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Procrastination

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ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 2014 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Like a lot of writers, I'm well-versed in the art of procrastination. In fact, it often feels like it's getting worse. We live in a culture of constant distraction, of tweets and Facebook status updates, of ephemera as news. With all the data (trivia?) pouring in across the virtual transom, it's a wonder that I, that anyone, can get anything done. At the same time, I want to tell you, procrastination is an important aspect of the writing process - and not just for me. How else to explain the frequency with which Megan McCardle's recent post in the Atlantic, “Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators,” has shown up in my Facebook and Twitter feeds?
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SCIENCE
April 9, 2014 | By Melissa Healy, This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.
New research suggests the Internal Revenue Service should expand the list of acceptable explanations for procrastinators' yearly extension requests and late tax filings. Two possibilities: "I was born this way" and "failure to evolve. " Procrastination, suggests a new study, is an evolved trait that likely served humans well in a time when finding food and water and fending off prey were job one. For man in the state of nature, pondering lofty goals for an indistinct future was sure to result in an early demise.
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OPINION
February 16, 2014 | By Amy Goldman Koss
The 10th birthday of Facebook last week caused me to recall my miserable pre-Facebook existence, when methods of procrastination were sorely limited. As a stay-at-home writer, phone calls were unruly and hard to control. What if the other person wanted to tell a long story? What if she wanted me to really pay attention? I could have a bit of contact with the outside world by scanning the newspaper or listening to the radio. But for me the switch in media was too jarring and tended to trigger frantic snacking, which often led to napping.
TRAVEL
March 30, 2014 | By Jen Leo
For those who can't plan ahead, here's another app to help you find travel savings. Name: Last Minute Travel Deals Available for: Website ( www.lastminutetravel.com ), Android and iPhone, iPad and iPod touch What it does: Accesses flights from more than 175 carriers around the world, more than 100,000 hotels in 153 countries, nearly 20,000 vacation homes and about 10,000 activities. Last Minute Travel is able to offer hotel deals at wholesale rates because it buys rooms in bulk and well in advance of your travel.
NEWS
May 8, 1992 | MICHAEL HAEDERLE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Day 1: It might be scheduling your oft-postponed dentist's visit . . . Day 9: It might be scheduling your oft-postponed dentist's visit or answering that stack of unanswered letters . . . Day 10: It might be scheduling your oft-postponed dentist's visit or answering that stack of unanswered letters stashed in your desk. Then again. . . . Day 11: It might be scheduling your oft-postponed dentist's visit or answering that stack of unanswered letters stashed in your desk.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 1995 | MICHAEL GRANBERRY and LESLIE BERKMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Larry Hustana was working himself into a lather, and he had made it only as far as the front door. He scowled as he noticed the sign deep inside the Ziggurat building. Internal Revenue Service, it read. "Gggrrrrr," Hustana said. No one needed to tell him or the dozens of other people waiting in line that Monday was the dreaded day. All were filing tax returns at the last possible moment. "Let freedom ring," one said as he walked away. Hustana concurred.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 1996 | LORENZA MUNOZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
For some, procrastination in filing tax returns is a tradition. Despite traffic jams at post offices and the last-minute stress of rushing around, then enduring jabs by those who filed early, their practice of waiting until the final day continues. Monday was crunch time for the 10 Orange County post offices that extended their hours and adjusted their services to accommodate the thousands of people who waited until the last day to file their federal and state income tax returns.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 1992 | LILY DIZON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Karen Olson has the practice down pat. "I take my time and enjoy life throughout the year," the 26-year-old Newport Beach woman said. "And then on this one day every year, I go crazy!" This day, of course, was Wednesday. Tax Day. Doomsday. V-Day--if you were lucky. "Me, I'm not lucky," Olson lamented while filling out her state income tax form on a bench at a Santa Ana post office. "I have to pay $231" in taxes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 17, 1990 | SHERYL STOLBERG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Monday was the day federal taxes came due, and so what more appropriate place for Loretta Emmel to be than in federal court in downtown Los Angeles, fighting the tax man. Emmel, a grandmotherly 69-year-old, dressed for her day in court in a pink ruffled blouse and plaid pantsuit, has been battling the Internal Revenue Service for nine years. She complains that the agency has seized her house, her stocks and bonds, even the life insurance her husband left when he died in October.
