Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Friday, April 23, 2010

Big Time Procrastinators

I was clicking my way around the web this morning, looking for an alternative to the scheduled topic I had decided I didn't want to write about, when I happened upon this gem.  It is an article written by David Leonhardt --"The Happy Guy,"--entitled "Hurry Up and Procrastinate."  Leonhardt refers to a contest to find "America's Biggest Procrastinator," and offers "tips to becoming a champion procrastinator" and examples of heroic level procrastinating.  Be sure to read it if you need to lighten up about your imperfect work habits on this day that used to be the end of the work week, in a bygone era.  Which makes me wonder, now that Friday is just another day in our super-connected endless tail-chasing lives, T.G.I. what?

After chuckling my way through Leonhardt's clever piece, I tried to find out more about the contest he spoke of.  I found a link to a contest sponsored by Weisman Success Resources, a success coaching company based in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., which ran from January 15 through March 14 in 2004.  Though many top drawer procrastinators might just now be getting around to submitting applications, unfortunately the application link is no longer live.  I could not find any announcement of a winner.

So, like all good web surfers, I decided to follow a thread I did turn up.  Which led to this fascinating list of famous procrastinators, culled from a number of sites.  Like many such lists, the criteria are not well-defined, and many would quarrel with the inclusion of some on the roster.  But as an antidote to shame, and in the interests of further insight into the problem, I present the following collection, grouped by source, with links to further documentation, anecdotes, and other such "credentials."

Famous Procrastinators:  A Partial List

Bill Clinton
Naomi Campbell
Robert Redford

[According to Diana DeLonzor, author of Never Be Late Again, 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged]

Neville Chamberlein
Agatha Christie
John Huston
St. Augustine
Leonardo da Vinci
Samuel Coleridge
Douglas Adams

[from Piers Steel's Procrastination Central site: under Case Studies]

Scarlet O’Hara

Albert Einstein
Isaac Asimov
Jerry Yang and David Filo (founders of Yahoo)
Sergey Brin and Larry Page (founders of Google)

[From Jorge Cham, (creator of the Comic Strip Piled High and Deeper (PHD)]

Bill Clinton (again)
Duke Ellington
Wong Kar-wai
the Messiah
[From Jessica Winter's Village Voice article, "Procrastination 101: The Science of Putting it Off"]

Tristam Shandy
Ken Livingstone
Guns N’ Roses

[from London Times article, "Formula for overcoming procrastination ... what are the chances?" by John Harlow]

So you see, those of us who battle this dreaded affliction are in good, and even Godly company.  We, too, could be great, or at least well-known--eventually.  

No comments:

Post a Comment