Do You Fit The Procrastinator’s Profile?

I entered the office block and adjusted my cap, which was layered inside with aluminium foil. I’d added some lead into my dark sunglasses for extra precaution.

I took a deep breath and repeated my mantra; calm the body – still, the mind, as I approached the inner sanctum.

I’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, I 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;
“How can I help you Sir?”

“I have an appointment with your profiler Dr Shirley Homes,” 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.

“I hope that security didn’t treat you too roughly,” she said as she sat down at the table, “but your association with Pro Crastinus has red-flagged you on our system.”
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. I’d either underestimated this branch or there was an informer in Pro Crastinus’s ranks.

“There’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?”

Could you please give me some insight into the life of a procrastinator and what makes them tick?” I asked.

“Procrastination 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.”

“Then why do we do it?”

It’s all about delaying. You might not have the skills or the interest in the work. Perhaps you’re worried about failure or you want the work 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.”

“Have you been able to identify a pattern?”

“Procrastination is an emotional habit that you learn. We’ve found a common trend in a number of cases.”
She handed me some papers and said; “This documents the cycle.”

I quickly skimmed the report and pasted it here for your attention.

The Procrastination Cycle

    1. You’ve some task or outcome you want to achieve.
      “I’ve got to start.”
    2. You delay as you think of reasons for starting later.
      “I’ll do it tomorrow when I don’t have much to do.”
    3. 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 wouldn’t let me go.”
      At this stage, you may pretend to be busy, hide away or even lie about other obligations.
    4. You delay until the last minute and then quickly finish the task in a shoddy fashion.
      “I’ll just do it any old way to get it done.”
      Or you say; “I can’t do it.”
    5. You get angry with yourself and promise never to procrastinate again.
      You might say the task wasn’t important.
      “It doesn’t matter.”
    6. You repeat the process again as if it were a compulsion or addiction.

I don’t want to attract any further attention from the Thought Police so I’ll end off here before they accuse me of wasting your time.

I’ll unveil more details of our conversation covering procrastinator types, their profiles and how they treat chronic cases in another post.

If you have time, study this flow chart they found in the project manager’s office at Procrastination Inc.

Just a word of caution, they monitor everyone who gets stuck in the loop.

Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday.

6 thoughts on “Do You Fit The Procrastinator’s Profile?”

  1. whew food for thought. Is it procrastination taking time out at work to read ‘stringfree’ posts? Glad they are in bite sized portions – not too heavy.

  2. Hi Penny.
    That’s just what I picked up from the Thought Police HQ. I’m already on their radar but hopefully they will not arrest me if you don’t spend too much time reading my posts. I might have to cut them shorter in future.

  3. Hi! I see the procrastinators are at it again. You nailed the reason why we procrastinate: “You do it because it seems to make your life more pleasant.” It’s greatly about immediate gratification. Right now it’s wonderful to leave a project for later and indulge in other activities. When we procrastinate we are not looking ahead at the problems we might be creating. We are only concerned with the present pleasure.

    Good points and well planned out. Loving blessings!

  4. Hi Andrea.
    The never ending task of procrastination. It takes a lot of work for something that seems to be beneficial. One of the seeds we are reaping from our instant gratification society. Pleasure now, pain later.
    Let’s hope that our mark on this world won’t be; tomorrow was another day.

  5. Hi Angela.
    We often call procrastination Africa Time in my part of the world.
    It is a bit of a problem because it is so infectious when you are exposed to it.
    No known antidote for it other than “just do it”.

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