August 13, 2020

I May Get Around To It . . . by Brendon Marks


I’m a world class procrastinator. I should join Procrastinator’s Anonymous, and I will, someday. How do they get any members anyway? If someone were really a procrastinator, they’d never join, and if they join, they’re not really a procrastinator. Maybe they should call it Very Nearly Procrastinator’s Anonymous.

I suppose some are not really procrastinators; they just suffer from BFS (But First Syndrome). But First Syndrome is not the habit of always entering a room backwards or letting your husband take the lead; it’s the problem of allowing a new task to interfere with finishing an earlier one.

For example, you get up in the morning and decide that today you’re going to paint the fence, but first you have to have breakfast. After breakfast you’re ready to paint that fence, but first you need to wash the breakfast dishes. But first you need to put away the dishes from last night. But first, now that the cupboard’s nearly empty it would be a good time to replace the shelf paper, but first you have to take out the rest of the dishes.

When you start putting the dishes on the table, you run out of room and move the pile of receipts over to the desk with the rest of the receipts that you should file. But first you must label the file folders to make sure you put them in the right place. Get the idea?

At the end of the day if you even remember what you planned to do that day, you’re lucky. Compared to true procrastination, this is really minor stuff. There is no But First Syndrome Society, I was going to start one, but first I have to find out if there are enough people who would be interested in joining. But first I have to find out if BFSS is a name used by anyone else. But first I must find out if BFSS is offensive to anyone. But first I have to get a lawyer, because I can’t do all that research. I know there’s a BFSS in the phone book, but that’s the Bald Fat Sword Swallowers.

People procrastinate because they don’t want to do a particular task. Most people know the task is not going to do itself. There is no fairy godmother that will wave her magic wand and the job will be done. They put it off figuring if they delay long enough they won’t have to do it at all. Maybe they’d get lucky and die, catch a terrible disease or be kidnapped by a roving band of ruffians. Possibly the person who wanted it done would decide it’s not really necessary. Or the reason for doing it will simply disappear.

A healthier way to think would be, ‘Well I might as well do it, because I am going to stay happy, healthy and live to be 140 years old. Sooner or later, I’m going to have to do it anyway, it might as well be today. That way I can get it over with so that I can enjoy all the pleasures that life has in store for me.’

I really have to adopt that attitude. I think I’ll start tomorrow, but first I have to paint that fence.

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