Welcome to Procrastination Central. Naechste Halt – Mañana. A.K.A Life in Zuri’s brain.
Yes, I admit it, I more or less invented procrastination; so much so that I don’t even recognise it as that! Maybe busy-ness, prioritisation, tiredness, not enough hours in the day, loyalty to my friends, family or peers; but never procrastination.
But today I was reminded by an extremely good friend of mine – who suffers from a similar problem – that I do it all day, everyday. I even procrastinate about procrastinating i.e. I spend more time thinking about what else I could be doing rather than procrastinating about what I should be doing
It’s a great word, procrastinating. When I first heard it, I didn’t know what it meant. It was at a (one of many) time management course (I was there because I never had time to get everything done) and the course leader mentioned it. Not being afraid of not knowing what long words mean (I favour short words where possible, they take less time to say, read and spell but say exactly the same thing), I asked the her what it meant.
What a revelation! As she explained, I thought to myself ‘that’s me!’. It took a while to learn the word (it doesn’t seem to have a shorter, more snappy partner; apart from maybe ‘put off’)’ but I realised the greatness of it! Of actually having a name for the reason why I chose to do the filing (non-important, non-urgent) when there was a dire need for me to create an all singing, all dancing project plan for Mr Senior Bod in order to keep me top of my game. When I just couldn’t work with this filing piling up. In my drawer. Nothing to do with the fact that linear project plans make me fall asleep on sight – give me a flip chart and a packet of coloured pens though and I’m away! Or a filing cabinet, it seems.
The weird thing is I actually procrastinate on stuff I really love – like writing. I have dreams, and plans, but I procrastinate about making them a reality.
The only thing that really works for me is a deadline – you can’t put those off – you’ve committed. And I’m always true to my word. So I set them all over the place. I have a deadline for the ironing (Sunday- just procrastinating about if I need more time to relax). I have a deadline for work – normally they don’t move because I stick to them. I will, however, constantly procrastinate about starting a work task- no matter how much I love it – because after all it’s a deadline. And deadlines are there to be procrastinated about!
I take more time procrastinating than it would take do the thing that I don’t want to do! Weekends in Zuri are a nightmare. I could do anything! I should do my cleaning and washing (on a Saturday) and see the city or go to the mountains. I want to. But I don’t! Why? Because I procrastinate about the decision on what to do and instead I sit and write my blog. It’s not a bad thing, as it’s what I enjoy the most…. but if I was planning to do it, it wouldn’t get done!
So, back to the word. It is a strange word, at first I though it might be some bodily function (sorry, it’s the way my mind works). So here’s my definition:
Pro – You know what you’re doing. Do it well. Are good at it. Are the expert. Good thing.
Tennis Pros; “He’s such a pro”; Pro-something; Protective
Cras(s) – Not nice; Rude; Lacking class; Vulgar; Uncouth; Sounds like grass
“You’re so crass!”; “That word is so crass”; “I love laying on the soft grass”
Tin – Aluminium can; Tinny; Good for beans; Everybody loves beans; Poorly food
Tin of beans; Tin of opportunity; Tin of tomato soup; ” I’ll just open a tin of something, that’ll make you feel better!”
Nation – Social characteristics of a group of people with a government; Togetherness; Sense of purpose
“The nation came together”; “National pride”; Good
Altogether, pretty positive! It’s not such a bad thing after all. The actual dictionary definition is not so positive:
pro·cras·ti·na·tion [proh-kras-tuh-ney-shuhn, pruh‐]
the act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention
Apparently it comes from the Latin procrastinare ‘to put off till tomorrow’. Probmeaning forward and crastinare meaning belonging to tomorrow. This has led me to a theory.
If the origin of the word mean ‘forward belonging to tomorrow’, procrastination is definitely a positive thing! As in, it means you are a fantastic PLANNER! Because if something actually BELONGS to tomorrow, you’re not actually putting it off! And FORWARD means it’s in the future, not right now!
So will I solve my procrastination problem? Probably not. I too busy planning for tomorrow.