Sarah Stultz: Do you procrastinate doing things in life?

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

I’ve been staring at the back of my dirty car for weeks now with good intentions of getting to the car wash.

It’s so bad, one of these days I fully expect someone to come along and write a “wash me” message on the back window.

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In the last few days, it seems there has been something I can only assume was birds leave another surprise on the side of my car with what looks to be multiple drips down almost the entire driver’s side.

Now, since then, almost every time I get in the driver’s seat, the thought crosses my mind that I need to get the car washed.

It’s one of those things I’ve put off now for so long because of one reason or another.

Sure enough, every time I have a free moment to actually get it done, there’s a long line at the car wash or it decides to rain or snow or it’s going to rain or snow the next day. As you can tell, sometimes I tend to procrastinate.

I know we live in Minnesota, so unfortunately this is a problem I encounter every winter.

There’s a myriad of reasons I’ve found I do so.

I want my $6 to $10 at the car wash to be worthwhile and to last for at least a few days, a week or more.

I also have to find the time needed to get it done or find a time of day when it’s not as busy out of the normal hours to make a special trip to a car wash. Oh, and make sure to bring a book along to help pass the time.

I find deadlines help keep me in tow — perhaps that’s why I am able to stay afloat in such a deadline-driven industry. I can say I like some deadlines more than others, but I recognize their value in helping to keep things moving in a timely fashion and to help break up the workload.

Sure, I still procrastinate with my job, too, but these days with the 24/7 news environment, things have to be done quickly, if not immediately. It’s what people expect, so there’s no time to lollygag around or get distracted with other things that eat up my time and put off writing a story. Sometimes I appreciate that pressure to get something done.

After a little online research, I found at least 20% of adults are considered chronic procrastinators, and about 50% of adults say they procrastinate from time to time. It is more prevalent among students, with about 75% of college students identifying themselves as procrastinators.

How much time does the average person spend on procrastinating? According to one website I found, a survey in 2015 found that on average a person wastes 218 minutes every day procrastinating.

Imagine what we could do if we were able to minimize the procrastination?

“My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.” — Charles Dickens

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.