[Daytime. The kids are both napping; a rarity.]

1. You set up the laptop on the kitchen table.

2. You open your media player and play a couple episodes of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, even though you could’ve played them while children were awake – although you should think twice about it, for the swearing – but you forgot you’d even downloaded them until now.

3. You then open a book you’re reading desperately so you can then read the ten others you’ve got waiting, so you can return those to the library, to get more.

4. You can’t remember what work it was you were supposed to be doing.

5. You open up your documents folder on the laptop, and spend a few minutes going through a few old your old documents from a few years ago, a few novel manuscripts, because you’re both a glutton for punishment and primed for desperation/ reparation of spirit. You wished you had time to work on them properly but it wasn’t these you set up the computer to start with.

6. You open a file for your article/ non-fiction ideas and go on the Internet to do some research.

7. Instead of hitting ‘Google’ though, you open your favourites folder for, like, the 20th time that day to check your site meter. You’ve checked it so much, you know exactly who’s visited, right down to their place of residence and what ISP they use.

8. You think, hey, while I’m doing blogging stuff, I’ll do the rounds on all my favourites.

9. You spend the next half hour reading, commenting, and being taken around a linking rainbow of choice and interest.

10. You look at the clock and hate yourself for getting sidetracked.

11. You consider getting some sort of software that limits the time you can actually spend on the Internet.

12. You think that that is for people with no self-control, or for people under the age of ten, of which you are neither, so you snap yourself out of it, and shut down Explorer.

13. You then notice you’ve got a new email. You read that, and realise you’ve got a few others to respond to. You do.

You then hear one of the children is awake and you swear to yourself because your time has been frittered away. That’s what procrastination looks like.


Karen Andrews is the creator of this website, one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country. She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. Her latest book is Crying in the Car: Reflections on Life and Motherhood.