Procrastination Tips Nos. 16-20

Procrastination Tip #16
All this criticism of federal government surveillance will disappear once we realize that we now have a way to precisely retrace our steps so that we can find our missing car keys.

Procrastination Tip #17
What picture book could’ve influenced a toddler Vladimir Putin to become human?

Procrastination Tip #18
Speaking of things Russian, I successfully threw away an old garbage can using the “matryoshka doll method,” which requires a larger garbage can that I wanted to keep.

Procrastination Tip #19
I think one of my toes is growing, but I can’t be sure without going through all our old family photo albums in search of a baseline.

Procrastination Tip #20
What the world needs is a poem that rhymes “waif,” “naif,” and “giraiffe.”

Come on, what’s your favorite procrastination tip?

Procrastination Tips Nos. 11-15

Procrastination Tip #11
Suppose local TV newsreaders spoke like that to their loved ones at home: “Thanks to you, honey…these kids…won’t go hungry…tonight.”

Procrastination Tip #12
Vampires. Werewolves. Zombies. Who’ll be the next horde to threaten the world with annihilation? (Did we forget to mention X and Y? And why is the list alphabetically back-loaded anyway?)

Procrastination Tip #13
Procrastination Tip #9 might not be true. It might be made up.

Procrastination Tip #14
Stretch a rubber band from your index finger to your little finger across the back of your hand behind your knuckles. See how long it takes to get it off using only that one hand, touching no other surfaces.

Procrastination Tip #15
Imagine the view of South Dakota from Geo. Washington’s left nostril. Can you see Old Abe a-tall?

Come on, what’s your favorite procrastination tip?

Procrastination Tips Nos. 6-10

Procrastination Tip #6
A pencil-sharpener app would be awesome.

Procrastination Tip #7
Is wool hair or fur?

Procrastination Tip #8
Arrange the fingers of one hand so that each of them simultaneously touches the other four. Don’t let anyone see you doing this.

Procrastination Tip #9
Seven of 10 people can think of more English words that contain “uu” than contain “aa” than contain “ii.”

Procrastination Tip #10
Suppose “the young man from Nantucket” were a haiku instead of a limerick.

Come on, what’s your favorite procrastination tip?

Procrastination Tips Nos. 1-5

Procrastination Tip #1
Convection currents in the air above hot coffee cause cream scum floating on the surface to ripple and flex. Stare as long as you want, the patterns formed will never repeat.

Procrastination Tip #2
Everything hung on the walls within sight is slightly crooked. Attempts at telekinetic correction will only make the degree of crookedness more pronounced.

Procrastination Tip #3
Thread count–it’s considered a quality-of-life measure in some circles.

Procrastination Tip #4
Seventeen of 46 Triple-A baseball teams are named after animals, 18 if you consider a baseball “bat” to be an animal. Most of the animal mascots are depicted as ferocious and/or stern in their team logos, even the parakeet.

Procrastination Tip #5
What is the Botswana-Pula-to-US-Dollar exchange rate right this minute?!

Come on, what’s your favorite procrastination tip?

Why I procrastinate

Why do I procrastinate? I’ve been wondering for some time.

I’ve long wanted to write a personal Hesitancy Manifesto, but I kept putting it off. I guess I wasn’t ever quite ready, or maybe I was ready but still asleep.

I rationalized that creating a formal declaration of delay implied that I didn’t take the principle seriously. Let’s face it, few people do. Procrastination is not held in high regard. Take Major General George B. McClellan. Take Hamlet.

People assume that procrastinators can’t pull the trigger because they fear failure. But it’s not that simple. Sure maybe you don’t ask someone out because you’re afraid of being rejected. But suppose that person accepts your offer–what good is that?  Acceptance means you can’t go out with other people equally or even more desirable. Why rule out all those exciting unknown prospects by picking just one?

No, it’s not that I’m afraid to fail. It’s that I won’t settle for a single consequence.

Considering all the alternatives, no matter how remote, procrastination is only logical because procrastination is all about preserving possibility. For an architect, say, it’s easy to imagine a house of many shapes, sizes, and styles before the foundation is dug. As long as she doesn’t think too specifically about working, or start working, or actually work, she can build anything. And as long as she has yet to act, the possibilities are endless and every imaginable outcome presents unlimited promise.

To choose a course and act on it is to set all other courses aside. Until I lay down my first word, all sentences are available to me. So I procrastinate to preserve my maximum potential. As long as I hold off word smithing, I can prolong the pleasure of anticipating what I will write. And when that day comes when I do succumb to the urge to string letters together…

Why, then, the work’s mine oyster, Which I with word will open. 

In the meantime, all that latent award-winning writing? I know I have it in me.