“Procrastination. What have you been putting off doing? Why?”
We’ve talked about this before on this blog, albeit from a different perspective. So you could consider this as an update.
A belated one, obviously.
If – no, let’s be fair, when – I’m accused of putting things off, I’d have to plead guilty. I blame my upbringing.
One of the staples of ‘Childrens’ Favourites’ on the radio on the Saturday mornings of my formative years was this cautionary tale, performed by Bernard Cribbins.
Believe it or not, there is a quite serious point underlying this little novelty song. Everything goes wrong for Fred because he doesn’t think through the potential ramifications of any course of action that’s proposed to him. He’s the archetypal bull at a gate. This always troubled me and, at such an impressionable age, left me erring on the side of caution.
Which is where I’ve been ever since.
Just hear me out – before you jump to hasty conclusions based on insufficient evidence and your socially conditioned – dare one say ‘puritan?’ – view of procrastination as necessarily a bad thing. Every action has consequences, so doesn’t it make sense to think what those consequences might be before plunging straight in?
In other words: do the research.
I can’t help it: I’m an analyst. After the aversion therapy of repeated exposure to Fred’s self-inflicted mishaps, maybe this was only to be expected.
You say ‘procrastination’, I say ‘differently prioritised’.
Deep down, I have an utter aversion to being told what to do. Whether it’s being given a direct order or being offered a ‘suggested’ course of action, unless it happens to chime very closely with what I actually want to do – or it makes immediate and obvious sense – then basically I don’t want to do it. I will if I have to, when I have to, but meanwhile there are probably other things I’d rather be doing.
And it’s quite surprising how often not doing something immediately turns out for the best. There is such a thing as masterly inactivity.
Anyway, can we talk about this later?