Dear Susan: I’m a Procrastinator

The To Do List

The To Do List

Dear Susan,

I should be working now but instead I’m writing to you. You see, I’m a procrastinator. Please help me stop putting things off!


Puttingthingsoff in Peoria

Dear PiP,

I’m so glad you asked. I am great at procrastination. Here is one thing I do to procrastinate:

I check Twitter to see if anyone retweeted my tweets and who new is following me. Finally I consulted my go-to cognitive therapist for help with the Twitter addiction. I had to go cold turkey to give up reading my tweeps’ tweets.

The problem with not procrastinating is that whenever I do plunge into a project, it creates even more work. *Take for instance the rare closet go-through. I end up with a pile to give away, a pile for alterations and the dreaded maybe pile, all of which creates more things to put off than I started with.

On a positive note, when it comes to tasks like answering mail, if you wait long enough, they no longer require action.

I thought it might be useful to see what others have said about procrastination.

  • “The sooner I fall behind, the more time I have to catch up.” ~Author Unknown
  • “If it weren’t for the last minute, I wouldn’t get anything done.” ~Author Unknown
  • *”Every duty which is bidden to wait returns with seven fresh duties at its back.” ~Charles Kingsley
  • “One of the greatest labor-saving inventions of today is tomorrow.” ~Vincent T. Foss
  • “There’s nothing to match curling up with a good book when there’s a repair job to be done around the house.” ~Joe Ryan
  • “You know you are getting old when it takes too much effort to procrastinate.” ~Author Unknown
  • “I do my work at the same time each day – the last minute.” ~Author Unknown
  • “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” ~Mark Twain

Now, if you still don’t want to procrastinate, here are some suggestions:

  • Prioritize a to do list. And then, try not to do what I do, which is to perform the easy, non-urgent tasks, so I can get the thrill of crossing them off the list.
  • Make a list of distractions, and then consult the distraction list to reward yourself for getting something done.
  • Decide how often you will allow yourself to receive a distraction reward from the above list; use a timer.
  • Try for peer pressure: Find a procrastinating buddy and check in with each other at the end of the day to see how you did.
  • Break tasks into smaller, more easily doable, events.
  • Eat some chocolate while you work to make it more fun.
  • Give yourself an alternative task that needs to be done and choose: I can either do my work to meet my deadline or I can organize my closet. At least you may get an organized closet out of this arrangement, though with the above *caveat.
  • Finally, just because something ought to be done, doesn’t mean you have to do it. Will you be happier embracing your Procrastinator and continuing along the slacker path?


Confessions of a Worrywart: Husbands, Lovers, Mothers, and Others                                                  Check it out on, Kindle, and Smashwords

The perfect book for worrywarts or anyone who enjoys a “neurotic, hilarious, poignant,” deeply personal story.

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