Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Art of Deferment

My time management skills are funny- not funny as in haha she’s f@&!%$ hilarious, but funny as in pathetically and predictably ironic.   I have suffered with the ailment of procrastination, procrastination’s lover easy distraction, and their bastard child apathy for most of my life.     It is not a chronic condition. I’ve managed to be active and productive enough to stay out of the gutter, maintain gainful employment, avoid living as a hermit, sustain a social life, and sidestep the health problems that commonly plague stationary souls.

I am confident though, that this recurrent infirmity of mine is a slippery slope; territory in which one must tread carefully. For it will not take me out like an acute illness, but will rob my life in a more subtle way.  Even now as I sit at the kitchen table, staring out the window, admiring the beautiful day and gorgeous landscape, I struggle to resist the tempting allure of procrastination.

Today is a day off; accordingly my to-do list only consists of about 5 hours worth of mandatory/must-get-it-done work. I am self aware enough to note that all the things on this list are for the betterment of my own life (trust me, I’m not suffering under the yoke of an evil dictator).   Yet, there is plenty to do.  I was up at 7am, spent some time reading and reflecting, took the dog out to go potty, ingested some fruit and yogurt, and then revisited my list.  Confident that I could easily get the items done in a few hours, I was already envisioning myself wrapping up by noon and enjoying the rest of the day… No problem, this should be a piece of cake (Mmmm speaking of cake, I could really go for a piece of that delish B-52 cake from Beaches right now).   

But like most tasks that don’t have monetary, emotional, or tangible compensation attached to them, or a harsh deadline hovering over them, I’m finding it difficult to stay on track. This is typically the case whenever I am not mentally stimulated or emotionally invested in the specific undertaking at hand.   

For example, this is what has transpired since I first sat down at my computer to work on my project:


1.         Read all the news of the day on  The usual suspects in the Middle East are not playing nice again, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have reached a settlement with their divorce, the debris from the tsunami in Japan is reaching the West Coast, and I submitted an entry for an online pet photo contest.
2.         Cuddled with Riley over coffee and read a chapter from Sleeping With the Enemy (a fascinating book about the life of Coco Chanel).
3.         Ran out of dental floss, decided to swish & gargle with hydrogen peroxide to ensure my permanent retainer was clean.  Then spent the next 15 minutes on the internet researching to see if this actually works (Snopes seems to think it is an effective mouth wash and method of cleaning a toothbrush).
4.         Went through my list of Facebook friends and deleted people that annoy me.  While on Facebook, I also spent a moment oogling over the recent baby pictures posted by several of my friends (and I wondered if they had a group sex date that I was unaware of… how did so many of them conceive children at the same time?)
5.         Searched the web for hostels in the Italian Rivera for my girls’ weekend with Hannah.
6.         Feeling frustrated with my lack of productivity, opted to go for a run to get focused.  Took two steps out the door before concluding it was far too hot to run. Retreated back inside.  Did a few reps with hand weights until it interfered with my cookie eating (brought them back to the table with me for future use).
7.         Frustrated with my lack of exercise, I researched workout classes in my area, filling my calendar with the classes I will take each week for the next month… I’m confident I have burned calories just planning these future workouts.
8.         All the future exercise made me hungry, causing an overwhelming urge to plan what to make for dinner (even though dinner out is already scheduled).  Spent 20 minutes reading online recipes & making a shopping list, end up armed with new information to improve my lamb dish.
9.        Decided I was starving and made a snack, utilizing the remaining produce in my fridge. At this point I put the cookies away, but not before shoving two more in mouth for good measure. After the package is safely stowed away in the cupboard, I praise myself for my healthy choice.
10.         Enamored with my beautiful and colorful snack, I had no choice but to go outside and pose this perfect plate in the sunshine for a picture (see earlier blog posting about my food porn problem).
11.       Unable to ignore the thought that wine would be a perfect accompaniment to my astounding snack, I spent 10 minutes pondering whether or not 11:30am was too early to open a bottle of Rosé.
12.       Shook the visions of wine from my head and went back to my “to-do” list, fetching the paperwork I needed to get started.
13.       Noticed that after 3 hours of my ears ringing, the neighbor’s baby finally stopped screaming.  This baby is always screaming, I wonder if maybe she has colic? I had colic as a baby.  I contemplate if I would be overstepping my bounds if I brought over some Colic Calm Gripe Water. Hhhmm, do they sell that at the local pharmacy? I might have to order it online…
14.       Riley’s relentless napping and lethargic mass of fur started to really annoy me (if I can’t sleep, why should he?), so I retrieved his tennis ball. Dribbling it with my hand like a basketball on the tile around his head until I irritate him to the point where his giant head popped up, and he grabbed the ball with his mouth.  We then engaged in a few playful minutes of “hoops”.  
15.       Disappointment is ushered in upon returning to the refrigerator, as I’m confronted with the new reality that my pepperoncini inventory is lacking. This hurdles me onto a rabbit trail of thought. Why can’t one buy fresh pepperoncinis in the delis of US grocery stores, but in European markets they are sold fresh similar to olives, cheese and meat.  Needing an answer, I Googled my question and found it is because they are native to Italy and Greece, not the US.
16.       Something came to my mind that I deemed as humorous. I immediately had to email my dearest friend, Nicole, and share the brilliance.
17.       While emailing Nicole, I noticed a mark on my freshly mopped kitchen floor. I couldn’t think about anything else now, I had to go inspect, and re-clean. 
18.       Realizing it is now noon, I panic and sit back down at the computer, trying to get back on track. However, I login and see a sad story in my news feed about a life prematurely lost. Feeling emotional, I immediately message my brothers to tell them I love them.  I determine noon is definitely not too early for wine.
19.       Since I’m online anyway, I should go to and see if they have my beloved TOMS wedges back in stock.  Tragically, along with my lost luggage, my pair is still missing in action. Gosh, I sure miss those shoes.
20.       Heroically, I begin to work on my task. Only to deviate seconds later to contemplate how much time I have wasted. I wonder if I have adult ADHD?   Hmmm… maybe I’ll write a blog post about this topic?

I just need to get a cookie first.


  1. I never knew we had so much in commen. now throw 3 kids in and a lack of anything refind (I'm in South GA here) and you have my life. I envy yours today.

  2. 11:30 is perfectly fine for Rose. Now, if it was a Pinot that would be totally different. You have to wait until at least 11:45 for Pinot. ;)