The Procrastination Epidemic 14 Matter of Fact For those who haven't yet bought into the idea that stopping procrastination is a good thing, there's the Pro- crastinators Club of America (PCA), founded in 1956. The club has 14,000 members and estimates that there are millions of would-be members who just haven't gotten around to joining. According to Acting President Les Waas, the club's most recent activity has been working on the Y1K problem. (By the way, Les has been Acting President since his first term ended in 1956 because the 1957 nominating committee still hasn't held elections for any years since.) You can reach PCA at 215-947-9020 or P.O. Box 712, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009. (PCA hasn't gotten around to developing a Web site yet.) To overcome this problem, you first have to know exactly what procrastination is and why you do it. That's what we'll look at in this and the next few chapters. Why We Love to Hate Procrastination Most of us have a love-hate relationship with procrastination. We hate the way it wrecks our lives, jeopardizing our health, careers, relationships, and more. We hate the way it puts us in a state of constant worry. We stress over what we should be doing, what we haven't done, and what we've started but might not finish. At the same time, though, we love the way procrastination relieves us of our responsibilities. It's our little escape from the real world. It gives us permission to go see a good movie instead of studying for a test. It lets us stay in bed an extra hour instead of going to the gym before work. Procrastination makes us human. We like the way it lets us enjoy life and keeps us from being automatons who get everything done but never stop to smell the roses. There's nothing wrong with that--at least not until it starts to take its toll in some of the ways described in Chapter 1, "The Procrastinator's Wake- Up Call." What It Is You might do it all the time or some of the time, but have you ever stopped to analyze just what procrastination is? Procrastination is the act of putting off something until later by either not starting it, starting at the last minute, or starting but not finishing. It comes from the Latin words pro and cras, which can be translated as "for tomorrow" or "belonging to tomorrow." If you're a procrastinator, there are probably some things you never get around to doing. You make vague promises to yourself or others, saying, "I'll do it later." You don't have any idea when later might be; you just know it's not now. You're Not Alone After all is said and done, more is said than done.