He Had a Year to Do It in

In een gedicht vervat klinkt uitstelgedrag als iets waar je een goede grap over kunt maken. Ik vond dit gedicht in een lezing over uitstelgedrag van onderzoeker Tim Pychyl, auteur van Solving the Procrastination Puzzel: A Consise Guide to Strategies for Change.

Dichter John Lea in het Engelse tijdschrift The Boy’s Own Paper (Januari 1915)

He had a year to do it in
So brushed the thought away,
A chap with half his energy
Might do it in a day.
A year! ‘Twas too ridiculous,
As everyone should find;
However, he would get it done
And have it off his mind.

But not today. A few months hence would suit him better still;
Meanwhile, a far less irksome job
Might occupy his skill.
He would not let the matter pass
Entirely from him, No;
And doubtless he might take it up
In, say a month or so.

He had six months to do it in!
For six long months had flown;
Well, why should that alarm a chap
With talents like his own?
The job, whence once embarked upon,
Would soon be rattled through;
However, he would think of it,
In, say, a week or two.

He had three months to do it in!
“Oh brother!” was his cry;
The thing hangs on me like a weight,
Each day that passes by.
Let’s see: three months? Ah, that’s enough,
But, just to clear the doubt,
Make arrangements for a start
Before the month is out.

He had a week to do it in!
And care was in his glance.
“It’s hard,” he cried, “that flight of time,
Won’t give a chap a chance!”
He still delayed, the swift week passed,
As weeks will ever run,
And though a year was given him,
The task was still undone.