Today I was in a great conversation about procrastination. I’ve written before on this topic several times, so feel free to click the link for several minutes of excellent procrastination time!
Today a simple thought to ponder.
If you are actually really feeling busy and productive, could you still be procrastinating underneath it all?
One of the people in our conversation was wondering if they were procrastinating to the point where they may have some kind of attention deficit disorder, or if their experience was in fact normal.
They are currently taking a year for postgraduate study and so are in between very hectic and busy years in their life. It felt to us that it was perfectly normal that they could feel they are procrastinating at times as their level of workload is less than they are used to all their life, thus they simply have time to “waste time” !
So, my thought today is around what we mean by procrastination.
In an earlier article, “Matter, Antimatter, Doesn’t Matter“, I wrote :
“Are you busy? If so, what about considering how much of your universe is filled with “doesn’t matter”?”
Henry David Thoreau wrote:
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
As an individual, sometimes in life I have been hyper-busy, and in hindsight used that to avoid looking at what fulfils me, instead of using being busy as a coping mechanism.
In short, I know I have at times in life used being busy as a form of procrastination, to avoid looking at and doing what really matters to me in life.
We can use that individual story as a metaphor for leadership of a business or organisation, or for inspiring statesmen like Michael Blake, who inspired yesterday’s post: “Are you resumé building or legacy building?“, a man who is clear on doing what matters in his hugely busy schedule.
In the UK the first question one is often asked on meeting a new person is “so, what do you do?”, followed by “are you busy?”, which seems a form of glorification of busy-ness.
Instead, what about asking people: “so, what are you focussed on that really matters to you ?”
So, are you procrastinating in unexpected ways by being busy ?
As the great John Wooden (see “Elite Lessons : Modern Elders and Basketball“) said:
Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.
~ John Wooden