This is What Procrastination Looks Like

A post from Selay J. Tay-Song on Dogpatch Writers Collective hit a little close to our new home. In fact, my new spice rack—constructed over the span of a weekend by my husband solely because our new kitchen had no space to put all my spices—looks suspiciously like procrastination.


Or the containered and labeled linen closet:



Like I can’t go forward with my writing until I have some form of order in my domestic life. Really?

Hmmm. The truth hurts. Selay, you’ve given me a shake. Now, if I can just get my son back on track, the one who left his Lego stop motion video of Columbus’s atrocities until the weekend before it was due:


And the Rube Goldberg book opening project until the night before it was due:


That didn’t get finished.

And the comic about Carbon (How do you make Carbon funny? Perhaps that’s the true point of procrastination in this case.) that is past due. Don’t have a photo of the comic because it’s supposedly in his locker. He had forgotten about it until I mentioned it this morning (while he was innocently eating his granola) that I’d received a note from his science teacher late last night, explaining that everyone else’s Carbon project had been turned in and graded.

All of this in one weekend.

We have been fruit basket upset by this move, but we’ve got to pull ourselves together. Get with the program. Start fresh. So I yelled at my son in the car on the way to school this morning. He MUST write down his assignments, plan his projects, and give me a detailed report every day!! Not a good morning for us, was it?

After taking a deep breath, I apologized and explained that while the content of my tirade was spot on, the delivery of said content was lacking. He and I will get on track, starting today.

But enough about us. Here is what a year’s worth of procrastination looks like. Thanks for the kick in the pants, Selay!

Source: This is What Procrastination Looks Like

39 thoughts on “This is What Procrastination Looks Like

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    Oh yes, I know all too well about those conversations about needing to get better organized. Perhaps all parents do.

    As for your organizing–wow. If you’re looking for more things to tackle, I’ve got plenty of closets that need tending to…

  2. Selah J Tay-Song says:

    Oooh, what an amazing spice rack! Drooling! Thanks for the reblog, it’s nice to know we’re not alone in the procrastination universe!

    Also, I love the fact that it is snowing on your blog. I don’t want to leave, it’s so peaceful!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      No, we are not alone. Look over your shoulder, there are reams of procrastinators lurking. But don’t be afraid of them, because they’re just lurking, for as long as they can get away with it. 😀 Isn’t it snowing in the Dogpatch, too? I’ll have to take a look. Gotta spread the season’s precip around. California needs it.

  3. Harriet Heydemann says:

    I looked at your spices and caught myself before I started on my spice drawer. I have my own demons that keep screaming my name. I do my best to ignore them, but after I alphabetize my books and clean my stove top with a toothbrush.

  4. Lady Fancifull says:

    Well Jilanne, one thing I never do whilst procrastinating (which I do often) is turn into a model housecarer. I could find work for a legion of procrastinators here. Please come by. I will try to arrange the cleaning products, the dusters, and all the rest of the paraphernalia neatly for you. Perhaps if you tidy up and clean for me to within an inch of my dwelling’s life, it would function like aversion therapy and propel you instantly back to your own writing activity. It will work, I promise you……….I’m going to set up a little list so all you writerly procrastinators can take it in turn as my cleaning army. I’m stacking up the ironing for those who enjoy that. And, there will be lots for the dusters of books to do, and as for anyone who yearns to put accounts in order, you too can be my guest, and if someone really yearns to do some cooking for me? If dressmaking and knitting should be your thing…………..I’m beginning to run with this idea……..I could perhaps charge you procrastinators whilst getting dreary tasks done. Suppose I call myself a creativity therapist, running creativity motivational workshops…..sign up, you know you want to, there are potential spice rack organisations a plenty in sunny London. Okay, let’s delete the adjective. In grey skied London. Now, when are you all arriving? Bring your own brooms……..

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      I think you could make millions, but this writer is running to find her manuscripts. She hears them calling her name….Notice I didn’t specify how you would make millions. Perhaps other writers would find your proposition more suitable. Perhaps you should explore a new form of crowd-sourcing. Call it Procrastinating-Writer-Sourcing…What do you think?

