The Ottumwa Courier

Community News Network

November 5, 2012

Overcoming procrastination: Let me get back to you on that

Come Christmas Eve, you will find thousands of frantic Santas dashing through the aisles, grabbing boxes at random and snapping at one another. Come Halloween morning, we create long lines, waiting to run through the costume store. All year, we knew the date. We had seen ad after ad, and it was circled several times on our calendar.

But here we are, nonetheless.

Why does this always happen? Is it that we start too early? Halloween came to the stores months ago, bumping into the Fourth of July as it entered. Christmas is arriving now, before Thanksgiving even gets a foot in the door. We have had months and months (and months) to see all our options and grow tired of them. And then the deadline arrives, and we go into a panic, tearing everything we can reach off the bare metal shelves.

We arrive home and stare at the six sets of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic Accessories that, in our deadline-addled frenzy, we seemed to think would make appropriate holiday gifts for our entire families.

What hath the deadline wrought?

So why should it be any different with the election? That, we've been hearing about for years. It feels, now, that these candidates have always been with us. Fatigue doesn't begin to describe it. This election jumped the shark months ago, when Newt Gingrich was bitten by a penguin. Now it feels like we're in reruns.

Still, a lingering percentage of us still haven't made up our minds. The difference between the 48.56 percent of likely voters leaning toward President Obama and 48.49 percent headed for Mitt Romney in the most recent Washington Post-ABC poll is — a few procrastinators.

Welcome to Procrasti-Nation.

What makes a procrastinator? This should be easy to determine. I am one myself. To quote Douglas Adams: "I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by." I tried to make a list of things that define the true procrastinator. Here is the list.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National