The fine art of procrastination



The action of delaying or postponing something:

If procrastination was an art, I would be Picasso.  If procrastination was a sport, I would be 5 times World Champion.  If procrastination was a skill, I would be a Jedi Master. 

Unfortunately for me procrastination is none of these things.  It just tends to slow you down.  Some people are blessed with an ability to get on with things, make plans and stick to them.  They are the sort of annoying people who have clever little sayings like “a stitch in time saves nine” or “why put off till tomorrow what you can do today”.  They also come up with helpful suggestions.  Things like, “you might as well get on with it, it’s not going to get done otherwise”.

I have absolutely nothing against these people, in a way I actually admire them.  That being said their lives must be very boring.  Let me give you a demonstration below.

Task to be completed by one of these organised types.

  1. Come up with task
  2. Set time to do task
  3. Do task
  4. Move onto next task

Task to be completed by me (or one of my fellow procrastinators)

  1. Come up with task
  2. Move task into “planning phase” – this can last anywhere between 1 day to 2 or 3 years – depending on the size of the task
  3. Exit planning phase – celebrate with a trip to the pub or perhaps some Xbox
  4. Start second “planning phase” – very important to make sure the original plan will stand up
  5. Set time to do task
  6. Time to do task arrives.  Find something else to do – This could be anything really, as long as  it is not the task at hand.  Suggestions include reading a book, a nap, Xbox (you get the idea)
  7. Start to consider a different task, one that suddenly becomes much more important.
  8. Actually start original task (this is normally preceded by somebody else nagging you into it – in my case usually my lovely Wife)
  9. Realisation that the task is quite complicated, long winded, too hard, time consuming, might eat into valuable Xbox time
  10. Come up with excuse for not doing task – any excuse will do.  Some sort of injury / headache works well for me.
  11. Restart task (normally after more nagging)
  12. Finish task as quickly as possible. (when I say finish, a procrastinator will never fully finish anything.  All jobs are best left about 90% done in my opinion)
  13. Make a very big deal to everybody around you how well you have done to complete your task.

Now as you can see, a procrastinator has a lot more fun.  We will also start multiple tasks at once, meaning that we could be at any of the 13 stages above with any number of tasks at the same time.  The advantage of this is that we can always be avoiding doing something.  Sometimes I will avoid one task by actually doing another, killing two birds with one stone.  Of course a procrastinator would never actually manage to kill two birds with one stone, as we would most likely have moved onto another task before even picking the stone up.

“What the hell is the point of this blog post” I can hear you saying.  “What has it got to do with Ironman or training”.  Well the answer is absolutely nothing.  I should probably be getting on with something else!

In all honesty the point of this post is to make you, me and everybody else realise that when I actually do manage to get some training done it is against the odds.  I could easily be watching TV, washing the car, eating some cheese or a myriad of other nonsense activities rather than getting on with my training schedule.  

For those of you who are non-procrastinators, you will probably just be thinking to yourselves how lazy.  That I should just get on with it, get the training over with and get on with my day.  You are absolutely right.  For those of you who are procrastinators, you know exactly what I mean!



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