Avoiding Procrastination: How NOT to do it (*)

(*) With apologies to Alex.  🙂

If there’s an unpleasant task ahead, ask yourself these questions:  If I don’t do this, will anyone die or get hurt? Will it jeopardize someones  job? Will it ruin a friendship?  Will it bankrupt me? If the answer is “NO”, then chill out, have a beer, and don’t worry about it.

If you live alone, the dishes have to be washed ONLY when the mess starts to annoy you.  It’s up to YOU to decide when that is.  (Same thing applies to cleaning the bathroom or vacuuming.)

TV and computer time are best enjoyed when you “should” be doing something else.  Treasure those precious moments.

If you can afford it, just PAY someone to do the menial jobs you hate.  (I mean, why did you work hard and go to school for all those years, anyway? )

If you’re avoiding housework, just remember: doing a quick half-assed job is better than doing nothing at all.  And it will still make your place look tidier.

Don’t follow your dreams and quit your tedious white-collar office job just yet…unless you like Ramen Noodles and living out of your car.

If you have a to-do list, tear it up.  It’s just a glaring reminder of what you’re not accomplishing.

If the government owes YOU money, don’t worry about completing your tax return by the April deadline.   You can put it off indefinitely, and wait for THEM to contact you…so long as you don’t mind the Feds earning interest on your hard-earned cash.

A professor once told me:  a week in the lab will save you 5 minutes in the library.

Refuse to do indoor house projects until it’s crummy and miserable outside. (Lord knows, we have so few months of nice summer weather, especially in Canada.)

If laundry piles up, wear the same clothes around the house for several days.   If anyone complains about your B.O., tell them you’re being “Green” by cutting down on your washing, to save Spaceship Mother Earth.

Sure, you’re supposed to change your oil regularly.   But it your car is old, and you go a bit over 5000 km…well, it’s not the end of the world, is it?

Don’t pay your speeding ticket right away.  If you know you’re guilty,  let THEM settle the matter in traffic court and send you the bill.

If your Christmas lights are still up in June, then you’re past the half-way mark for the year.  You might as well keep them up for the next Christmas.

Don’t beat yourself up over a late bill payment.  The interest will cost you less than the Starbucks coffee you had this morning.

Nobody on their deathbed ever admitted “I wish I had organized my closets sooner” or “I wish I had written that thank-you card.”

Live each day as if it’s your last.  But only if you like lots of self-imposed pressure and want to burn yourself out.

Slack off at work, then rush at the last minute to the meet urgent deadlines.   Make your co-workers aware of the hours you’re putting in.   It will make you look diligent.   You might even get sympathy for working so hard.

Commit to much less than you actually plan on doing, and then do it.  You’ll look like a hero.

Don’t publicly announce what your goals are.  Remember, nobody can hold you accountable for anything they don’t know about.

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42 Comments on “Avoiding Procrastination: How NOT to do it (*)”

  1. Welcome home Friar. 😉

    Hm, perfect post vacation post….what about that unpacking thing? Does the vacation last longer if you wait to unpack? Can you savour it longer if your suitcase is left out in sight? Pretend your still on the slopes? Poor Alex… he’ll be all over this. LOL

  2. Friar Says:


    Oh, the unpacking will take a while.

    (I still have my Christmas tree up, actually!) 🙂

    Poor Alex! (I think Wendi’s going to give me an earful, too!)

  3. Just throw some Mardi Gras beads on the Christmas tree….. Seriously I met someone who did this…I think the tree came down a few weeks after that… but I was thinking at the time, the next time I saw it, it would have Easter eggs on it too. She liked festive.

    Wendi? Count on it.

  4. Totally and completely awesome. I admit that I practice 99% of what you mention here (minus the speeding ticket thing because it’s cheaper to pay it right away).

    Yes, it’s true, I’m a “good enough” kind of guy. It leaves me with enough energy to do the things that I actually love doing.

  5. I have two favourites.

    If you’re avoiding housework, just remember: doing a quick half-assed job is better than doing nothing at all. And it will still make your place look tidier. <– I totally subscribe to this!

    Slack off at work, then rush at the last minute to the meet urgent deadlines. <– mainly because I rarely have anything to do, so by leaving what I do have until the last minute it makes me feel busy and important.

    @Janice – as Alex’s sister, I have to applaud Alex on how truthful he is in his comment. 🙂

  6. Kelly Says:


    I love it all! The dishes especially, though I probably have a lower set-point as a bachelorette than you do. Laundry, though, in an apartment this small that kinda has to be done or walking gets tricky.

    Down here, we refuse to do indoor projects until it’s crummy and miserable outside—like disgustingly hot and so humid your clothes stick to you when you open the door. (No, I am not making this up.) That’s at least three months of the year, which is enough to get anything done.

