• gigi eligoloff

The fine art of procrastination



It's the Easter holidays and hopefully those parents still in work have booked a little time off. This precious time can of course be spent exploring Easter activity fun with the kids, but it might also be time to get that thing you've been meaning to get done forever, finally done. We're pleased to hand over to human adult, self-confessed sometime idler, and father of one, Paul Mayze, to explain (or excuse) the fine art of procrastination.

I have a friend called Matt.

This is his 40th birthday card:

I don’t know what the card looks like, or what I wrote on it. Because his 40th birthday party was 5 years ago, and despite being there in person, I forgot to give him the card. That’s normal enough right? We all forget stuff from time to time. Except… I’ve had that card on my desk ever since. For five years. Three years ago, I texted him to check that his address hadn’t changed. Two years ago, I even called and told him I was going to send the card. And yet - there it is still. Now, if you don’t know me (a safe assumption) there’s a good chance you will think I’m hopelessly idle, or a serial procrastinator, or suffering from some kind of syndrome. While I won’t rule out the latter, you’ll have to take my word for it that I’m actually quite good at getting things done. Which makes the issue of this card especially baffling to me. Sending it (a five-minute job at most, with maybe another five minutes for finding a suitable ‘OMG I’m five years’ late’ conciliatory gift on Amazon) has been on my to do lists more times than anything else in my life.*

So, why? On the off-chance that even a handful of readers have a similarly risible long-term failure to act (and please, please, reply in the comments if you do - I’d love to know I’m not alone…) I thought I’d put forward some theories as to why you might hang onto a long term ‘open loop’ like this.