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Monday, April 22, 2013

Procrastination, the Secret to Productivity.

Often it has been said, "Procrastination is the thief of time."   Probably by some "crusty, old codger" (that quote was brought to you by Gale from Scotland, soon to be Gale from Berlin, and at one time, Gale from the US, she puts the ex in expatriate), who has no imagination, no internet access and no cable tv.  Some boring, dull, small minded work-a-holic, friendless and alone.  Really, they are to be pitied, and we here at life explained are attempting to disprove this common misconception, and welcome these poor souls into the fold.

Suppose there is a something due on Monday morning, first thing.  Let's say it is a poem, for English class, it has to be written in iambic pentameter, with a rhyming scheme ABAB, CDCD, with three verses and a couplet.  Any fool can tell you a decent poem will take about an hour, give or take, depending on how technical a poet wants to get with schemes, consistency and subject.  It is a little known fact that Coleridge wrote "Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner" in one eight hour shift, with two 15 minute breaks, and an hour for lunch, with no overtime, but he was an experienced production poet with years of training and a degree from ITT, not everybody is able to match that kind of pace.

At 8:00 on Sunday evening a poet decides to open a tasty pop/soda/cola (please choose your preferred noun, we are comfortable with any) and get started.  But, that one show (that show people at school are talking about, it sounds cool) is just starting, and it looks pretty good this week.  "Well, I will just work on the poem, during commercials," the poet reasons, poets are very reasonable people.  But, the commercials are really just little shows, who doesn't love them?

"Ok, after this show" the poet thinks.  But, there is another good show, and maybe another cold drink, and some salty snacks, and a candy bar, and, hey isn't there an ice cream sandwich in the freezer a sandwich with ice cream, what a great invention.  Dang, this show is better than the last.  Who would have figured it was the sheriff embezzling money and murdering the mayor.  That was wild.

Now it's 11:00, and our poet/hero is a little tired.  Being the pragmatic type he thinks "I will just set the alarm an hour early, get up and have some oat meal and fresh fruit, and hammer out a masterpiece."  Now, our hero is thinking, what a plan.  Poets are so pragmatic.

Of course, our hero presses the snooze button so many times the alarm clock finally gets disgusted and adjusts the radio station to some awful metal station and the volume to deafening.  When the poet finally rolls out of bed it is almost time to leave, no poem, no coffee and no oatmeal, or fruit.

Uh oh, this calls for action.  Our poet uses his tooth brush to brush his teeth and comb his hair as he is rushing down the stairs, drives frantically to the gas station and grabs a cup of coffee, and a bunless hot dog for breakfast, and writes his poem on his iPhone as he drives to school.  Technology has long been a friend of the arts, you know?

From this scientific experiment we have seen that procrastination did not steal time from our poet/hero, quite the opposite.  Due to effective time management, he figured a way to watch two shows on tv, not only did he not get up early he slept in for an extra thirty five minutes, got his poem written, (the topic was "typing while you drive, it makes you feel alive), and discovered that toothpaste offers all day hold as a hair gel, and a hot dog tastes so much better when used to stir "aerated, non-dairy creamer" and sugar into coffee.  For a net gain of two hours and 15 minutes, after allowing for inflation.

So, don't rush into things, life is too short.  Watch a little tv, and make some pop corn please, we are famished.