Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Art of Precrastinating

Some have said procrastinating is an artform, but what those people fail to understand is there is a select group among the human race who actually plan ahead to ensure their procrastination is as effective as possible.  I have decided this incredible planning shall be called "Precrastinating".  I thought about "pre-procrastinating", but that is just confusing, so I'm sticking with precrastinating.  Try to keep up.

It takes a special kind of person to precrastinate.  Anyone can keep putting things off for as long as possible so that really isn't all that impressive.  Congress has been procrastinating about how to deal with our exploding national debt for decades while they convince us it is one of the most significant issues impacting the future of our nation, so should I really feel bad if I postpone doing laundry for a week or so?

Hell, Hugh Hefner has been putting off death for at least ten years and he does it is his pajamas so how hard could it be to procrastinate?  My three year old daughter has discovered it is much easier to simply say we will take a bath later than it is to actually take the bath, so it seems clear that almost anyone from the very young to the very old is capable of procrastination and it doesn't even require practice to be good at it.

The real visionary actually plans ahead when it is time to procrastinate.  They don't get backed into a corner and then grasp for some excuse on how to put something off but rather they prepare well in advance to have ample excuses at the ready.  In effect you could say they plan to fail rather than fail to plan, and even though that seems like the exact opposite of what you would expect, it just happens to work.

If procrastination is considered an art, then precrastination is considered a science.  A well-versed precrastinator will make sure everything is in play long before the big moment.  If the task at hand involves painting a house, the precrastinator will check weather reports to determine if the days ahead are suitable for painting, and when they discover the forecast involves sunshine and warm weather, they will suddenly determine it is a perfect opportunity to visit uncle Ralph over in Toledo for a few days.  Only a novice would dare wait until the day in question to put something off that could be put off much sooner.  This requires forethought.  This requires skill.  This requires the energy to develop a plan which can then be put into place ahead of the task or event which is to be pushed off.  Perhaps most importantly, this requires the foresight to anticipate any potential problems and have additional backup plans in place to counter them.

It surely isn't a one-dimensional problem.  The skilled precrastinator sees everything on levels.  They are like a grandmaster chess player who sees three, four or five moves ahead.  They aren't shocked at the events that occur because they have already planned for them, and as such a true precrastinator is both a planner as well as a procrastinator... something very uncommon with the community of lazy people.

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