What idiom can I use to describe a situation where I didn't do something I should have done at a certain point of time but did it eventually ?

  • 2
    Are you looking for “I’ll get around to it”. Or in your case “I finally got around to it”
    – Jim
    Jul 7, 2018 at 3:53
  • 3
    The word for what you're describing is "procrastinate." An idiom that relates to procrastination is "A stitch in time saves nine," or you can say, "I drug my heels getting that done."
    – Billy
    Jul 7, 2018 at 4:02
  • 2
    Can you clarify what exactly you're looking for? It's not clear if you want (for example) an idiom for the regret you feel for only finishing something after it's due, or an idiom that looks at the positive side (because you could have simply not done it at all), or an idiom with some other connotation. Please edit this information and an example sentence (or more) where you would use this idiom so that your question can be answered. Thanks.
    – Laurel
    Jul 7, 2018 at 4:20
  • @Billy As i understand it, procrastinate says something about the reason behind postponing something, and nothing about whether or not you actually get around doing it. If for instance you didn't do it in time because of an actual impediment, procrastinate couldn't be used to describe that situation.
    – Zano
    Jul 7, 2018 at 10:36
  • 1
    "Procrastinate" does not say anything about the reason behind delaying doing something. Also, whether impediments are "actual" or just excuses are like beauty -- in the eye of the beholder. When one agrees to or is obliged to complete a task by a given time in the future, a deadline, there is a general understanding that one gets it done regardless of what comes up because stuff always comes up. It's a matter of integrity, and delaying to the point of risking your integrity and not getting it done because something then comes up, like it generally does, is called "procrastinating."
    – Billy
    Jul 7, 2018 at 17:00

4 Answers 4


You could use Better late than never”.

said when you think that it is better for someone or something to be late than never to arrive or to happen.

(Cambridge Dictionary)


If the person feels guilty that things didn't go as planned, @Scott is right with 'better late than never'.

On the other hand, if the person felt the schedule was the problem in the first place, there's

(in) one's (own) sweet time

as slowly as one wants even though others want one to act more quickly

"You took your own sweet time turning this in."
"Well, [wildly implausible medical/familial/national-security excuse]."
"Yeah, well, you're still losing 20 points."


I must say that the expression at long last (or simply at last) fits your description fairly well too, but whether it is the perfectly fit for your particular situation really depends on the context of the situation which you have not provided:

finally, after difficulty, delay, or irritation


At long last, I managed to finally get it done! Phew... What a relief!


Prioritization is the word for which you are looking. I do not know if you would call that an idiom or not.

  • Maybe something like 'nonprioritization'...
    – lly
    Jul 8, 2018 at 10:26

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