Maggie Wells · Margaret Ethridge

Procrastination for Overachievers

My friends mock me when I say I’m procrastinating. They believe I’m incapable of true procrastination. You know what? They’re right.

I blame Catholic guilt.

I was never one of those students who could get out of a paper or exam by claiming a loved one was suffering some grave, imaginary illness. I knew the moment I did, my prediction would come true. And worse…the ten-fold rule might apply.

Nope. No way. Can’t have that hanging over my head.

I live my life in fear of letting someone down. Husband, co-workers, editors, blog mates—doesn’t matter who it is. I can’t bear the thought of disappointing people who are counting on me to hold up my end of the bargain.

This is why I have a love/hate/absolutely-necessary-to-breathe relationship with deadlines.

The process of submissions (with the open-ended nothingness and breezy ‘contact us in fifty-billion weeks’ nonchalance) makes me bonkers. I need a date worse than the loneliest spinster on a Saturday night. Whenever I hear a writer say they’ve blown a deadline, I cringe. When someone tells me they’ll ‘get around’ to finishing (or starting!) something at the very last minute, I want to howl and screech.

And I do. In my head.

I know the sickness is mine. I’m not only compelled to meet deadlines, but my competitive streak requires me to smash them to bits whenever possible. This often leaves me with time to kill.

And I can kill time like the most bloodthirsty sociopath.

Here are just a few of the productive ways I was unproductive prior to sitting down to write this blog post.

1)      Went to the gym.

2)      Removed clear plastic tap handles from tub and scrubbed the build-up from tiny grooves with some Comet and a toothbrush.

3)      Baked cookies. (My personal favorite.)

4)      Went through closet and re-attached all loose buttons/hooks.

5)      Updated all of my writer-ly spreadsheets and trackers.

Oh. And did I mention that I’m writing this in December? Yeah, I know. My friends are laughing too. 

Epic Fail.

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7 thoughts on “Procrastination for Overachievers

  1. BRAWAHAHAHAHA You crack me up! I barely get my posts up in time, much less months in advance! In face, I have a post due for my group blog next Tuesday. I wrote it a week early and thought I was so awesome. Now you make me feel like a slacker!

  2. Miss Margaret, I see your procrastination and raise you with a “Who me?” and a “It’s due tomorrow?”
    I’ve often said I’d love to procrastinate, but I keep putting it off.
    Nice post, hon. Keep up the good work. Your non-procrastination is paying off in spades.

  3. You fail at procrastination. You’re like me if it has to be done I can’t wait til the last minute. Makes my head explode. My daughter, two years after the fact has finally changed her name on her driver’s license (only because her license was expired, BTW). Obviously she didn’t get that gene from me.

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