The art of procrastination

I’ve been a procrastinator from way back. I write a list as long as my arm of all the things I need to do, and pick of the easier to do first, often leaving what most needs to be done until the end. Even writing this is really just another form of procrastination. I’m not too hard on myself about it though because I always get the things done when they need to be done. Most often I need that pressure of the deadline to make it happen. In the meantime I often get a bunch of other stuff done that needs to be done.

Today has been a great display of the art of procrastination. It’s a public holiday here in my town, and helicopters fly back and forth over my head as they ferry the rich and famous to the race that “stops a nation” (it certainly stops my suburb as we are gridlocked). Last night after I had a great writing session I hopped into bed to finish reading a fab book (Storyland by Catherine McKinnon) and I realised I would have a whole day that I could lie about, read, write, watch Black Mirrors and write. I only have two members of my family at home and one of them is brain deep in VCE exams, so I knew I would pretty much be in my own brain for the day. I imagined I would probably crack 5000 words today (I have been known to have unrealistic high expectations on myself and this is also known as ‘setting myself up for failure’).

So here it is at 5.30 pm and what have I done? I slept in until 9 am and then decided to stay in my pyjamas (something I literally NEVER do which made it even more delightful). After a slow brekkie I wandered outside (still in my pjs, but had now added ugg boots and an inside out jumper) and planted the tomato, basil, capsicum, lettuce and herbs – it is Tomato Planting Holiday after all. I could write once these were in the ground, I decided. When I came in (it was now 11.30 am) one of the boys wandered out of his room and I offered to make a cooked brekkie, for him, and then also for his brother. Plenty of time to write still. Two brekkies and coffees later (as well as popping the slow cooker on for some mouth watering pulled pork for dinner), I offered to make them chicken noodle soup for lunch (easy! pop it on, and write).

No noodles. That’s okay, the dog needed a walk. A quick walk where I bumped into every other Kensington resident who had not evacuated for the day and I was home (now 1.30 pm). Not a problem. I would pop the lunch on and bang out a few words. I decided to be efficient with my time and cook the chicken for lunches for the rest of the week while I made the soup. Chop chop, choppity chop, and a BIG SLICE THROUGH MY THUMB.

Bandaged thumb in front of a saucepan on the stove

I’ll save you the gory bits as I couldn’t take a photo as the blood was GUSHING out too fast, but here is one with the big fat bandage on.

Fast forward to now. I have a massive wad of gauze taped to my thumb to soak in the blood. Steristrips to hold it together. And the pain has finally stopped. That little chop that was intended for the spring onion cost me another three hours of procrastination.

On the plus side: it is my left thumb that I barely use, I don’t have to do the dishes for a while, I had done all the must-need-thumb tasks for the day already, and I have allowed the next scene I needed to write to find a way in my head. So ciao for now. Words to write.

11 thoughts on “The art of procrastination

  1. Ah yes procrastination! I try every morning while drinking coffee in silence, at least one thing I have to do, then want to do then love to do, then again I’m easily distracted. 😬

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s some brilliant procrastination! Glad I’m not alone – and that you got your needed scene written in your head. You were working on writing all the day!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. i went to a session 2 weeks ago on things that get in the way of getting things done like procrastination (or maybe training sessions on how to write!) and on how to write more efficiently …’snack writing’… What i connect with is the justification self talk that accompanies it all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Snack writing is definitely my thing. It’s how I write mostly. And yes justification self talk is a thing, and a thing that I need to push past and replace with “just write something”.


  4. Oh Meg! How unfair! We had a talk from a writer this semester who said she wrote her (published, successful) novel in 20 minute bursts to & from work on the Manly ferry. I wasn’t the only one with fantasies of her falling in, clutching the laptop with the only copy.
    But I hope the thumb makes a speedy recovery!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It seems that most people write in bursts. I know that when I have an entire day stretching out for me to write, I stuff around until that final hour. The thumb is recovering and thankfully it is the most useless of all 10 digits.

      Liked by 1 person

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