• Diana McLaren

Why I Never Procrastinate


I can waste a whole day sitting around just listening to my own mind, or music. Or starting a project to be abandoned. Or simply just playing too much solitaire. I am a master procrastinator. Everyone tells me so. And yet I don’t fully agree. It is the term they assign to my behavior and so I cannot refute that. But I disagree with the very concept of procrastination.

It is defined as the avoidance of a task that needs to be done, often in the pursuit of more pleasurable activities. This definition requires three things for procrastination: something that has to be done, something else that is more pleasurable and a sense of urgency. None of which do I agree actually exist. So to start with the first:

I have nothing to do. Literally nothing. It may flatter my ego to say that there are things that need to be done, and as I am a good person who follows the rules, I will do them. But I don’t have to. To use an example; as a child when we have to clean our room… we don’t actually have to do it. We agree to a trade in which we do the thing that we don’t want to do as there is either threat or reward. That is not necessity. That is the social trading scheme. And we all learn, as we get older, a smack on the ass isn’t always a bad thing.

So following this logic; I have to do nothing. And thus have nothing to do. Thus there is nothing to procrastinate from.

The second part of procrastination is the idea that one task is preferable to another. But this is not true. In all tasks there is the participation of body or mind for a desired outcome that is either achieved or not achieved. In this all tasks are equal. The difference we perceive is purely of our own imagination.

We have created a hierarchy that does not inherently exist, although it is very gratifying. We can feel accomplishment and moral superiority in having done something undesirable and feel rewarded when we get to participate in a pleasurable task. But this ranking of tasks does not exist outside of our mind. They are technically equal and only differ in details. Thus they are not better or worse, only different.

So following this logic; the more pleasurable activity does not exist. They are all just things I do. So I am not putting of something I don’t want to do so that I can have fun now. I’m just changing the order of events I participate in.

Lastly in the concept of procrastination is the idea of urgency. I will skip past a debate of the fallacy of time as a linear structure, as it is fun but not necessary to this argument. More simply, what the hell is a deadline? The etymology is unclear but the message is crystal. Cross this line and you will die! … Will you die? Will you really? What most commonly happens when you don’t get something done in the timeframe you initially agreed to?

Nothing. Literally nothing actually happens. The skies do not open and rain brimstone and pigs don’t fly. You have broken a rule of the social construct so there will be a consequence to maintain balance. Most likely you will have to have an uncomfortable conversation and someone will look at you disappointedly.

The urgency we create for ourselves is again to flatter our ego. In this case it makes us feel desired and important. But it doesn’t actually exist. We’ve created it for ourselves so that we can feel pleasure when we achieve stuff in the timeline we have designated. Which equally means that we’re the ones that create the guilty uncomfortable feeling of putting something off.

So I don’t procrastinate. There is nothing that I have to do right now as those timelines are fabricated. And I can handle the censure of your upset quite comfortably, or the smack on the ass, or whatever it is you’ve decided as the punishment, because I’m not going to agree to it being the worse. I choose a different perspective in which my time is not something to be traded in unpleasant activities in order to earn the rights to my own time and pleasure in the future. My time is to be spent as I see fit and on what ever I want to do. And so I never procrastinate.

#procrastinate #urgency #ego #procrastination

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