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The Art of Procrastination: A Night in the Life of a Hopeless Procrastinator

Updated on March 21, 2011

I'm an awful procrastinator.  This piece itself is procrastination at its finest for me.  Even though I love writing, I will find any excuse not to sit down and get started.  I know that many other people, especially artists, suffer from the same affliction, so I figured there would be some sympathetic readers out there.  I'm currently working on my fourth novel - one I've put off writing for several years, but recently was inspired to start working on.  Despite the fact that I'm anxious to get it out, I still have trouble figuring out how to stop procrastinating.  Following is an example of a typical day or night of procrastination for me.

've been busy all day, running errands, spending time with family, and doing things around the house. I finally sit down at the computer and open up the document that holds the first two chapters of my novel. It's late and I'm tired, but I can't go to bed until I get at least a bit of work done. I rub my eyes and realize I'm still wearing make-up, and decide that I'd better go remove it before it starts to irritate my already-tired eyes. As I'm washing my face, I look at my hands under the tap and see my fingernails. I had painted them green for St. Patrick's day, but now the polish is chipping and peeling and they look awful.

I pull out the nail polish remover and a cotton ball and get scrubbing. For some reason, nail polish starts chipping just a few hours after I put it on. As I work away, I contemplate what strange oil or chemical in my system causes this to happen. Maybe I should look it up when I get back to the computer? Naw, maybe some other day, I have to get to work. Besides, looking that up will give me a reason to procrastinate some other day.

When I'm done, I head for the kitchen to get a drink, and the radio's on to the country station, as usual. Ooh, there's that song that I love but have no idea what it's called or who sings it. I lean against the counter for a minute and listen, trying to remember snippets of the lyrics so I can look it up. I end up staying to listen to the whole song, then return to my computer and Google the lyrics. Hmm, "Somewhere With You" by Kenney Chesney - I love this song because even though his voice is country, to me it's not a typical country song, it's got a great, sexy beat. While I'm listening to it, I see an ad for the Black Eyed Peas' new video for "Just Can't Get Enough", so I check that out, too. What a great song, I'll have to add it to my workout playlist and add The Beginning to my wishlist since I listen to E.N.D and Elephunk often, especially when I'm exercising.


I put the song on repeat and realize I never got a drink when I intended to. I make my way back to the kitchen and get a glass of water. I see the mess I left from when I made popcorn earlier while watching one of my favorite movies, Phantom of the Opera, so I take a minute to clean that up.

Then I notice the book I got earlier from the library, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I've been waiting a couple of weeks for it, maybe I should just read a few pages, see how I like it. No, that would be taking the procrastination too far. But would it really? My friend Keith Worth recommended it to me and I want to tell him how I like it. I really shouldn't...but now that I'm thinking about Keith, I wonder if he's updated on HubPages lately - maybe he's written a new installment of the Saga of the Vagrant Heart?

So I return to my room, pull up the internet, and check his profile page, but nothing new since the last installment. While I'm on HubPages, I might as well check my stats, see how my pageviews are doing and reply to a few comments. And once I'm done that, I should probably check Facebook, I've been away from the computer all day, maybe there's something interesting going on. And my email is really piling up, I should probably sort through that too....

After I get through with all of that, I look at the clock and realize it's over an hour since I first sat down at the computer with the intention of writing. I sit for a minute and think that I could probably continue to procrastinate until it's time to go to bed and then just start fresh tomorrow, but then I know I'd feel guilty. So, I close the internet, open Media Player, turn the volume way down and put U2's Achtung Baby on repeat. And I finally get to work, doing the thing I love most - writing.

Thank you for reading

Thank you for reading - or maybe I should say thank you for humoring me by reading - The Art of Procrastination: A Night in the Life of a Hopeless Procrastinator. I hope you enjoyed it, and can maybe even sympathize - I know I'm not the only one who's a hopeless procrastinator, and that fact is comforting!  Feel free to leave comments below, you don't have to be a member of HubPages to comment.

If you love to write as much as I do and you're looking for an outlet, why not join HubPages? It's free to join, you can write about whatever you like, and the community is wonderful and supportive.

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    • SweetMarie83 profile image
      Author

      Marie Landry 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Always good to know we're not alone, right? haha

    • profile image

      Lesleysherwood 6 years ago

      You sound just like me. Thanx for this hub:)

    • SweetMarie83 profile image
      Author

      Marie Landry 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      That's really comforting to know Fay! ;-) Thank you!

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 6 years ago

      I resemble this. :)

      up/funny

    • SweetMarie83 profile image
      Author

      Marie Landry 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @missymoo, I believe you're right! lol Thanks for reading

      @carolapple, you're absolutely right. I do justify it as research, even when it's a subconscious justification. Everything I see and read and hear eventually ends up in a story or article, but the time I spend "researching" takes endless hours away from writing. And thank you for the encouragement, I really appreciate it!

      @marcoujor, thank you so much!

      @Cogerson, thanks for that, my first real laugh of the day!

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

      I was going to post a funny awesome comment but I have to check on something...be right back

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      SweetMarie~~ So human and so relatable... loved this! Voted UP & AWESOME! Thank you...!

    • carolapple profile image

      carolapple 6 years ago from Suffolk Virginia

      The Internet and all of our technology makes really hard NOT to procrastinate. For writers it's all the more treacherous, because we can alway rationalize everything we do as "research." And often it turns out to be just that. However, at some point we have to put in the labor to turn that research into saleable products. I have to say to myself, "No matter WHAT I will write and do nothing but write for the next hour." And I see that you do in fact produce lots of good writing Marie, so obviously you do have a handle on the procrastination problem:)

    • missymoo profile image

      missymoo 6 years ago from Kent, UK

      Great hub! I suppose the fact I am reading it instead of writing puts me in the same group as you lol. Voted up!

    • SweetMarie83 profile image
      Author

      Marie Landry 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Kit! I was relieved when you first told me you were an awful procrastinator too, it made me feel better! It really does seem to be a common theme, especially among writers.

    • Curious Cookie profile image

      Curious Cookie 6 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario (Canada)

      Marie, what a good article. Like you I am a major procrastinator. I always have plans to do so much and by the end of my day I haven't accomplished much at all. It's nice to read about other peoples days that drift by from 1 event to the next with the best of intentions to actually get some work done. I seem to always fall into the Facebook and Twitter traps. Again thanks for the good read, good luck with ur novel.

    • SweetMarie83 profile image
      Author

      Marie Landry 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      You're right about that, Keith, that guy is a major distraction, especially when he's giving me helpful advice and making me push myself to be a better writer. Damn him and off with his head!

    • SweetMarie83 profile image
      Author

      Marie Landry 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      haha, thank you Niteriter! It's always good to know there are other people who feel the same (and other people who are addicted to run-on sentences lol).

    • Keith Worth profile image

      Keith Worth 6 years ago

      Whoever this Keith Worth guy is, he's sounds like a distraction. You should have him assassinated, mhm.

      Voted up and awesome...possibly just for the nod but I'll never tell.

    • Niteriter profile image

      Niteriter 6 years ago from Canada

      Count me in as an empathetic brother. I too have experienced the misery of knowing that the world has once again been robbed of a delightful work of art had I but honoured my very best intentions. (In addition to being a procrastinator, I'm hopelessly addicted to run-on sentences.)

      Good work here. If you continue to procrastinate in this entertaining manner you will no doubt make it all the way to the finish line.