I was wondering the other day how much time I have spent procrastinating instead of working when I am supposed to be writing things like this column.
That, of course, is one of my ways of procrastinating. There are a million. I like to mix them up so I keep things fresh.
Procrastination can be a good thing. My favorite example is penicillin. If Alexander Fleming had gotten around to cleaning up his mess he might not have noticed the mold growing that was killing the bacteria he was working with. Or at least that is the way I like to look at it.
But procrastination also can be a bad thing.
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For example, what the Illinois legislature is doing as it delays once again putting together a budget for the state. It proves that procrastination is a bad thing but it also proves that procrastination doesn’t necessarily hurt you as not a single legislator seems to have suffered any harm from the lousy job he or she is doing.
It really comes down to what you really want to do and what you really want to avoid. There’s always time for things you really want to do. For the rest, there is procrastination.
The solution, I’m told, is to make a list and stick to it.
OK. Item No. 1 on the list is to actually make a list. Item No. 2 is to take off a few days after all the strain of that list making. My intentions are good but my motivation is bad.
There are certain things that have to be done and the ones that are fun will get done first.
I need to read because that helps keep my mind sharp. But I’m reading a book about “The Great Gatsby,” and that means I am going to have to go back and read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece again so I can fully appreciate the book about it.
I have a book about the making of the classic movie “The Princess Bride,” by Cary Elwes who played Westley, the young farm boy who fell in love with a princess and became the Dread Pirate Roberts. It is funny and charming but now I need to watch the movie again with these new insights.
I need to do the New York Times crossword puzzle, also to keep my mind sharp so I will not lose track of my thoughts while I am procrastinating.
Luckily, when I was working full time and even now, part-time, I had deadlines. If I didn’t have deadlines I never would write. It’s too hard.
There’s nothing like that in the rest of my retired life. Even if I set deadlines and don’t meet them, the checks still come in.
When the week begins on a Monday, you don’t worry about much because there will be the rest of the week to get things done. Then the next thing you know Friday is here and you’re wondering where in the world the time went.
As always, I have no answers, just questions. I’ll worry about it later, maybe.