Why I Don’t Procrastinate

by Abby on March 30, 2012

Greetings from Florida postcardWhen I was in elementary school, we used to go visit my grandparents in Florida every year during our winter vacation. February in Connecticut was cold, gray, and dreary. I can’t tell you how much I looked forward to a sun-filled week of tennis and swimming, oranges and palm trees, not to mention unlimited access to my grandparents’ junk food-stocked fridge. I used to doodle flamingos and sunglasses in the margins of my notebooks, and daydream about driving my grandfather’s golf cart and those little lizards that would skitter past the edge of the pool.

One year when I was in, oh, maybe 4th grade, it came to my teacher’s and subsequently my parents’ attention that I had not been doing my weekly spelling homework. I don’t remember why, but it was probably because I found it boring and was annoyed I had to do it at all and therefore ignored it, hoping it would just go away. You know, the same way I feel now about doing my taxes and potty training my children.

Well, the spelling homework did not go away. In fact, it multiplied. So by the time Feb. vacation rolled around, I had a big fat stack of incomplete assignments staring me in the face. The stack came with us to Florida, where I sat at my grandparents’ patio table beside the pool every day laboriously copying down words like “topple,” “jogging,” and “buses,” and using them in complete sentences while my brother lounged around carefree in the sun. While he got a tan, I got writer’s cramp. It was brutal, people. BRUTAL.

To this day, I do not procrastinate. If I have a deadline or obligation hanging over me, I cannot rest until it’s done. (Except for laundry and cleaning. I have no problem ignoring that.) This week I have to read and critique the essays my students wrote. Today I kinda wanted to go to the gym, maybe finish a book I was reading, and hey, Twitter and email are good ways to kill a morning. I could always do the essays this weekend.

But what if it’s nice out and my husband wants to take the boys to the park and I don’t feel like sitting inside at my computer on a beautiful spring day? Or what if the neighbors invite us over for an impromptu barbecue? And I need to find some shoes to go with that outfit I’m wearing to that thing, and did I buy that baby gift yet?

I could wait until Monday to tackle the essays. But then I’ll wake up and remember it’s spring break. How can it be April already? And the kids are off school ALL week. They’ll want to go places and do things and next weekend’s Easter so we’ll have to dye eggs and get ready for that.

I guess I’ll have to squeeze in some work during my 3yo’s nap. IF he naps, which he probably won’t because his brother will be home. And my 5yo will be bored sitting around the house all afternoon so he’ll be pestering me for something to do, so I’ll probably end up having to put on the TV for him so I can work but then he’ll keep interrupting me for snacks and then his brother will wake up (if he slept at all) and want snacks and TV, too, and by then it’ll be getting close to dinner and by the time I’m done with dinner and baths and bedtime I’ll be too fried to critique essays and OH MY GOD IT’S WEDS. ALREADY AND I HAVEN’T EVEN STARTED!! WHERE DID THE WEEK GO?!

And that is why I do not procrastinate. The end.

P.S. Yes, I did Google “4th grade spelling words,” in case you’re wondering.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Ali March 30, 2012 at 8:09 am

I can’t relate to you here. In high school, whenever we were given projects that weren’t due until months later, I’d have it done by the weekend. And I started planning my baby shower the moment the hpc revealed the double line.

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Lou Mello March 30, 2012 at 8:22 am

I learned a bit about time management in college where you knew you had a certain number of books to be read, papers to write and mid-terms and finals. I actually thought it was so much easier than high school where they just give you daily busy work. I would stay on top of the reading, schedule time for reports and study and it all seemed to work out fine.

Now that I am in the real world and juggling work, Rotary, wifey stuff and all that jazz, I find that I work best by again scheduling so that I do one or two things at a time and simply not stress at all about what’s coming up in two weeks. I used to try to do seven things at once and try to get them all done and then they would just sit there until they had to be acted upon….too much stress.

I go by the three balls in the air theory….you can juggle and keep the three balls going and don’t worry about all the little balls falling to the floor.

Whew!!! Now that I have finished Abby, I can start on Angie….oops?! did I say that out loud??

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Angie Mizzell April 2, 2012 at 5:32 am

omg…

yes you did. 🙂

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Kelli March 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm

That last paragraph made me laugh. 🙂 Totally with ya on putting off the cleaning and laundry. ugh. That would be brutal to have to do that stack of spelling homework in sunny FL. Lesson learned for sure.

I tell ya, I have NO idea where this month even went. It seriously FLEW by. My time management as of late feels like it’s been thrown out the window. ho hum….

And can I say – I did a double take when you wrote 3yo. He can’t be three! Time flies. Geez…

p.s. thanks for the feedback on my new site – I am in catch up mode right now getting some new posts up. finally.

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Missy | The Literal Mom April 1, 2012 at 10:29 pm

I usually don’t procrastinate at all either. Except I did last week. And I’m going to pay the price this week. Ugh – it’ll keep me from procrastinating, that’s for sure!

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Angie Mizzell April 2, 2012 at 5:37 am

I’ve always been a big procrastinator… pushing the deadline motivates me. But I live in that chaos you describe. You’ve definitely built case for changing my last minute ways. I can think of 10 things I keep putting off, and they’re weighing on me and they are not even that important.

So funny that you Googled those words. I thought you just had an amazing memory!

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