at the top of page one, then feeling a tad guilty, I change that to Spring 2015. Maybe there won’t be quarterly newsletter this year. I’ll go for quality rather than quantity, so I change Spring to April because it will be April by the time they get it anyway.
I am ready to paste in the first article I had received and I click on the file to retrieve it. Now, what name did I save it under? After 15 frustrating minutes, I find it under the sender’s name, instead of the document title. Of course the next document I look for is saved under the title, not the sender’s name.
I have some pictures on a USB drive to go with one of the articles, and I know the drive was on my desk but everything from the living room was plunked on that desk during the carpet episode so I’m going to have to move some of that stuff first. But I need a coffee.
Now you can see why most of my high school papers came back “C-, Jim would have received a higher mark if he had handed his work in on time.”
Experts say the best way to beat procrastination is to break a big project down into smaller, more manageable segments, like “Saturday, finish page 1, Monday finish page 2, etc.” and this makes sense to me. After all page 1 is done now, is it not?
I push the all-important ‘save’ button and close the document. I think curling is on in a few minutes.
It’s supposed to rain the next day as well. I should be able to finish it. But if I eventually have to change it to Summer 2015, that’s OK too. At least that’s what McGregor says.