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10 June 2007

In Praise of Procrastination

I've successfully scaled the wall of procrastination enough times to notice some side effects. For example, when I really crack down on keeping up with paperwork, I find that any money I save by paying my bills on time may actually be outdone by the extra money I end up spending through the mail. When I set aside time to do mail every week, I actually open and read subscription offers from fascinating magazines...and end up subscribing to them. Getting so I actually have time to fill out a Who's Who questionnaire -- hoo boy, big mistake.

I think the reason I'm procrastinating with mail right now is I know there's a jury duty notice in there. The last time I returned one of those, my boss threatened to revoke a recent promotion if I failed to keep up with all my new responsibilities while I was, you know, in a jury room instead of the office 8 hours a day for 2 weeks. That was a fun couple of weeks. I'd rather be arrested for forgetting to update my address, thank you.

I guess sometimes when I postpone or avoid decisions, it actually helps me not make the wrong decisions. If subscription offers expire, I end up not subscribing to magazines that I really didn't need in the first place. Which begs the question, why am I not better at making decisions in the first place? Could it be because I've procrastinated so many times, that I've never really learned to make them?

Scary thought.

Oh, well, I'm little behind in mail right now, but not drowning in it. As I pick my way through the small pile on Monday, my paperwork night, I'll strive to do only what's necessary, not what looks interesting, even though I have the time to do it.

8 comments:

  1. Procrastination is the thief of time yet can be a friend in the process of decision making. As you conclude the trick is to prioritise decision making. Procrastination allows the unimportant to drop off the radar.

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  2. I agree with postponing the unimportant. Also, you can decide not to decide. We make so many decisions in our lives on a daily basis. When you open the mail, it is a stack of decisions right there. Should I subscribe? Should I apply? Should I respond? When I decide not to decide about the unimportant stuff, I eliminate this process. Sometimes I just cannot be bothered!

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  3. I struggle with procrastination every day. One thing I have learned for sure -- if you put something off long enough and refuse to act on it, you can bet someone else will act on it for you. The results may be less than desirable and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

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  4. Thanks for the link! Just read it and I actually enjoyed it. However, it is proof that as human beings we can justify anything.

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  5. Some work deferring procrastination: What is Flag Day (USA)? This doesn't figure in my filofax whilst it was shown on my tear off calendar (June 14, 2007). Could it be as simple as flying the flag?

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  6. I have a comment I wanted to make...did you know that the really cool stickers that Franklin covey sells fit PERFECTLY in my personal size binder? I LOVE the appointment stickers! (I'm a thwarted scrapbooker)

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  7. you really need to read David Allen's GTD. Just click on your link for Merlin on 43folders.com. You haven't sat down to decide what the outcome you want and the action steps it takes to complete them. This is a HUGE part of why we procrastinate. that and fear of the unknown, i.e.,commitment.

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