Wordsworkinc's Weblog

Life, love and language

Procrastination

I was going to write this yesterday, but put it off while I thought about it some more!  Anyone who has ever been guilty of procrastination – a condition which I have elevated to an art form – will recognise the truth in these quotes:

 

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.  ~William James

or

If it weren’t for the last minute, I wouldn’t get anything done.  ~Author Unknown

 

or even
Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.  ~Robert Benchley

(I had a friend who knitted sweaters for her whole family when she was supposed to be studying for her finals).

 

There are any number of reasons given for procrastination. Some of the more common are:

 

  • Putting off a difficult task in favour of easier choices.
  • Telling yourself the task is too time consuming – you’ll do it when you have time to complete it.
  • Doubting your ability to do the task properly.  Avoiding the task = avoiding failure.

 

Facebook, email, weblogs (other people’s, not mine) and solitaire all take on an inordinate importance in my life when I have a task to complete.

Unfortunately, most of the advice aimed at overcoming procrastination are part of my arsenal of time-consuming delays.  I can spend hours making lists, prioritising, dividing large tasks into smaller tasks, filling in my calendar, etc, without ever getting around to actually doing the work.

 

All the above is just to explain why I really haven’t got much further in my study of the French language. (Although I do have lists of conjunctions, prepositions, numbers, seasons etc. decorating my study walls).

 

Making yet another attempt I’ve decided to abandon all the wisdom on overcoming procrastination, except maybe that of Martin Luther King Jr. – “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step”, or, as Nike would put it:

 

JUST DO IT!

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November 18, 2009 - Posted by | Learning a foreign language | ,

1 Comment »

  1. Haha, like this. guess what I was just doing, surfing the web, procrastinating!!! Thanks for the kick in the tush!

    Comment by zivor | November 18, 2009 | Reply


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