AutoTopic: List Your Favorite Ways To Procrastinate
Naturally this AutoTopic I saved has sat in my draft folder for a few months now – truth. How fitting that I’d procrastinate writing a blog about procrastination. Delicious, isn’t it? Anyway, I had to hit this one because everyone does it, even Army dudes. Granted, we procrastinate in a highly organized and camouflaged way, but we do it nonetheless. That said, I’ll narrow my focus onto homefront tasks, chores, and
nags requests for help to enhance the snarkiness and laughability.
Silent Denial. This happens when there’s something completely obvious needing done that is concurrently quite distasteful. Cleaning toilets comes to mind. I’m not afraid of germs or work, but who in their right mind out there perks up and says, “Toilets? Ooooh, I’m all about that!” when divvying up household cleaning chores? Me either. So I am an expert at letting days of bladder-evacuation flush by as I observe the pink ring of iron and calcium build up at the waterline and deny it’s even happening. It won’t keep World Peace from breaking out and shit, right?
Active Denial. This is simple negotiation, plain and simple. It is conducted between the asker and the do-er. The asker wants something done, the do-er uses all required forms of negotiation, whining, distraction, and Jedi Mind Tricks to avoid doing the task in question. This is probably best illustrated by the following exchange:
- ASKER: “Babe, will you fix the dripping pipe in the basement?”
- DO-ER: “Sweetheart, you’re killing me. You know I’ve got a whole long list of other stuff you want me to do, right?”
- ASKER: “It’s dripping. My winter clothes are in the basement.”
- DO-ER: “Look, I’ve checked it out and at the rate it’s dripping, I calculate it will take 57 years to fill the basement if all the drains spontaneously clog.”
- ASKER: [Gritting teeth] “Dripping. Pipe.”
- DO-ER: [waving hand mysteriously] “There is no dripping pipe. You are an excellent spouse.”
- ASKER: “Grrrrr…”
- DO-ER: “Oooh! Honey, look! An ad for shoes on sale!”
Turning the Tyrrany of the Urgent Into a Tool. This technique is highly specialized and used almost exclusively in conjunction with To Do Lists. I actually write them on a whiteboard, and cross them off when complete. Inevitably someone I’m married to who lives here, who will remain nameless, will locate the marker and edit the list. Here is where TtTotUIaT comes in handy. By carefully picking highly-urgent stuff “that just came up,” you can move list items up to the #1 position by virtue of their inherent criticality. Do this skillfully and enough, and you can keep “Dust and Clean Curio Cabinet” well near the bottom for over a year like another person who lives in our house did. Ahem.
Outright Rebellion. As a veteran of my first marriage, I am impervious to nagging. Well close. At any rate, this advanced form of procrastination is as simple as saying, “I’m not doing that shit.” There are consequences, of course. Out of interest in harmony, this is a technique best used sparingly, primarily to reinforce the ‘Can’t-Nag-This’ notion, which leads to further harmony. Sort of. Rebellion requires a keen eye for things you know are far from critical and have no emotional dependencies attached by anyone else.
There’s probably some more to this list but I’ll have to get around to that later.