It's official. March 3-9, 2013, is National Procrastination Week and the U.S. Congress certainly got the memo early. So, why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? That's a complete flip flop on the quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson, but this is the one week out of 52 to totally let it slide. Here's your guide to what not to do during National Procrastination Week... then again, you could just read this next week. Either way, you're demonstrating effective dawdling.
1. Most importantly, don't do your taxes this week. They're not due until April 15, and that's six weeks away. Besides, you can always think about filing an extension. But, don't actually do that, just think about that. Deadlines are so overrated.
2. This is the perfect week to officially drop any New Year's resolutions that you may still have on your mind. Forget them! If you're dieting, celebrate National Procrastination Week with a dish of your favorite ice cream, since you can always diet next week.
3. Deliberate delay can help us to distinguish what's really not worth any effort. Plaster post-it notes on the bathroom mirror, the refrigerator, in the car, reminding yourself not to do anything. Make your not to-do list; prioritize it with high to low and medium levels of urgency and stick to it religiously.
4. Speaking of religion, watch cable news repeat itself hourly while awaiting smoke signals to rise from the Sistine Chapel's papal conclave in Rome. Look for plenty of black puffs indicating that the 117 cardinals are undecided, properly honoring National Procrastination Week. In the 13th century, it took one College of Cardinals nearly three years to make a decision.
5. Set your clocks a few hours back to surprise yourself with how much you're getting done by doing nothing at all. It's gonna be the future soon, anyway.
6. Email is a great procrastinator, since it can prevent you from speaking to anyone. Read old emails while you wait for the ping to announce the arrival of a new one. Don't reply to any. If the people sending you emails are not celebrating National Procrastination Week, they may re-send emails making the ping more frequent as the week progresses and you get further and further behind on emails. It's somewhat entertaining.
7. It's okay to do some stuff, like organize your old CD collection alphabetically, scrub the bathroom floor, mend holes in old socks, scribble a Christmas thank you to Aunt Gertrude on real stationery. Run spyware on your computer. Repair your bicycle chain. Write to your congressman. But, only do these things if there is a big, work-related project you can put off by focusing on this other stuff instead.
8. Undertake nothing. If you find yourself doing something, even the dishes, ask yourself, "Do I have to do this?" Adjust accordingly.
9. Share your plans with family and friends, so they can nudge you if required, that is, they catch you doing something. Partnering up makes it easier to blow it off with due accountability.
10. Does National Procrastination Week deserve a shout-out like Groundhog Day and April Fool's Day get on either side of March? True, it's a silly proclamation, just for fun, farcical, meant in self-jest. But hey, if you're really into it, call in sick and hop a flight to Vegas.