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3 reasons why you shouldn’t leave your project until the last minute

Painting black lines on a costume.

Last night I had a nightmare. I dreamt that I had to paint black lines on two costumes for a play. The paint wasn’t drying fast enough and I wasn’t sure if the director would like what I had done.

When I woke up I realized it wasn’t a dream. I really have to paint black stripes on red underwear and white underwear. The paint was slow to dry, and I didn’t know if the director would like my idea.

My husband said, “They might look okay from far away.”

I should have given myself more time.

3 reasons why you shouldn’t leave your project until the last-minute

1. The project is taking longer than you expected.  I am painting black stripes on fabric. I forgot the fabric has two sides, and I forgot to add in drying time. I stayed up until midnight painting.

2. You realize you don’t have enough supplies to complete the project, and all the stores are closed. I wanted to paint more last night, but I didn’t have enough black paint.

3. You may discover a better way to do the project, but there isn’t enough time to do it. I remembered a method of tie-dying where you paint a wax resist, and then die the fabric. I could have died the stripes into the fabric.

The play is in five days, and the dress rehearsal is tonight. It was nice chatting with you. Now, back to my painting.

Have you ever left something to the last-minute? 

Please tell me in the comments.



About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Robin Patrick

    I put off thing until the last frequently. I finally figured out that most of those things are ones that I don’t know if I’m capable of doing. Which is kind of backward thinking. I mean, if I’m not sure I can do it I would be better off to get a move on and give myself more time. But, I do this all the time. I am, right now, putting of writing the VBS drama scripts because of fear. What if . . . I can’t do it again? What if . . . the characters don’t come out right? What if . . . I write so much they can’t memorize? What if . . . and on it goes.

  • writekimwrite

    Ummm…hum…YES and then some!

  • I prefer to see my waiting as extending the planning phase.

  • Ever left something to the last minute? How about all my marking, all the time? Or anything else that’s important and needs tending? Leaving things to the last minute has occupied such a pathological place in my life that I’ve found greater happiness in building around it and using it as a tool to make life more efficient than in trying to change it. For instance — if I tell myself I’m going to mark papers on Saturday, I usually don’t (with yesterday being a notable exception, because — oh wait — they HAD TO get done). So instead of telling myself I will and then wasting time getting down to it, I just leave it all for Sunday and enjoy Saturday doing something else.

    I do try to anticipate potential last-minute problems, like stores being closed and such, usually with success. But sometimes not. The ball never ultimately gets dropped, though; it all happens, somehow. And that of course just encourages my bad behavior, because the rush of crisis is another point of addiction.

    Okay, have to start marking papers that need to be done by tomorrow. I like how you’re writing with an invitational question at the end. And your writing rocks too. 🙂

    • pamelahodges

      Yes, the rush of crisis can be another form of addiction. So, did you get those papers marked on Sunday?

  • Maria Selke (@mselke01)

    I always THINK I’ve left enough time…. I tend to procrastinate until almost the last minute, and then things take me longer than I thought…. Grrr… there with you. Hope all went well!

  • Your post made me laugh. Think the question for me is- do you ever NOT put off things, (especially things that seem a little tricky, like painting lines on underwear) until the last minute?

  • You have captured the scariest aspect of nightmares – they are often reality! Love this. Hope your paint has dried and your project is done.

    • pamelahodges

      Yes, my nightmare was a reality. The paint dried in time, thank you to our gas fireplace. The director was pleased.

  • elsie

    Taxes are waiting, must gather information today! I try not to wait, but the key word is try. Good luck with the dress rehearsal today.

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Elsie. It went well.

  • I couldn’t resist clicking on a post about lines on underwear! And I leave way too many things to the last minute. Which reminds me, time to get off the computer and work on that Sunday School lesson!

    • pamelahodges

      Yes, get on that lesson. Hope it went well.

  • Yes, I put off finishing college until I was 52.

    • pamelahodges

      I waited until I was 40. But at least we finished.

  • I so know that feeling…..lessons…powerpoints….REPORT CARDS…due in 24 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YIKES!!!!!!!!!!

    • pamelahodges

      Yikes is right. Don’t take a nap today.

  • La McCoy

    I wondered why I had night mares!

    • pamelahodges

      Now you know. 🙂

      • Ro Maxwell

        How funny! Thank you for the helpful tips… 🙂
        Sincerely, A fellow procrastinator