The perils of Progress and procrastination

Progress. I know, my coworkers have been whinging and whining about the influx of our workload for weeks. Youíre probably sick of hearing about it, but bear with us. Youíll have your reprieve soon enough, and so shall we, since this Friday is our deadline. 5 p.m. on Friday, to be exact.

Which is less than 36 hours from when I sat down to write this column. Thatís not a lot of time. Wow.

(Calming breaths, Melissa. Calming breaths.)

High levels of stress does strange things to people. For me, it triggers a procrastination streak a mile wide. As shocked and appalled by this latent tendency as I always am, this year my procrastination has reached startling new levels. Yes, even for me.

Iíll give you a few examples. On Saturday, I actually got up in the middle of a sentence to floss. Floss! Just for the heck of it. I hadnít even eaten anything. I pulled a similar stunt Sunday, only this time it was to iron. Iron! Like anyone cares about wrinkles during Progress week.

Iíd like to say my distraction was confined to the time I spent attempting to work from home. Unfortunately, that wasnít the case. I was marginally more productive back at my desk in The Evening Sun newsroom on Monday, but not as much as I would have liked. My diversions of choice? The gym and compulsively reading articles online.

Tuesday, I felt a sudden, urgent need to go to the grocery store. And the gym. In between I compulsively checked the Progress queue on our editorial server. Just to make sure all the articles I filed were still there, you see, and monitor my coworkersí progress on Progress.

There was also a rather unfortunate incident involving cherry cordial-flavored Hershey Kisses, which somehow ended up in my cart during the aforementioned supermarket excursion. OK, fine. I should call it what it was Ė a binge. Iíve tried to just put it behind me and move on. But itís hard, what with the rest of the bag calling my name from the cabinet over my desk.

Must. Be. Strong.

Other than that one little transgression, Iíve basically been subsisting on Chobani yogurt and, much to Jeffís chagrin, lemon pepper tuna. Oh, and toast. Did I mention I love toast?

Of course, toast requires butter, which I didnít have in the office. One of my coworkers did, however. And I was so overwhelmed by Progress-related stress, that I did the unthinkable. I broke the cardinal rule of the communal kitchen and helped myself.

I did fess up to my sins, much to the amusement of said coworker. Personally I think he was swayed by my argument that under extenuating circumstances, like Progress, the rules of eminent domain could be justifiably applied. For the good of the whole office, you understand.

Yesterday, I was pretty good about keeping my nose to the grindstone. But then, I was at my desk for roughly 15 hours. The only time I left the office was to walk across the parking lot to get my flu shot at 11 a.m. No lunch. No dinner. Just Progress.

Well, thatís not strictly true. I spent much of my afternoon stressing the fact that I wasnít snow blowing the driveway for my dad, who has that nasty chest cold going around. (My undying gratitude to my amazing friends, Julie and Lyndon Gates, who volunteered to do it for me. You guys are awesome.)

I was feeling good about where I was on my to-do list when I left work shortly after 8 last night. Finally, for the first time in three weeks, the end was in sight!

I was still on that emotional high when I came in this morning. Of course, rather than sit down and get stuck in, I decided I needed to clean our little communal kitchen first. After which I moved on to cleaning my cubicle.

Who knew procrastination could make one so productive?

But now, itís time to get back to the task at hand.


Follow me on Twitter ... @evesunmelissa.

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