mardi 5 avril 2011

To procrastinate? Or not.

Although today started off wrong - I was late for an appointment because I overslept... yes, yes, bad - it has consistently gotten better, mainly because I have been on task about everything I set on doing, and now can see how nice it is to have a clean kitchen, because I cleaned it! Now, I know that no one cares that I cleaned my kitchen. No one should. But there is one thing that's interesting. Ever since I moved to my current appartment (September 2010), I thought of cleaning the microwave oven. In fact, every time I put something in the microwave, I thought of cleaning it, because it remained quite dirty. I lived with the knowledge that I should clean it, yet never did. And, because I kept on thinking about it, and never doing it, I felt guilty. This non-action fuelled, to a small extent, poor self-estime. So now, I feel better. I stopped putting the task off and I, genuinely, feel empowered. Isn't it weird? Such a little thing. Imagine what it would feel like if I stopped putting off the big things!
Ok, ok, I'll admit it, I have been listening to the iprocrastinate podcast, which is a podcast dedicated to research on procrastination. And I am finding that I am a true procrastinator and will probably remain one for the rest of my life. With that in mind, I really need to understand my procrastinating disability and cope with it. Timothy Pychyl is the  podcast host, and he approaches the topic of procrastination in many different ways. He doesn't shy away from philosophical perspectives, and links the (non) act of putting things off with what the Existentialists call bad faith (la fameuse "mauvaise foi" de Sartre) or self-deception. As a procrastinator, I am a master at self-deception by giving myself a zillion irrational excuses not to do the simplest (or the hardest) of tasks.
But this led me to think about the world at large, and wondering whether we were, as an increasinly global society, addicted to procrastination? The debate on climate issues certainly leads me to believe that we tacitly agree, as a society, to put things off. One could argue that some of the budget stalling in the US has to do with national procrastination. But it makes sense, if you view procrastination from an existentialist point of view, since it all comes down to making choices. And, whether we procrastinate or not, we make choices all the time. Every second is a choice, so long as we live to experience the second. But are we willing to actively engage in the choices we make, or passively let the laziest choice just, happen?
This is only the beginning of my reflexion on this topic, and I will come back to it soon. But I promised myself I would start working on translation stuff at 4.00, so I must leave the blog for now. Only to come back later, armed with more evidence and research to back my claims!

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