Living Life in Arrears

In my work, I frequently see people with rent arrears, council tax arrears or other types of arrears but today, whilst spending part of my day off catching up with some of my work paperwork, I realised that it is possible to live other parts of life in arrears as well as finance. I was doing paperwork because I haven’t always managed to keep up with it as I go along. There are good reasons why I haven’t done it, but nonetheless I am doing yesterdays work. I do take a lot of notes and that at least means that I can remember some of what I intended to write, but writing it up straight away would be much simpler. That’s not always possible, but when I’ve had the opportunity the notes just flow more easily.

I have to make a lot of phone calls and my tendency would be to leave all of those to one day too but then it can become extremely stressful when they all call back on the same day. Life is just much simpler if tasks are tackled as they present themselves. Obviously some tasks are dependent on the response of others and we have no control over those, but doing the things we can as soon as we get the chance makes us feel as if we are in control and on top of things. As Don Marquis said, (quoted on

Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.

I have to admit that I do the same with housework; by the time I get around to it the desperate need for it is obvious and it is twice as hard as it would have been if I had kept up with it as I went along. Certain things, like cleaning the microwave can actually corrode the metal and result in the need for a new one – so cleaning as we go along is a great moneysaving idea too.

Many of us learn how to put things off until the last minute in school with homework. Some of my friends were exceedingly disciplined and did their homework on the day it was set, but I always left it until the night before it had to be in, which often meant that I had many different subjects to do all at once. Students are renowned for leaving essays and dissertations until the last minute, but they are not alone.
In the words of Christopher Parker, (quoted on

Procrastination is a like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.