    And I hate publicly announcing my goals (though I did tell you about one the other day). The minute I do, I just know I’m not going to make it. There’s something odd about that, I know, but I’m a quirky chick. *sigh*

    I go on procrastination binges, then I go on I’ll-never-let-things-go-again binges. Someday (wink wink) I’ll get that evened out. Or maybe I’ll just go with it!



  7. Karen Swim Says:

    Welcome home Friar! I do the things that are important to me and don’t fret over the rest. It was a hard lesson to learn (being slightly bent toward perfectionism) but sometimes good enough is perfect. Great post!

  8. UP- Alex IS impressive. Not to mention and all round nice guy. C ‘mon was his room at home always a mess? … we won’t tell anyone. It’s so refreshing to hear him talk about good *enough*. I’d like to see him take on Martha Stewart head to head. No Martha the pistachio green ribbon will be fine…they are out of sea grass green ones. We have better things to do today.

    I do the “just get it to the next step” thing a lot. Try to tag bases on a regular routine kind of thing. If all kinds of loose ends are nagging me, it is hard to concentrate on the paint.

  9. @Janice
    A complete disaster most of the time followed by a furious organizing session where I completely redid the room, moving everything about and reorganizing it all.

  10. LOL-I was thinking funny, there’s a sweet spot somewhere or perhaps a tipping point where messy meets that cleaning demon..I know we call it tolerance, but it’s funny to see where the set point is… and even funnier/frustrating when our significant others set point differs from ours.

  11. Eyeteaguy Says:

    I’ll write a proper comment later.


  12. Friar Says:

    I thought the Mardi Gras beads were used for..um…”other” purposes. Some people like to “collect” them, I hear. 😉

    Shhhh….don’t TELL anyone you adhere by Friar’s prinicples! It could damage the credibility of your blog. 🙂

    Deliberately rushing at the last minute is a great way to make a bored-to-tears job seem a little bit more interesting.

    I think publicly announcing your goals and holding yourself accountable is admirable. But I’m too chicken-sh*t to do that. I got enough problems keeping my own life in order. And I get enough flack from work, having to constantly justify why or why I don’t meet goals and deadlines.

    I love those two words: “Good enough”. That’s how I like to live. Sometimes we just gotta learn to let go. “Good enough” allows us to have balanced lives, without beating ourselves up for not meeting unrealistic goals. Perfectionists are never happy.

    I think if Martha needs a good boyfriend. If she got a bit more…er….”attention” from him, she’d probably not be worrying about pistachio or sea-green ribbons.

    I like chaos! It shows creativity. I think people who have perfectly organized offices and homes have something wrong with them.

    I remember when we were kids…our parents kept scolding us that we didn’t “pitch in” around the house, we always made a mess.

    One by one, we kids grew up and moved out. And the house was STILL MESSY.

    Makes me wonder, all these years…who’s fault, was it REALLY? 🙂

    Uh…okay. I’ll leave a proper response, later.

  13. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Please tell me you got the joke and it didn’t go over your head…

    You post was about procrastionation, I said I’d comment later, get it?

    Oh, never mind…..

  14. See so Martha SHOULD hang those beads on her trees and let the house get messy….

  15. Brilliant… especially the one about living each day as though it’s your last. That old saying gets on my last nerve. If I really, truly FOLLOWED that cliche, I’d never do anything except lie around the house. Who wants to waste time being productive 24 hours away from the grave?

    As someone once told Dad, “There’ll be another day for that… and if there ain’t, it won’t matter.”

  16. Friar's Mom Says:

    @ Housecleaning Comments

    Decades ago my mother-in-law was at our home for a rare afternoon visit. I was busy taking Wee Friar and his two younger siblings to the outdoor pool. The house was cluttered with toys, poster paints and various creative projects. Her comment was “When do you plan to clean the house?” My reply was “When the kids grow up.”

    Well the kids grew up. My life is full. Now, my projects are scattered around the house. I keep on top of a clean kitchen floor, bathrooms, and dust. But the fastest way to clean up clutter is to invite guests for dinner, or to go on an extended trip.

    I like to come back to a clean home.

  17. Friar Says:


    D’oh. To be honest, I didn’t get it. (Hard to tell when you’re kidding, sometimes, with your wry comments) 🙂

    Oh, yeah…imagine Martha Stuart at Mardi Gras, with string after string of beads around her neck.

    Bet you it woudn’t be too bad, actually. 😉

    You dad’s advice is sound. Someone should quote him in a blog somewhere.

    Did you see the Simpsons Episode, where Homer reads a book that advises him to live today like it’s his last?

    He just sits in the car, and sobs.

    @Friar’s Mom
    Our house may have been messy, but you were a lot more fun than Grandma.

  18. Hah! Earning Beads at Mardi Gras is like earning Scout Merit badges, only different. She’d be fairly competitive I suspect.


    Just imagined her at the Krewe Du Vieux… Still laughing….

    You know I was going to straighten up a little today, but nahhhhh. Thanks. Think I’ll just paint.

