Some delayed thoughts on procrastination

“Procrastination is my sin. It brings me naught but sorrow. I know that I should stop it. In fact, I will–tomorrow” 
― Gloria Pitzer

“I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do – the day after.” 
― Oscar Wilde

“If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.” 
― Rita Mae Brown

I have been meaning to write this short piece for a while now. Very rarely do I opine on matters that I have such a wealth of experience in as the subject of this piece. 

The online dictionary, www.dictionary.com, describes procrastinate, a verb, as

To put off till another day or time; defer; delay.

Now I must agree with the categorisation of procrastinate as a verb. Plenty of my neurons have suffered apoptosis while thinking about not doing what I think I ought to be doing. Procrastination is active in the same way that friend-zoning is a verb, or should be.

Procrastination must not be confused with other mental proclivities that are known for having crippling effects. Like tardiness or damning self-fulfilling-prophecies that make you under-perform because you think you are not good enough and so you put in an effort that reflects your perceived ability (or lack thereof). The key to successful procrastination is to get the task done, albeit, behind your ideal schedule.

You will find that reading this, thus far, has been a complete waste of your time. I do not apologise for this, nor do I promise to atone, I am utterly remorseless. I have one piece of advice on this matter. If you are a chronic procrastinator consider what I call efficacious procrastination. If you have task A to do, an important task, but you are in a procrastinating spirit, do not be in denial. Come to terms with the fact that at that point in time you cannot will yourself into doing that task and focus on other smaller tasks that would ordinarily get in the way when you are actually in the spirit (or zone) to accomplish task A. Think of it as clearing your schedule. The next best thing is acceptance.

I have learnt to not berate myself for my procrastination habits, because it doesn’t work. I lack the necessary anxiety to complete activities before the deadline day, and more importantly history has shown me that starting studying a week before exams, typing my curriculum vitae on application deadline day and buying tickets on the week of the game does not do me any harm.

Tailpiece:

20/06/2014- 12/08/2014.

That is how long it took me to write this, for obvious reasons. In the interim I finished reading a book, read over 200 pages in two other books and engaged in a new hobby: meme production (via http://www.imagechef.com)

 SANBS

DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. DONATE BLOOD. Many citizens cannot due to illness and weight (my Physics teacher would say mass) restrictions.

procrastination

I conclude with a quote from my personal favourite intellectual of all time. I would bestow an honorary PhD on this Quote Meister …

Unknown

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