Ode to Procrastination

mañana is good enough for me
mañana is good enough for me

‘Is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time.’

Procrastination is good. I could leave it that and everybody would agree but let’s go into the heart of the matter. It’s only when we have procrastinated enough, when we are truly fed up with delaying our life/the essential any longer that we do what really matters.

Only, it’s more complicated than that. Before we can start something new we need to go to the end of whatever came before. That holds true for relationships, for unsatisfying jobs or waiting for the bus until we notice the stop is no longer in use.

Procrastination is the great leveller. It might turn out that, having procrastinated long enough, the urgent thing we’ve been avoiding just doesn’t exist anymore, i.e. the flowers we should have watered died, the all-clearing conversation has become pointless now that the relationship is over, or by the time we are actually ready for a walk it’s raining.

Another bonus of procrastination is that the important thing we’ve been delaying has simply lost its importance. Which totally frees us of guilt, because time did that. It wasn’t us.

So don’t be afraid to go to the very end of your hedging. Try stretching it ad infinitum and you’ll sloth your life away. However, it’s more likely you will get bothered with it eventually. It might take an hour or ten years but there will probably come a time when procrastination just won’t do anymore.

It’s not that your flat couldn’t do with another cleaning, or what about that film you’ve only watched nine times and still offers dialogue subtleties you missed previously, or keeping up with the latest FB updates. You are not really postponing, you just don’t want to miss out on life-changing events.

In my case, whatever it is I don’t want to do the most, or perceive as hardest moves furthest down the list. So if I have something I really don’t fancy doing but deep down know that my life including myself would really benefit from, I find something I feel even less like doing.

Suddenly the thing I didn’t want to do doesn’t look so unattractive anymore simply because it moved upwards on the list of things I’m trying to avoid.

So my trick is just finding that one worse thing. Let’s stick with the homely and homemade. I’m still mending clothes and sometimes customise them. Even though this is satisfying work, also in a good-for-our-planet-screw-you-cheap-clothes-slave-labour-kind-of-way, I will avoid it for as long as possible.

In comes the notion that I should be writing my next blog. And yes, I start mending things that are perfectly alright and customise clothes for no reason other than spending an hour not doing that other thing. Now all I need to find is something less pleasurable than sitting down and piecing my brain cells together for writing.

I obviously found it.

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19 thoughts on “Ode to Procrastination

  1. Unfortunately; ‘Fear’ is a great motivator in life, which can make us procrastinators, where our health is concerned, also; there are some things in life, less seriously-minded, which requiring a little; mulling over, don’t you agree? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and your thoughts. You are right. Our fears, because they are often based on conditioning and negative childhood influences, work in mysterious ways that we are not always aware of. I try not to listen to my brain when it comes up with excuses in order to resist and reject new things and challenges. But yes, this is complex stuff, which deserves a long conversation. I would still give the Artist Way a try though, it also deals with these barriers…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a lovely way of viewing procrastination from different angles. I may just procrastinate the rest of my life and let death take care of what I should have done. This is light at the end of the tunnel so thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is 😉 But since I’ve started doing The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and write ‘morning pages’ each day, I find it much easier to remove my own barriers and excuses. But it’s a process, 2 steps forward, one step back…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It took me a year to get started and I so regretted having left it so long. I know loads of things promise magical cures but this actually does propel you to make positive changes and to thrive with your creativity. If it doesn’t work for you, I’ll give you your money back. Promise.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. For me, it gets pushed to the top of the pile. That is, above studying for a college exam.

      Now, about the post. Let’s not be so quick to dismiss one of life’s simplest truths: everything, when taken to extremes, does harm. I mean, what if I were to put off, oh, I dunno, going to get treatment for a terminal illness? Chemotherapy is indeed unpleasant, but the longer you wait, the lees your chance of success.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are right, but sadly there are a lot of people, I know quite a few, who have clear physical signs that something is wrong with them and they still delay going to the doctors. So, it’s a tricky subject. In general, I try looking at things from a humurous angle and use exaggeration to make points, so everything is to be taken with a pinch of salt 😉

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