OPINION
January 24, 2003
Re "Be There in a Minute," editorial, Jan. 19: Procrastination and accumulation are indeed rampant these days, but you don't have to pay a procrastination counselor to get you on the right track. Joining FlyLadyMentors on Yahoo groups is free, but don't expect to only throw out one item a day. Her famous "27 Fling Boogies" will get you clearing out your clutter faster than that. And, as the 161,000 of us on her list know, "You can do anything for 15 minutes!" Leslie Heinrichs Orange
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 2014 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Like a lot of writers, I'm well-versed in the art of procrastination. In fact, it often feels like it's getting worse. We live in a culture of constant distraction, of tweets and Facebook status updates, of ephemera as news. With all the data (trivia?) pouring in across the virtual transom, it's a wonder that I, that anyone, can get anything done. At the same time, I want to tell you, procrastination is an important aspect of the writing process - and not just for me. How else to explain the frequency with which Megan McCardle's recent post in the Atlantic, “Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators,” has shown up in my Facebook and Twitter feeds?
OPINION
February 16, 2014 | By Amy Goldman Koss
The 10th birthday of Facebook last week caused me to recall my miserable pre-Facebook existence, when methods of procrastination were sorely limited. As a stay-at-home writer, phone calls were unruly and hard to control. What if the other person wanted to tell a long story? What if she wanted me to really pay attention? I could have a bit of contact with the outside world by scanning the newspaper or listening to the radio. But for me the switch in media was too jarring and tended to trigger frantic snacking, which often led to napping.
OPINION
February 12, 2014 | Doyle McManus
The debate over the Keystone XL pipeline may look like just another example of the partisan divide on Capitol Hill. If only it were that easy. President Obama's dilemma over whether to approve the 1,600-mile pipeline, which would move oil from Canada to Texas, has more to do with disagreements within the Democratic Party, and with foreign relations. Environmentalists, including some of the Democrats' biggest donors, have seized on Keystone as a test of Obama's commitment to halting global warming.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 21, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
Before he started his latest book,  Demetri Martin  got a really nice pen. It wasn't a regular pen, he said, but "a really fancy pen to do the drawings," Martin, the stand-up comedian, writer and actor, said Sunday afternoon at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books . "I bought like 40 different little nibs," lots of special ink and a wide variety of paper, Martin said. "That was probably two or three weeks, I spent $500 to $600.... I was just procrastinating. " FULL COVERAGE: FESTIVAL OF BOOKS But "it doesn't look any different after all that," he lamented.
BUSINESS
December 20, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
The swamped malls, crowded parking lots and frantic delivery companies say it all: Christmas crunch time is here for the two-thirds of Americans who still haven't finished their holiday shopping. That's 132 million people trying to figure out last-minute gifts, according to a holiday poll conducted by Consumer Reports from Dec. 10 to 17. Of the respondents, 14% have yet to start shopping. And 17 million people - 9% of the total - will still be scrambling on Christmas Eve. So far, the average American has spent $340 on presents.
OPINION
May 15, 2012
Now that most states have received or applied for relief from the No Child Left Behind Act, California is submitting its own proposal . And in true California fashion, it's - different. The state has long been at odds with the U.S. Education Department over the waiver process. Both sides agree that the federal law is flawed to the point of being counterproductive. But California won't agree to do what other states have promised to get out from under the law's most punitive measures: include standardized test scores as a significant component in the performance evaluations of individual teachers.
OPINION
January 19, 2003
Here's a subject we've been meaning to write about for some time: procrastination. Putting things off is natural; the people of Atlantis had been meaning to retrofit their city against quakes for years. But these days Americans, still claiming the need to recover from December's orgy of obligations, are well on the way to perfecting procrastination. It's just taking a lot longer than expected. Procrastination is not well researched because we're way too busy.
OPINION
May 4, 1986
I'd like to give thanks to Mayor Tom Bradley and the members of the City Council. If these notables could have broken away from their personal politicking sometime during the past six years perhaps the people of Los Angeles wouldn't have been robbed of a goodly portion of their cultural heritage. These "public servants" will blame Proposition 13 and Reagan Administration cuts, but we know the fire-blackened remains of the library stand as a perfect monument to their procrastination and incompetence.
BUSINESS
April 16, 2012 | By David Lazarus
I don't mean to ruin your day, but your taxes are due tomorrow (Tuesday). Here are some tips for down-to-the-wire filers. First, use the Internal Revenue Service's e-file system. It's fast, safe and will get you any refund quicker, which is always a good thing. If you're mailing in your return, you can make sure you've got the right address by checking at www.irs.gov (click the "where to file" link). Your check should be payable to "United States Treasury" (not "that greedy so-and-so who keeps reaching into my pocket")
BUSINESS
April 13, 2012 | By W.J. Hennigan
Procrastinators: Worried about having to file for yet another extension this year with the upcoming tax deadline? Breathe easy. Tax day is typically April 15. Every year,  people across the nation rush to get their documents in order to meet that deadline. But this year, April 15 falls on a Sunday. And April 16 happens to be a Washington, D.C. holiday called Emancipation Day, which celebrates President Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act in 1862.
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