Friday, November 04, 2005

When in doubt, procrastinate

Most people don't realise this, but procrastination is one of the most potent and fulfilling life forces in the universe.

Take the ancient theological question about the meaning of life. "If you really believe that there is no higher purpose to life, no God, no supreme power, then why don't you just kill yourself", people are always asking me (this whole line of encouraging me to suicide is an exceptionally popular one, btw, especially among my ex-girlfriends). Oh, I give them some spiel about existential absolutism and the triumph of the creative will, but the real answer to that question is: laziness. I mean look, you're talking to someone who sits for hours in front of a TV screen watching The Weather Channel because he's too lazy to get up and find the remote - you really think this person is going to find the motivation to end his life because it's meaningless? Sure, I should kill myself, I plan to, believe me, it's on my to-do list. But, you know, what's the rush?

Thinking about it, I've realised that procrastination may well be my true calling. Unfortunately, I can't think of a single career that I could take up that would allow me to fully develop this unique talent of mine (apparently you have to be a US citizen to be head of FEMA). Not that there aren't tons of people out there who are getting paid for doing absolutely nothing - all I need to do is go see a career counsellor. I'm sure they could tell me. Yup, that's what I'm going to do. Tomorrow. Or maybe the day after. Or how about next week...

What? You claim to be a champion procrastinator too? Ha! I scoff at your amateur laziness. Here are ten things that prove that I'm the laziest person ever. Eat my dust (and given how rarely I vacuum, there's a lot of that, let me tell you):

1. I started learning how to drive when I was 15. Today, 12 years later, I still don't know how.

2. It's been six days since daylight saving time ended, but I haven't bothered to reset the time on my alarm. This means that I get woken up an hour earlier every morning, but I figure, if I just let it be, we'll eventually go back to Daylight Saving and then the problem will just go away.

3. Four months ago, convinced that I needed new clothes, I bought four new shirts (all the same colour of course, I'm too lazy to actually bother choosing what I'm going to wear every day!). Three of them are still lying in my wardrobe unopened because I haven't got around to making the stupendous effort of cutting off the sales tags and taking out the pins / cardboard pieces they came packed with.

4. If the building I'm in happens to have an automatic door, I will always take it. I have been known to walk half-way across a building, just so I won't have to use MY OWN HANDS to open the door.

5. I never untie the laces of my shoes. I simply wrestle my feet in and out of them.

6. I never eat breakfast. By the time it occurs to me that I should eat something, it's usually lunch time.

7. I need to get to know someone over the course of at least three years before I'll consider dating them. And even then, they have to ask me. (You begin to see why I have so much time to spend on this blog)

8. I own some 300 odd CDs, but I once spent an entire fortnight listening to Mark Knopfler's Sailing to Philadelphia because I couldn't be bothered to replace the CD in my system. By the time I finally switched CDs, I'd heard The Last Laugh an estimated 29 times.

9. For the last ten years, I've been trying to believe in God, if only because I think it would be fun to believe in some incoherent superior being who had no clue what he / she was talking about. So far, I'm still struggling to believe in Maureen Dowd.

10. I could come up with a tenth point, but I don't feel like it.


Veena said...

1. What are trying to make us believe? That you have a string of ex-girlfriends? Yeah right.

2. Are you sure you aren't in some way related to my boyfriend? Like some Kumbh Mela twin or something? Try this - he is so lazy that people actually clap when he gets up from the couch.

Heh Heh said...

Veena, I would think he's trying to make us believe is that he *does not* have a string of ex-girlfriends.

Pareshaan said...

Razors Pain you; Rivers are Damp,
Acids stain you and Drugs cause CRAMP,
Guns aren’t lawful, Nooses give,
Gas smells awful, Might as well live!
-Dorothy Parker.

As usual, an excellent post, Thanks.

The Black Mamba said...

Folks, folks, procrastination and laziness are two different things.

Laziness is - to do nothing. And, Procrastination is - to plan to do things later. Laziness is perfection. Procrastination is just the beginning.

Veena, your boyfriend and moi(I should add) are the torchbearers of laziness. Procrastination is for mere wannabes.

Falstaff said...

Veena: Who said anything about a string. Anything more than one is plural, remember - one of the under-appreciated joys of the language.

Pareshaan / heh heh: Thanks

Black Mamba: Couldn't agree more. Notice that in the post laziness is ascribed to amateurs, procrastination, on the other hand, is for experts

Heh Heh said...

Oh, and then there is also creative procrastination where, in order to not feel guilty about the fact that you have been putting off important tasks, you do less important but nevertheless useful stuff.

And as far as laziness goes, i did not clean a dorm room for more than a year, and had so much stuff spread out on the floor, desk and bed, that I had to buy a hammock so i could sleep. The layer of dust on the desk was about an inch thick (I kid you not).

meditativerose said...

I think this reveals why you're interested in smart women who pick up the tab and make decisions ... it's purely out of laziness .. not respect/attraction for their personalities or anything like that :)

Neela said...

You go to half a hundred natural parks for weekends hiking thousands of miles, read kilos of books, actually go out (or online) and purchase 300 CDs, write a blog and then you want us to actually believe you are lazy? You are by far the most industrious person I have known - shoelaces notwithstanding.

True laziness is:

1. Not resetting your clock after French daylight saving time (which anyway you didn't reset to).

2. Knowing that the nearest door to you is an automatic door and standing in front of it till some person (there's always some person) comes and pushes it for you.

3. Frequenting shops that don't have pins and cardboard stuck in their shirts so you don't have to take them out. and asking the assistant to remove the tags before you bother to pay, so you don't have to make the effort to do so yourself.

4. Eating dinner at midnight to make up for meals the next day.

5. Crapping at midnight - ditto.

6. Never dating and then marrying the first person you date.

7. Not writing an actual blog just commenting on random ones.


Falstaff said...

heh heh: No, no, that sort of procrastination is the crutch used by people who aren't confident about their procrastinating abilities. The true art form is philosophical / analytical procrastination - where you creatively develop new arguments / questions that effectively block you from getting anything done. That way, you not only get out of doing things, you also make people who're actually being inefficient feel like bumbling idiots. "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread" is the creed of the philosophical procrastinator.

MR: I'm not sure that the two are mutually exclusive. See, I want someone to make decisions for me because I'm too lazy to do it myself. But I'm also a control freak, so in order to let women make decisions for me, I need to respect their judgement / intelligence / personality etc. That way I can be lazy and exacting at the same time.


1. I don't even know where France IS. So there.

2. Yes, I've done that too - the automatic doors I was thinking of were more the ones with automatic sensors.

3. You can get shops to do that? Does it still work if you get clothes online?

4. How about not eating dinners at all, because you're too lazy too cook.

5. Ditto. Obviously possible only in conjunction with 4.

6. You're MARRIED! That's more effort than I'm ever going to be up to.

7. Ah! So you don't know about the multiple ghost writers I hire. Why do you think the stuff on this blog varies so much.

Most importantly, though, let me point out that I spend the time I have left over from the few activities I do undertake lying in catatonic bliss on my bed. Unlike certain people who are always running around conducting random psych experiments on people or going into raptures about Cauchy-Schwarz inequalities

Cheshire Cat said...

"I live only because it is in my power to die whenever I want - without the idea of suicide, I would have killed myself a long time ago" - Cioran