Oh dear, Daily Post. You’re beginning to repeat yourself. It’s a sign of age. We all do it sooner or later. Or maybe it’s a sign of insecurity – you know, when you don’t think anyone heard that pearl of wisdom, that witty repartee, that expressed desire to see this movie, or eat in that restaurant?
You see, back in August 2013 your prompt was on procrastination. I know, not because I’m stalking you, but because it took me a short eight months to respond. So where does that leave me, I ask you, with today’s Daily Post suggestion? I could say I was prescient I suppose, and for once in my life I arrived early to the party. I could just rehash my May posting (after all, who reads this sh*t anyway?). Or I could just …. find something better to do with my time and come back to this post later, or tomorrow, or next week, or not at all.
What is it about procrastination? It sounds so positive, don’t you think? You can almost hear the politicians (well, definitely George Dubya):
“Vote for me, I’m PRO-crastination. That other fellow, he’s ANTI everything. Ask him to do something and he just does it, for goodness sake. No chance for you to change your mind, no, it’s done.”
See, there’s the heart of the matter for all us advocates for the great art of Crastination. For those of us who advocate for free choice when it comes to scheduling and deadlines, procrastination is our mantra. Our acts of delay and postponement are actually efficient mechanisms to reduce rework and waste in the process.
Let me ask you this:
How often have you been requested to complete a task, only to have the OverLord (we will apply this generic term to encapsulate spouses, significant others, employers, cats, spoilt brats, elderly parents and anyone else who carries the misguided impression that their wants and needs are superior to your own) change their mind, give you new direction and cause you to spend yet more of your finite earthly existence to satisfy their spurious desires?
I’m laying odds here that this has happened on many occasions. So surely, it is only prudent for the efficient and expert Crastinator to delay execution of said task, thus enabling the OverLord the opportunity to modify their request for your labours. This simple act of postponement allows all parties to maximise their operational efficiencies whilst avoiding loss of Face and unnecessary interpersonal relationship conflicts. And one should note here the key premise of the Crastination advocate – their postponement of the task deemed superior by the OverLord does not mean they are snoozing on the job. Far from it. The expert in the art of delay and deferment will be fully employed on some other duties. How else do socks get paired, drawers tidied, cars cleaned or pictures aligned?
In my untimely response to the last Daily Post procrastination prompt (and I’m still shocked at the shoddiness on display here. Methinks our Daily Post writer was procrastination herself, and was in danger of missing the deadline so threw us all a bone which had been picked clean in a previous orgy of clicking keyboards), I pointed out that the art of getting a seasoned schedule shifting expert to do your bidding, is to make the alternative even less desirable than the original task for which you procured their labours.
Let me ask you another question:
Q: Who has procrastinated over updating their blog?
A: Quite a few.
Now, who has also turned to their blog as a procrastination solution when faced with another task (like real, paid work for example)? As I thought. You are proving my theory.
The issue for the procrastinator is that they need to feel they are the Masters of their Destiny. They want to feel they control their schedule and they are not behooved to the whims of the OverLord. In the great Circle of Work, all will get done if it is important enough. It has to – otherwise bad things will happen. If, however, said task is not sufficiently important then it will fall of the radar and no one gets hurt. It’s all down to ownership of the scheduling of that work that’s at the root of the issue for Tardy Tracey, Dick the Delay Meister or Postponement Patty. They want to do things on their time. So let their creative juices flow! Who knows, the result might be so much better (okay, so if we’re talking about balancing the cheque book, there’s not a lot of scope for creativity. But then again, unless you’re on a hand-to-mouth budget who really has thetime or anal-ytical mind required to balance a cheque book?).
So to turn now to the question posed in today’s weak excuse for a Daily Prompt: Your go-to procrastination solution. I firmly believe there is no such thing.
If you’re a professional writer, chances are you’ve procrastinated over a piece you need to produce, and you’ve knitted a sweater or painted a bedroom instead. If you’re a decorator, chances are you’ve turned to your blog instead of getting off your arse and turned the room a hue of violet. Cooks – how often did you procrastinate over the menu for tonight, and served up whatever golden coated stuff you could find in the freezer? Did people starve? NO! Will you do it every night? NO! You just had to exert control over one of the mundanities of life.
There is no such thing as a ‘procrastination solution’. Today’s alternative is tomorrow’s avoided.
My advice is just do something. As you work through stuff, the critical things get done, and all the unnecessary drivel will fall through the sifter and no one will notice. What’s then left in your pan are the nuggets of pure gold – and THAT’S the place you should focus your discretionary effort.