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Procrastination – I could write about it forever.


lazy3It’s just so easy isn’t it – why do today what we can put off until tomorrow. It’s not that we mind doing it – whatever ‘it’ is; it might even be something we look forward to doing. Better put it off and do nothing just now, otherwise we might not have anything to do tomorrow.

Now look at that, I’ve used the term ‘we’ rather than’ I’. It’s easier to share the blame, do nothing now attitude if we’re sharing it with others. After all, it couldn’t be me that’s holding ‘me’ back from completing that task.

We’ve all heard the term “to procrastinate” but what does it really mean? Wiktionary says it’s ‘The act of postponing, delaying or putting off, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness.’ That wasn’t too difficult was it? The art of putting something off; that’s doesn’t sound too bad. You can delay and postpone, that sounds even easier. You always meant to come back to it and finish that task one day, you just don’t need to tell yourself which day you’ll do it.

Hold on a moment there Wiktionary, that last part ‘habitual carelessness and laziness’ hit hard, didn’t it? Who could it be talking about? I’m a busy person; I carry out lots of tasks. I’m certainly not careless or lazy, so I’m safe in the understanding that it couldn’t indicate me. I put off those tasks for very good reason and I don’t need to say why.

The good thing about procrastination is that you can keep on requesting its appearance. It can go on and on and you might never do what you intended. That, also, is the rub. You might never finish something you really would love to complete.

I’m my own prime example. I had a great idea for a screenplay. I ran it around my head for days. I almost had the whole script written. Then I met someone special. I told her about my screenplay. She expressed delight with the idea. I had to start writing it real soon.

After we married we quickly moved to stage two, with a lovely daughter arriving (how did that happen?) We also moved home a few times, but I kept telling everyone that my screenplay was nearly ready.

I learnt more about screenwriting. This forced me to change my script and adopt some industry standards I hadn’t known about. I finally purchased some industry standard software to write my screenplay. Again, anything rather than just actually writing the script itself.

Ten years have passed and the screenplay is 90% written. That’s the first draft 90% written, amusingly on software called ‘Final Draft’. I know that when the first draft is complete, the process of re-writing will begin and could take several weeks, but not months.

I have a set plan and work on the screenplay for a certain number of hours per day. I know when it will be finished – oh so close now.

My procrastination has proved very useful. The screenplay coming out at this end of my delay period, is much better than the one that would have formed, ten years ago and my home life is much more rich with love and ideas, than before.

I no longer procrastinate. I haven’t the time. I need to do it today. I have so many other ideas I want to get down on paper.

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