Monday, March 18, 2002

Procrastination, advanced level
So you have cleaned the house floor to ceiling, you have rebuilt the garage and you have had all the diseases you can imagine and your doctor is sick of telling you that "no, there's nothing wrong with those tests and I am not taking new ones." The deadline is coming closer, and you are actually almost finished. All you need to do is that final editing. This is the moment when a true procrastinator has to become wily.

The computer is one wonderful tool. I am not talking about amateur procrastination, like surfing, blogging or playing games rather than writing. You know you are wasting your time, and you know you can't do that and you are able to stop (because, to be honest, it gets old). No, this is the time when you have to procrastinate without knowing about it. This is when you decide that your computer is too slow, and you need a) to have the current one de-bugged and set up with a new operating system, b) a new computer.

Both solutions have the advantage that you need the assistance of somebody else. IT-departments are experts in this. They are a blessing for the busy and stressed procrastinator. The moment they get their hands on a computer, it's gone for days and days: days when you can read a little in between whining about how you can't write, because the IT-department aren't done with your computer. And if the reading gets too efficient, you can bug them to make them work faster. Keep checking on them. Keep calling them every time they might have had a chance to actually get some work done. As long as you keep nagging, nobody can blame you for procrastinating, because you are TRYING to get your computer back.

As for the new-computer-ploy, that's even better. First, you have to research the possibilities for a new computer, which means hours of effective work you really have to do. Then you have to start the paperwork in the shape of getting money. This will let you have endless meetings with your superiors or much moaning while looking at your bank-account. Once this is done, there's the ordering-process. And again: IT-departments or stores come to your aid. They don't stock the advanced, specialised and very particular equipment you want, so they have to order it, set it up and then finally remember to tell you. You are safe for weeks. No work needs to be done and your conscience is clear.

And I haven't even touched on the potential of leaving your notes in a public place where an expensive-looking bag will be nicked, going away to write somewhere where you will get stuck with the car in the snow and have to survive for a week on the (luckily generous) supplies you brought, but without a net-connection and the vital books you need - or the really long-term advanced stuff, like falling in love or having babies, or having close relatives die and leave you traumatised.

As for me - I have tried them all. I have no other option but work..... yeah right....

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