Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Thoughts on procrastination 48 hours later / Not wasted time / Progress / Vitality

This morning:















48 hours ago:















Thank you to The Solitary Walker for the concept of swinging between procrastination and procrastination.  Now that you mention it, I can either be postponing some challenging task or postponing something I thoroughly enjoy doing  (-:

I think often of the header on Sabine's blog that says, "Live all you can:  It's a mistake not to."

Thank you to Sabine for offering a German equivalent for the word "procrastination." It's frühjahrsmüdigkeit, which literally means "spring tiredness."

Given that spring can be my season of greatest procrastination, I relate to Sabine's equivalent and find myself wondering if I might think of spring as a season for celebrating procrastination, using my yearly diminished momentum as joyfully and creatively as possible with my limited energy.

My MacBook's Dashboard gives these words for "procrastination."

French -- temporisation (as in wasted time?)
Italian -- indugio (as in indulgence?)
Spanish -- dilación (as in dilly-dallying?)
Dutch -- uitstel (as in uitsted time?)

And then there's:

"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."

Yesterday morning I had been wondering if vitality might be the opposite of procrastination.  When I am working on a blog post or reading blogs or out walking or practicing yoga or meeting at breakfast time with my eccentric friends most mornings of the week, I experience vitality -- even if in doing so I postpone other creative work and looking for paid employment.  The truth is I don't really want a job at this time as I am enjoying life in a way I never have before.  There is something to be said for that.

When I asked one of my eccentric friends what word came to her mind as the opposite of procrastination, she paused and then replied, "Progress."

Any other thoughts on a word for the opposite of procrastination?


6 comments:

Sabine said...

I should just mention that "Live all you can, it's a mistake not to" is a quote. Originally from Henry James I first read it quoted by Christopher Hitchens in his book "Arguably".

The Solitary Walker said...

Thank you for your fruitful ponderings on procrastination, am. You certainly didn't procrastinate arriving at these interesting thoughts! This is what blogging at its best can do — stimulate ideas, clarify one's approach to life.

I like the concept of celebrating procrastination, and we don't do this enough — we're always so busy trying to progress (whatever that means) in a frenzied rush. (And sometimes progression is not actual progress, and sometimes procrastination, or weighing up the options, or meditating in stillness, or not doing anything at all, may, strangely, be the real progress.)

'Time you enjoy wasting is not wasting time.' Yes. All this depends on what we understand by 'progressing' and 'wasting'. For instance, in certain circumstances 'progression' may be interpreted negatively, and 'waste' may be interpreted positively.

I myself, and I think this is common with most people, can feel 'guilt' if I 'procrastinate', but I am trying to learn not to feel this. For if we don't enjoy and make creative use of our procrastination time, what's the point of all those lovely blogs, and walks, and sleeps, and chats with friends, and idle meditative hours?

Let's enjoy life to the full while we can, procrastinating or not. In a sense, for most of us each moment of our lives is a procrastination, a denial, a diversion — a looking away from the reality of death.

robin andrea said...

Wonderful, thoughtful post and comments. I don't know if I have ever pondered procrastination quite so passionately.

Taradharma said...

I liken procrastination to crop rotation: you let a field lie fallow in order to allow itself to regenerate in order to grow healthy crops the following season.

Keara said...

AM, if I have anything to offer on the subject of procrastination it's probably just to try 'focusing' on it. Ann Weiser Cornell, a focusing guru, has done a lot of work on what she calls 'action blocks.' You might well find her work interesting and perhaps even helpful.

On a different note, I've been looking at some works by Frida Kahlo over the past few days. Her ex voto paintings have been of considerable interest to me. And then just now I saw this portrait of her father which made me think of you and of your work. I mentioned a while back how much your written explanations often add to my appreciation of your art, and here I find too that Kahlo's writing, at the bottom of the portrait, adds a great deal to the depth and dimensionality of this work. http://www.googleartproject.com/collection/museo-frida-kahlo/artwork/portrait-of-my-father-wilhelm-kahlo-frida-kahlo/430375/

am said...

Sabine -- Interesting sources. Great quote. Thank you!

Solitary Walker --As always, thank you for your thoughts. In this meditation on procrastination, it has occurred to me that one form of procrastinating is putting something off until the last moment. We certainly don't want to put off living and find we are at the last moment. I'm going to get philosophical here. Is death the last moment of life or something else entirely? That's a koan (-:

robin andrea -- Thank you!

Taradharma -- Yes. Crop rotation. Thank you!

Keara -- Following your suggestion, I did some focusing right after I woke up this morning sometime before 6 a.m. and am going to call a woman who lives not far from here and is certified to teach focusing. Thank you for your thoughtfulness!

And thanks so much for the link to Frida Kahlo's painting with Los Tres Reyes as well as the Sacred Pilgrim Art page.