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The Queen of Procrastination

Published July 06. 2013 09:02AM

Arnold Schwartzanegger is the Terminator.

RAID is the Exterminator.

I am the ... Procrastinator. Actually, I am the Queen of Procrastination. Let me take you to my land. And you must wear rose-colored glasses.

Procrastinators all over the world are given a bad rap. I ask you, how can a positive word like procrastinate have such bad connotations?

Let's dissect the word.

Pro is the prefix that means forward, affirmative, in favor of, for. These are all very positive meanings.

The suffix, crastinate, comes from the Latin form of crastinus, meaning of tomorrow.

Put it all together and you have a word that means in favor of or for tomorrow.

So, anyone who procrastinates has faith there will be a tomorrow. Sounds like a very positive outlook, if you ask me.

I'm of the opinion, that if I do everything today, what will I do tomorrow?

Even Scarlett O'Hara was a procrastinator. She said several times in one of my favorite books, "Gone With the Wind" that she would worry about this or that tomorrow. If it was good enough for Scarlett ...

Of course not all procrastinating is productive.

My laundry room is known as Mt. Kilimanjaro. Beneath snow-capped mounds of laundry, there is a washer and dryer. Working full-time and back to painting with a vengeance, dirty socks and underwear are just not a priority with me.

Now I'm not saying I wait until Harry is down to his last pair of his tighty whities, but he has been known to stand in front of the dryer waiting for the cycle to end.

Our class reunion is next Saturday. I volunteered to do the centerpieces and favors. I haven't even gone shopping yet for what I need to make them. But that's because I was waiting for Divine Inspiration for ideas. I have every confidence in the world that something will come to me before Saturday.

Maybe procrastinating accounts for the drawer-full of birthday and anniversary cards bought for friends and family that never got sent.

On the shelf in my bedroom closet is an adorable sailor suit, boxed and gift wrapped, bought for a friend's infant son, three years ago.

My Christmas cards usually get sent out around New Year's.

In an article of "Psychology Today" by Timothy Pychyl, he says that procrastination is emotional. We know what we ought to do right now but "we don't feel like doing it. So we focus on short-term mood repair: Feel good now, worry about that intention later. Short-term gain, long-term pain."

Well, that is probably true. I remember staying up all night to get my senior term paper done because, yup, you guessed it. I procrastinated. I was so miserable that night, I promised myself I'd never do that to myself again.

Fast-forward to 45 years later. I just got a call from my editor asking me where my column was!


Pychyl says the solution is to "just get started-anywhere on a task. The moment you think 'I'll feel more like doing this later' or 'I work better under pressure' (can't tell you how many times I've used that excuse!) recognize that you're just about to procrastinate-to give in to feel good ... Research indicates that a little strategic planning helps 'pre-empt that which tempts!'"

Here's a depressing quote: "Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried."

Boy. How many times have I said "If I don't get this done in time, I'm a dead duck!"

There are groups out there such as Procrastinators Anonymous because it is believed to be an addiction.

I think I need an intervention.

My mom calls it laziness.

I call it a charming quirk.

To the world, it's procrastination. Millions are afflicted. So I figure at least I'm in good company.

I'd like to belive I accomplish what's important.

I never forget to kiss my husband good-night.

I tell him I love him every day.

I say my prayers every night.

Now you'll have to excuse me. I hate to cut this short, but my editor IS waiting.

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