Monday, September 22, 2014


By Fran McNabb 

I’ll do that tomorrow.

I don’t have time today. Maybe tomorrow.

Today? Oh, no. I don’t have time.

Have you ever caught yourself putting things off until “tomorrow” only because you don’t want to tackle the task or you have no idea how to handle an issue? Of course you have. We’re all humans and all humans procrastinate—some more than others.

Procrastination is the art of putting things off. I call it an “art” because we sometimes have to become creative in coming up with excuses not to do something. I realize that sometimes we don’t have to be creative at all. We can simply look at something that needs to be done and say, “Nope, not now.”

Right now I’m falling into the second category. Seven months ago my husband and I had carpet pulled up in our den and replaced with tile. At the same time I picked out new carpet for my office and bedrooms, but when it came time to actually install it, I said, “Nope, not now.” Replacing carpet seems like a simple thing to do, but the idea of taking everything out of closets and, gulp, cleaning out my office so the workmen can put down the carpet has absolutely debilitated me.

I know it has to be done. I want it to be done, but I can’t face doing it today and those todays have grown into seven months. There is always something else that I find to do. I stand at my office door and see shelves of books that I can’t get rid of. How can I throw away pages and pages of words that have given me so much pleasure? Yes, I have a Kindle now, but those old books are my friends. I know I have to get rid of some of them or at least move them out and rearrange them, but, gosh, what a task.

The closet is another issue. Throwing out clothes that are two sizes too small should be an easy task, but by throwing out clothes that I no longer can wear means I’m admitting I will never get back into those sizes. Those small sizes certainly aren’t my friends as my books are, but it’s easier just to let them hang in the back of the closet than to do something about them.

So, what projects have you put off lately? Is it cleaning out the refrigerator? Sending out thank you notes? Starting your Christmas shopping early? Calling an old friend who has lost a loved one?

We procrastinate about all kinds of tasks. Today, I’m going to walk into my office and deal with some of my old books. (That was a hard sentence to write.) I’m going to face my task head on! My closets? Well, maybe tomorrow.

Fran McNabb lives on the Gulf Coast on a quiet bayou harbor, and she’ll be the first to tell you she’d rather sit in her sunroom and watch the activity on the water rather than do mundane tasks like cleaning closets. She writes light romances and uses her beloved coastline as the setting in many of them.  Visit her at or








  1. Boy, you nailed it with this one, Fran. Glad to know I'm not the only one.

  2. Sandy, thanks for stopping by. The older I get the worse it seems I am about getting things done. I now find too many other things that I want to do instead of chores that have to be done.

  3. The answer is yes. I prefer to call it Displacement Activity, but it is procrastination by another name. Still works the same way. One of my favorite books addressing this problem is "Eat That Frog!" by Brian Tracy. Good advice.

  4. Had to stop by again, Fran, to tell you - you inspired me to clean off my desk today. It's amazing how much more work I get done when I'm not surrounded by clutter. Thanks!

  5. Gues I am a procrastinator. I waited until today to post!!!
    Glad I have some kindred spirits here.

  6. Fran--
    I procrastinate, too. A way to make it easier to pare down on books (an issue all of us writers face) is to give them away. Ask your favorite charity or library if they take used books. Now, I'm going to follow in Sandy's footsteps and clean off my desk :-)