The Philosophy and Psychology of Procrastination
(originally published May 15th, 2009)
We all want to do it, and we would do it. We’d like to do it. We mean do it. We plan to. We’re gonna. We’ll get around to it and down to it. Just as soon as we’re able.
You know what I mean. Why do we play the procrastination game? What’s behind it? Inside it? What surrounds it?
“It’ll only take a minute, and I’ll do it later”, is a seed that rattles around in our brains as we try to sleep. It interferes with our time with friends and family. The thoughts grow like a weed in lush dark soil, with roots that choke out the tender sprouts of our good intentions.
The bill that went unpaid, not because the money wasn’t there, just because I didn’t get around to it, and I don’t really like money anyway. The apology that wasn’t made, because it seems a little too hard. The walk that I’ll take tomorrow, because I’m too overwhelmed to make that small change right now…
I believe fear is behind procrastination. Fear of failure, fear of stress, fear of emotions, capital letter FEAR. The monsters in our heads that move to smother the positive intentions of our gonnas. The voices that tell us we can’t, won’t or shouldn’t.
The psychology of procrastination is fear.
The philosophy of procrastination is more complicated. Sometimes we need it, sometimes we don’t. Fine wines require some procrastination, both in the bottle and with the cork out. Cheese needs time to age. Some ideas need to percolate, and some choices require thought.
Though this may look like procrastination, mindful waiting is only the distant cousin of procrastination. They bear some similarities, but they hold significant differences.
So mindfully wait when you feel the need, and when the time is right make your move. Face any fear that’s left and go to it. The game doesn’t wait forever. Make your shots count.
Posted: September 9th, 2009 under Uncategorized.