  19. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Have I ever made a serious comment? I’ll start a shorthand. If I post a serious comment I’ll put a * in front of it. Though don’t expect to see a * in a comment. It is my role and function in this organization to poke fun at, and make fun of the Friar.

    And to be clear, if I am nice to you, it means I don’t like you.


  20. Allison Day Says:

    “the dishes have to be washed ONLY when the mess starts to annoy you. It’s up to YOU to decide when that is.”

    … or, if you live with a significant other, when the significant other’s incessant nagging can no longer be ignored… 😉

  21. Brett Legree Says:

    I stopped in earlier today while I was procrastinating, but I never got around to leaving a comment.

  22. Friar Says:


    I find I do my best painting when I’m supposed to be doing something else!

    I guess that’s only fair. Someone has to make fun of the Friar…I make fun of everyone else!

    Hah! That’s exactly what I meant, by living alone. As soon as someone else is involved, you no longer have control over your own messiness! 🙂

    Looks like Francis beat you to it! 🙂

  23. Brett Legree Says:

    Technically I think I win because I held out longer? 🙂

  24. I think I’m going to procrastinate later.

    But really I just don’t care about apathy.

    Most days I don’t care but on the others, I don’t give a damn.


  25. Friar Says:

    I’ll let you and Eyeteaguy decide it, amongst yourselves.

    Though it sounds like he doesn’t care, at this point.

  26. Brett Legree Says:

    I think it would be more fun for the three of us to drink beer, myself 😉

    After about 6 pints each, none of us would care!!!

  27. Jenny Says:

    Absolutely hysterical! But I totally agree with it! no one ever regretted not cleaning on their deathbed! I’ll have to print this and give it to my husband so he knows why the dishes are piling up in the kitchen!!

  28. Friar Says:

    Yeah…go tell your hubby The Friar said it’s okay to leave the dishes in the sink for a while longer! 🙂

  29. Friar, Friar, Friar………….

    Has it ever occurred to you that you are a bad influence on cyberland???

    tsk tsk…

    By the way…your shirt smells…

    and I tripped over your suitcase trying to get in the door

    and I was going to make some coffee but you were out of groceries and there weren’t any clean cups….

    *shakes head, taps foot…*

    I would send you to your room, but I’m sure that is a mess too. What AM I going to do with you….tsk tsk…..

  30. (Hehe.. uh, oh… )

  31. Friar Says:


    Heh heh. I was wondering when you’d show up and send me to my room.

    Yes…I’m a BAAAAAD INFLUENCE. People shouldn’t listen to me, really.

    Actually, deep down, perhaps I’m just a lost little boy crying out for attention. I think all I need is for someone needs to give me a GOOD TALKING to, and set me straight. 😀 😀

    PS. Nobody’s around to notice what my T-shirt smells like (except my sister’s dog that I’m babysitting right now). And she thinks I’m great (the dog, that is..).

  32. Kelly Says:

    Dude, I gave you a good talking to this morning. Haven’t you had enough? 😉

  33. Friar Says:


    Well..yeah…actually, I have had enough! 🙂

    I think I need a blog-break for a few days.

  34. Friar,

    Have you ever noticed that the things that dogs think smell great are…um…


    usually on the back end of other dogs?

    Anyhow…stinky shirt and all…I love ya just the same…

  35. Friar Says:


    All I know is that Tipper-Dog thinks I’m the most awesome, most fun, fantastic Uncle Friar in the WHOLE WORLD.

    But then again, she once rolled around in a dead fish, and she thought THAT was pretty awesome too.

    But I’ll take what I can get.

  36. Fish? I thought it was too icy up there? Friar if you are withholding salmon I am so getting Wendi to rough you up. I have fresh lemon and honestly some crazed hankering for something to squeeze it on…

    (ducks and runs cause she just reread that and really, I was thinking of freshly caught trout really…and cute puppies)

  37. So funny, yet so true! In a recent blog post about life balance, I mentioned that if I don’t schedule “me time” it doesn’t happen, yet if I do schedule it, it feels like an obligation instead of a treat!

  38. Friar Says:

    No fish right now (unless you’re talking ice fishing…). Been there. Done that. It ian’t my favorite.


    I think that when it gets to the point that we deliberately have to schedule “me time”, that’s an indication that it’s time to make change our lifestyle, and slow down.

    Right now the only thing I ABSOLUTELY have to do, is show up at work and keep the boss happy so I can pay the bills. (Everything else is ‘optional’). 🙂

  39. Actually, I love my work so much that most of the time it feels like “me time” but I heard a rumour that humans need R&R too. 🙂

  40. Friar Says:


    Well, if that’s what your work is like, you’re truly one of the fortunate ones.

    My job is “me time” too. Like, get ME out of this place! 😦

  41. Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

    I have the best job and the best boss in the world, because I am self-employed. 🙂

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