Athens Review, Athens, Texas

July 26, 2013

Will I always procrastinate? Let’s talk about that later

Joe Elerson
The Athens Review

Athens — I am going to tell you a secret that a lot of people don’t know about me. I tend to procrastinate about things that I really shouldn’t procrastinate about.

It’s not that I don’t want to do them – it’s just finding an excuse that I think is plausible enough to get me out of a situation that I need to get done.

In case you are not sure what it means, the Merriam-Webster dictionary refers to it as, “to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done.”

I have numerous projects that need to be done as we approach the start of high school football in two weeks with the start of two-a-days but right now my mind is stuck on getting the less important things done first.

When I talked with my mom about doing this column and that I was procrastinating about procrastinating writing the procrastinating column, she told me that she is in the same boat as me at times.

I don’t mean to stray away from the tasks at hand, but there are times when I have intentionally put something aside that I knew had to be done.

Take for instance, me and cleaning. Those are two words that don’t fit well into my vocabulary and my parents will agree with me on this one. They will tell me to clean my house or clean my car, but what do I do?  “Oh, I will get around to it.” And two or three months later I have finally gotten around to doing it.

I know this sounds like a terrible habit and one that I should break, but my procrastinating self says, “I will get around to doing that later,” and then later becomes “Well something else has come up that I need to get done.”

If there is one thing I am terrible at is multi-tasking. I have to do everything in my power to get the first project done before I get to doing something else. If the other project is more important than the first one, I will get the least important one done first.

The American humorist Robert Benchley once said, “Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.”

I guess call me crazy, but this phrase seems to fit me perfectly, because I seem to get the work done, but not in the time frame that I need to get it done in. I tend to get up at times and talk, and then go back and finish things that work up at a later time.

It’s not because I am bored with the work, but I tend to procrastinate, thinking I will get it done at a later time, because it will still be there when I get back.

I then notice when the clock is ticking that I have intentionally put it off and it has to get done, or it won’t get done, and then the panic tends to set in.

It is easy to get off-track when we have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest and other websites in front of us on a daily basis. I know I spend a lot of time sitting in front of my computer looking at other things at home when I should be doing more important projects.

A study about procrastination on the guardian website states, “Once concentration has been broken – by checking e-mails, for instance – it takes 15 minutes to get back into the ‘work’ state of mind.”

That is probably one of my biggest demons to battle during a work day – to keep my concentration on my project that I am trying to finish. I will either check e-mail, get up to get me a Coke, forget about finishing the project because I need to go to lunch or switching to another less-daunting task.

The tasks are always going to be around us, but one thing that is for certain is that it becomes harder to get things done if you keep on procrastinating.

You know, maybe I will find a way to get over my procrastination. I’ll think about that and get back to you later.

Joe Elerson is a staff writer for the Athens Review. He can be reached at jelerson@athensreview.com.