Traveling, vacationing, visiting friends – these are all enjoyable things to do; yet, they require a certain process that is somewhat less than enjoyable. It’s a process that requires forethought and planning; it requires patience and finesse. Well, maybe not finesse; but the point is, it’s not a simple process for someone who lacks the ability to think ahead. This process is packing.
Not many things seem to bring out the procrastinator in people like packing. It has an uncanny ability to make us do all sorts of other things we didn’t realize needed to be done. If you have a project you’ve been meaning to get around to, just tell yourself you need to pack; you’ll be amazed how quickly it’s finished.
Outsiders may wonder how any person could put off important things until the last moment. These are people who plan for everything. Their minds are well-oiled, organizational machines. The mind of a procrastinator, however, is a place filled with excuses, distractions, and a lot of justification. The following is what goes on in one such mind in the days leading up to a trip.
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All right, I have a week to get everything organized and packed. For once in my life, I’m going to get it done early. I don’t want to end up feeling rushed at the end like I usually do. In fact, I’m going to start right now.
Okay, first I need to figure out how many days I’m going to be gone. If I’m leaving next Thursday and getting back the following Tuesday, then that means I need to pack clothes for five days.
Wait, I can’t pack my clothes yet; I don’t have enough to last until then. I guess I could just plan my outfits for now. Although, I should probably take the dog for a walk first; he’s been pestering me for a while. I’ll go through my clothes in my head while I take him. That way I can plan my outfits and appease him all at once.
5 Days Prior to Departure
Crap, I never planned my outfits. I should do that at some point today. It probably wouldn’t hurt to look at the route I’ll be taking either. Maybe there’ll be some cool things to check out on the way. I should do that first because it might affect what I decide to bring.
This is great; I think I know where I’m going to stay now. At least, I have a vague idea. I’m still going to play it by ear, though. I should probably get the dishes done, and then maybe take a shower and call it a night. Although for some reason, I can’t shake the feeling there’s something I’m forgetting to do. Strange. Oh well. It’ll come back to me eventually.
In bed that night –
Packing – that’s what I was going to do. I was going to figure out my outfits today. I can’t believe I totally forgot about that. It’s okay, though. I’ll do it first thing in the morning. I still have plenty of time before I leave.
2 Days Prior to Departure
All right, I’ve got two more days to get everything done before I go, so I should probably figure out what I have left to do. I need to pack, but I have to get my laundry done first. I totally forgot to plan my outfits or decide what I’m going to bring, but I might as well wait until my clothes are clean to figure that out.
Later that evening –
I got a lot done today. In fact, I think I might even be ahead of schedule for once. Except I just realized I didn’t pack. I haven’t even thought about what I need to bring. I really don’t feel like dealing with it right now. In all fairness, I took care of a lot of other things today that needed to be done. It’s not like I won’t have time to do it if I don’t get it done tonight. I’ll deal with it tomorrow.
I can’t believe how much I still have to do before tomorrow. What did I even do yesterday? Nothing, apparently. I really need to focus, but I’m going to have some coffee first. I’ll decide what order I want to do things in while I drink it.
Later that night –
All right, I think I stayed pretty focused today. I got all the important things taken care of; I’m not going to worry about the rest. I still need to pack, but I’m just going to wait until the morning. I’ve done enough for today.
The Morning of Departure
Ah crap, I have to leave in fifteen minutes. All right, I need a few t-shirts, some socks, a toothbrush. I should probably grab some pajama pants. What else? Oh, I have to pack the dog’s stuff still. I got this. I’ll grab his food, and then I should be ready to go.
As you can see, it’s very easy for a procrastinator to become distracted and forgetful. I recently procrastinated on my packing for so long that I wasn’t able to get this posted when I wanted to. Procrastination is a difficult habit to break, and I’m certainly not going to claim I know how to do so. Someday, I’ll work on figuring that out. In the meantime, I’ll keep making being a procrastinator work for me.