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The Procrastinators Club: Behind You All the Way

The Procrastinators Club: Behind You All the Way – Its a lifestyle choice the way these guys do it….

“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done the day after tomorrow just as well.” – Mark Twain.

If you find yourself procrastinating from time to time, don’t worry about it. You’re not the only one. I originally pitched the idea for this article last October and just a few short months later I am finally getting around to writing it. We are all guilty of it and there is even a club you can join.

The Procrastinators Club of America (nobody has gotten around to founding the Irish wing yet) was set up in Philadelphia in 1956 by Les Waas. The Club describe their purpose as promoting “the philosophy of relaxation through putting off until later those things that needn’t be done today.” Definitely a philosophy that all my fellow procrastinators can get behind.

Upon its foundation, Les Waas was named Procrastination Club President and like all great leaders he believed in democracy so he decided that there should be an election the following year to choose the next president. No date was ever set and Waas remained president until 2011.

There is a $20 fee to join. That $20 gets you a licence to procrastinate as well as access to a monthly publication called ‘Last month’s newsletter’ which lists events that have already taken place. There is also an annual $5 membership fee but I wouldn’t worry too much about that as they rarely get around to sending out notices about it.

If you wish to partake in festive celebrations with the club, they celebrate Christmas in June and their annual 4th of July party takes place sometime in January. There is also a ‘be late for something day’ on September 5th where they encourage members to experience the joy and relaxation that procrastination brings. They do take their procrastination celebrations seriously. The one time a member sent out Christmas cards on time, they were immediately expelled. Which is probably the swiftest the club has ever acted.

Unsurprisingly, they haven’t got a website and their social media is rarely updated so it is difficult to find out information on them. Les Waas once joked that they had about half a million members in the United States but only about 5000 had actually got around to joining.

The Procrastinators Club aren’t afraid to get involved with politics. They recently ran a campaign to re-elect James Buchanan as President of the United States. Although they may have left that one a bit late as he died in 1868. A more successful campaign was their protest against the war of 1812. The club declared it a great success when they discovered that a treaty had now been signed. The only issue here was that the protest took place in 1966 and the treaty had been signed 152 years earlier, but why let semantics get in the way of celebrating a good victory.

In 1991 they protested against a seafood restaurant that was offering an early bird special. Passers-by may have been confused by the sight of the club as they marched outside the restaurant holding empty signs and placards. This was because they hadn’t quite gotten around to writing anything on them.

If you are a procrastinator, you’re in good company. Leonardo Da Vinci took 15 years to paint the Mona Lisa and 25 years to finish the Virgn of the Rocks. He became renowned for procrastination so much so that his benefactors would often threaten him with bankruptcy just to get him to finish his work. Many of Da Vinci’s paintings remained unfinished because of his inability to focus. Mozart didn’t start writing the overture for his opera Don Giovanni until the night before it opened. There was no time to rehearse it and the ink wasn’t even dry on the music sheets as the audience took their seats for the opening night. Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, became well known for missing deadlines and even once said “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” He listed taking baths, drinking tea and days in bed as his go-to forms of procrastination.

Many studies have been done on the subject of procrastination but the results are often inconclusive because participants often fail to start on time or finish the exercises and tests they are given. It is believed that the fear of failure is the main reason behind procrastination. This may be down to a lack of confidence, avoidance of criticism or high expectations. Perfectionists are often the biggest procrastinators as they can view not doing something at all as better than doing it poorly. I wouldn’t consider myself a perfectionist but that will be my go-to excuse for procrastinating from now on.

I did reach out to the Procrastination Society of America for comment but you won’t be surprised to hear that they haven’t got back to me, yet.







2 Responses

  1. J Healy says:


  2. Well done Shane!!! This is the kind of article that I really enjoy reading. Quirky and at the same time really informative, It ticks all the boxes. All round, a really excellent read!!! Regards, Aidan.

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