I entered the office block and adjusted my cap which had aluminium foil layered on the inside. I wore my dark sunglasses and Iâ€™d put some lead into the framework for added precaution.
I inhaled deeply and repeated my mantra; calm the body – still the mind, as the inner door loomed closer.
Iâ€™d done my homework the previous evening.
I checked the net for any outstanding fines or warrants. I cleansed my body and soul of all negative emotions.
As an extra precaution, Iâ€™d confessed all my sins to God and asked for forgiveness.
You might think these were all needless measures but a visit to the Thought Police was not high on my list of priorities.
I hoped that they would not probe my thoughts too deeply and find any hidden sins.
The reception area was filled with all sorts of electronic devices which I casually observed not wanting to draw any attention to myself. Cameras, one way mirrors, listening devices and a hard eyed security guard who manned the main console.
He turned his attention towards me, smiled and asked; â€œHow can I help you Sir?â€
â€œIâ€™ve an appointment with you profiler Dr Shirley Homes.â€ I said as I handed him my documents.
A webcam took my picture and my fingerprints were scanned into a reader. I was body scanned, frisked and escorted to an interview room in silence.
Dr Homes was an attractive young lady with an engaging smile that put my frayed nerves to rest.
â€œI hope that security didnâ€™t treat you too roughly,â€ she said as she sat down at the table, â€œbut your association with Pro Crastinus has red flagged you on our system.â€ Her cool green eyes studied my face as her statement sunk in.
How did she know that? I wondered as I put on my best poker face. My meeting with Pro Crastinus was strictly clandestine and even Det. Kronos was not aware of it. Iâ€™d either underestimated this branch or that there was an informer in Pro Crastinusâ€™s ranks.
â€œThereâ€™s very little that you can hide from us Mr Stringfree. Our business is to uncover motives and the reasons why people procrastinate or steal time, amongst other things. So how can I be of service?â€
â€œCan you please give me some insight into the life of a procrastinator and what makes them tick?â€ I asked.
â€œProcrastination is a strange thing. You do it because it seems to make your life more pleasant but it frequently adds stress, guilt, loss of personal productivity, failure and social disapproval.â€
â€œThen why do we do it?â€
â€œItâ€™s all about delaying. You might not have the skills or the interest in the work, you are worried about failure or that you want the thing to be perfect. It could be an unpleasant task that you have to do but you delay it so that you have less time to work on the task.â€
â€œHave you been able to identify a pattern?â€
â€œProcrastination is an emotional habit that you learn. Weâ€™ve found a common trend in a number of cases.”
She handed me some papers and said; Â “This documents the cycle.â€
I quickly skimmed the report and pasted it here for your attention.
The Procrastination Cycle
- Youâ€™ve some task or outcome you want to achieve.
“I’ve got to start.”
- You delay as you think of reasons for starting later.
â€œI’ll do it tomorrow when I don’t have much to do.”
- You delay further and make excuses.
“I should have started sooner”
“I really couldn’t have left the bar early last night because my friends wouldnâ€™t let me go.”
At this stage you may pretend to be busy, hide away or even lie about other obligations.
- You delay until the last minute and then quickly finish the task in a shoddy fashion.
â€œIâ€™ll just do it any old way to get it done.â€
Or you say; â€œI canâ€™t do it.â€
- You get angry with yourself and promise never to procrastinate again. You might say the task wasnâ€™t important.
â€œIt doesnâ€™t matter.â€
- You repeat the process again as if it were a compulsion or addiction.
I donâ€™t want to attract any further attention from the Thought Police so Iâ€™ll have to end off here before they accuse me of wasting your time. I’ll unveil more details of our conversation coveringÂ procrastinatorÂ types,Â their profiles and how they treat chronic cases in another post.
If you have time, study this flow chart they found in the project managerâ€™s office at Procrastination Inc.
OnlyÂ Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday.