Saturday, January 13, 2007

Procrastination is the Thief of Time

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After 10 years of research on a project that was only supposed to take five years, a Canadian industrial psychologist found in a giant study that not only is procrastination on the rise, it makes people poorer, fatter and unhappier.

Studying procrastination as a field has a benefit, said the professor. The more he knows about the problem and the causes, the less he procrastinates — even though he sheepishly acknowledges his study was completed five years late.

The good thing about studying procrastination, he said: "If you take a day off from it, you can always say it's field research."

I have always been a believer in “creative procrastination.” Basically, that’s the idea that there is a time for everything, and that time should not be rushed.

Vintners know this concept. They “will serve no wine before its time.”

Ben Franklin knew it: “Haste makes waste.”

Realists know it: “If it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.”

Husbands know it: ”Honey, everything can’t be your top priority,” we whine.

Alice wants me to burn a lot of brush and trimmings created by all the landscaping and tree trimming she has caused to be done the past several years. I know that if nature is allowed to take its course, it won’t be long – a few decades at the most – before all of the woody waste decomposes naturally.

Natural is good, right?

Alice doesn’t understand that rushing Nature is a waste of time and effort, and that watching NFL games is not.

All this reminds me, I need to publish an item in the Point Arena Elementary School newsletter for June, 1955, that I haven’t got around to yet.

The class motto for the graduating class of 1955 (I graduated the following year) was: “Procrastination is the thief of time.”

I’m sorry for the delay, but I’ve been busy.

Луче пожде чем некогда, as they say in Russian.

Or as we say in English, “Better late than never.”

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