My take on creative procrastination…


So I have what seems like a million and one things that I should be doing right now. Well not necessarily right now. After all it is almost eleven in the evening and even though the online bills need to be paid, there is a wedding to plan and I still need to purchase airline tickets for some trip or another, these things do not need to be done at this very moment. After all I could be sleeping. I’m not, but I could be. So not doing those things and instead doing what I am doing is not necessarily procrastinating. In fact, I would rather think of it as stealing time away from something that had I been doing it I would not have been accomplishing anything anyway.

So now that I have some extra time on my hands, I have decided to do some online research on the subject of procrastination. I googled myself or rather the title of my blog. I was surprised to find how many different takes there are on Creative Procrastination. Might as well start at the top of the Google search results and work my way down. The first one stole my dot com so we will skip that one. Just kidding, I’ll visit it later. Number two is a self help guru who claims that Creative Procrastination can be used stop the forces of evil. Okay he didn’t really say that but his idea was that you can use procrastination to break bad habits. He suggests if you are a gambler and you walk by a casino and simply say to yourself “Hey I’ll go there later,” then you are using procrastination creatively. If you are overweight and you see a big slice of chocolate cake and think to yourself, “I’ll just eat that later,”…Creative Procrastination. Wrong! That is called self control and as any experienced procrastinator will tell you, we have no self control! Did I mention my love of chocolate cake and one armed bandits? Moving on.

Number three on the search results was just confusing but then I stumbled upon number four, The Society for Creative Procrastination. I read the Basic Overview of their organization which states that they are “devoted to the encouragement of merriment and creative expression in the place of “productive” academic “work.” I thought, “Wow! They have an organization just for me!’ But then I got to Article II of their Charter which reads “A successful activity is one which produces the effect of causing the intended audience to stop and gaze and wonder just how it was done.” Now this is where the Society and I might have to part company. You see while I may not have a charter or a clearly defined view of what Creative Procrastination means to me, I certainly know that the last thing I want to do is to attract attention to the fact that I am in fact procrastinating. Other than starting a blog titled Creative Procrastination, people quite often think that I am accomplishing something mundane and necessary, that I am useful and they wonder what would they do without me. They might have to do whatever I am doing themselves. If they begin to think that I might be enjoying what I do they might try to take it away and make suggestions that I actually do the things that I should be doing. So I must not attract too much attention. In hindsight, jumping up and down in the kitchen last night screaming, “I got 74 hits on my blog today!” was probably not a good idea. Next.

Number five was a site that had a list of things that I could do while I am procrastinating. The first thing on the list was to make a list. A To-Do list. For me the last thing I want to do while I am procrastinating is to make a list and remind myself of all things I should be doing. Talk about inviting the guilt monkies to jump on my back and go for a ride. While there were a few things on the list that I would deem to be worthy procrastination tools like sharpening all my pencils, working on my website and researching my topic on the internet, the majority of things like returning phone calls, dusting, washing windows and cleaning out my file cabinets are all examples of things that I am clearly trying to avoid. Maybe it is a reverse psychology site?

slinky0502_small.jpegSo I have made it as far as the top five search results for Creative Procrastination and so far I like my blog’s subtitle best. Creative Procrastination: Just another way to avoid doing the things I should be doing all the while contributing to a feeling of self importance that I lack when avoiding the things I should be doing. Still, I do think that this topic will require much more research. I’ll have to set some time aside tomorrow between the bills and the wedding plans. Or perhaps it should take precedence. After all, I am feeling quite self important right now and that is all that matters. Right?


About Susan Warren Utley

Susan Warren Utley is a wife and mother living and writing in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Her stories are inspired by the unexpected twists and turns of real life and by her muse, a feisty Jack Russell Terrier who occasionally answers to the name of Lucy. View all posts by Susan Warren Utley

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