  5. FictionFan says:

    I want the Rube Goldberg book opener! I don’t know how many times I’ve thought ‘Oh, if only I had something to open my books for me!’ The other day I was sent a sample for review of capsules for making tea in coffee machines – a concept that struck me as brilliant at first, until I realised that even I have never struggled with putting a teabag in a cup and pouring on water. However I spent a happy half hour trying them out and writing a scathing review – procrastination is fun!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      Ooooh, must read that scathing review! I love it when you’re on a “what-were-they-thinking-by-creating-this-thing?” roll! As for the book opener, right now it works only 10% of the time. Young man is working on making it more reliable. Otherwise, readers would be opening far fewer books than they’re currently able to using the old-fashioned manual method.Stay tuned…

  6. Mrs. P says:

    Geez! I hate it when students put off their homework until the last minute.

    But, in Liam’s defense, moving into a new house can be just as disrupting to a kid as it is to his parents. He’s having to reorient to where everything is because it’s not where used to be.

    This in no way gives him permission to be a slacker. And I’m sure with some coaching and orientation he’ll improve. 😀 At least one hopes! 😀 😀

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      Yes, I’m thinking along those lines, too. I also found out yesterday that three assignments in language arts have gone missing! Not sure if they got stuffed into a box somewhere or recycled. Right now, I’m thinking that he’s going to spend his winter break catching up on homework. I’m a bit concerned that we weren’t notified until three packets hadn’t been turned in over a period of several weeks. I’m going to ask his teacher to notify me in the future any time a single assignment isn’t turned in on time. And I’m going to ask the learning specialist if she’s helping him with organizational skills during the day. I can do only so much from home. I can’t get the homework from the backpack to the turn-in pile via remote control. 😀 I am also completely aware that language arts (the writing part) is his least favorite subject in school—oh, woe. So there’s a bit of resistance that needs to be overcome there. Not sure I have enough time in my day to do everything I need to do well. There may be some electronics deprivation in his future, a real motivator.

      • Mrs. P says:

        Sounds like you’ve got all the right ideas…coordination with teachers is vital. It works both ways. They should not wait days before contacting you.On the other hand, if you have dropped out earlier successful actions…get them back in.

        My experience is that coordination and coaching will go much further than threat of no electronics and I have see parents get into situations where no threat seems to work.A lose for everyone involved.

  7. Letizia says:

    Your linen closet looks like mine, haha! That spice rack is something to behold indeed…
    I loved this post, as well as Selay J. Tay-Song’s post (thanks for the link). There are pros and cons to this whole process aren’t there? So many artists have argued for the importance of menial labour to allow for the unconscious mind to be creative. But at a certain point, we must sit down and create!
    wishing you a creative (and well-organized) 2016!
    p.s. Why did Chlorine’s sisters Boron and Carbon lock her in the closet? Because she was too attractive!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      LOL, I just love chemistry jokes! I’ll have to tell this one to my son. Yes, menial labor up to a point is good, specifically when you’re working through a thorny issue. But too much sends one into the stratosphere of procrastination, a layer of the atmosphere where oxygen deprivation leads to hallucinations. One starts believing that what’s getting done actually “needs” to get done.

  8. Britt Skrabanek says:

    Whatta spice rack…wowza! I meant to ask you how the move was going, love!

    We were on a house decor and organization kick earlier this month, but I had to let it rest to have some writing time back in my life. No way I can squeeze all of that in on the weekends!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      We keep attacking all sorts of projects, like getting pictures up on the walls. Still hasn’t happened. But we’ve gotten lots of things “freecycled.” So the garage is looking less packed. I don’t know how much longer I can be this domestic. It’s wearing thin. Happy Holidays!

  9. Catherine Johnson says:

    Wow they did so much in one evening. I just about die too if my son forgets an assignment or leaves his important book at school in order to do it. Merry Christmas in your new house!

  10. roughwighting says:

    Were you talking to ME? You were talking to me, right? Oh, other people procrastinate like we do with spice bottles and organizing closets and ironing (even though we hate to iron). Who knew? But I do LOVE your spice organizer. 🙂 Here’s to less procrastination in 2016, and more writing.

  11. Shakti Ghosal says:

    Hi Jilanne,

    Great post!

    Would you say that the state of being organised is really all about the state of one’s mind? So one Man’s perceived organised status could be perceived as being entirely disorganized by another guy. I suppose this happens when many of us start seeing “being organised” as an end in itself rather than a climb with no top. In reality, the perceived state of being organised or dis-organised is really a function of our individual priorities and passions.

    So how could we hold such a perspective as we interact with others?


    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      Excellent point, Shakti! I think that keeping this in mind as we interact with others is definitely a start. Also, staying in the moment long enough to realize just how much really “needs” to be organized is key. After all, reversal of entropy is a Sisyphean task.

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