Procrastination, The Chemistry Of Timing

Procrastination, The Chemistry Of Timing

Michael Joseph Quote

Procrastination, the chemistry of timing; Michael Joseph on using your entire deadline timeframe as your procrastination muse before making your final decision.

The lost art of procrastination is making a comeback although in view of its undeserved bad boy reputation of alleged misspent time it's going to be a hard sell. A forest the size of a small country had to be chopped down to pen all the books on the pitfalls of procrastination and people are still churning them out, what's worse is people are still buying them!

Alas, sometimes things are never what they seem and there are two different modes of procrastination; Active procrastination and passive procrastination.

Active procrastination is when you delay the decision making until the last opportunity all the while still processing the idea or postponing a task because something more important has cropped up but still keeping in view what needs to be done. Passive procrastination often involves frivolous pursuits such as watching a movie or playing computer games without a care of meaningful future pursuit of duty.

I can see comparisons to the way fat was treated by the food fascists when they used to opine that all fat is bad and must be excluded from your diet. Nutrition has come a long way and we now understand there are good fats and bad fats.

It is the same with procrastination as slowly people are seeing active as a good form and passive as the villain of procrastination.

In ancient times procrastination was adopted to avoid rash decision making and this process continued through until the puritan era when it was brought into mainstream thinking and thoroughly demonised. It was endorsed by the oncoming industrial revolution but in reality it was always driven by commercial interests of successfully expanding markets rather than any religious ideology. It just so happened that the puritan movement was the ideal vehicle to deliver the message.

Procrastination Is Your Muse


Traditional economic thinking looks to maximise productivity because it is here that managing time to increase production levels is where greater profits can be achieved. These efficiencies of time to production equating to prosperity have entered into every aspect of the modern workplace with concentration on meeting targets eroding the quality of thought.

Beating deadlines is actively encouraged because this frees up the resource to take on another task and is seen as a good practice as year end targets can increase. Paying commission for early completion further blunts the creative pencil as workers chase money at the cost of quality.

Time and efficiency are important on a production line but there is no leeway for thinking here. The creative environment is different whether you are a writer, designer or inventor then time to think is of the utmost importance.

Every creative person experiences a eureka moment when a new idea enters their head but every idea has to be scrutinised before you can put it into action. From initial thought to finished product you must go through a process of conceptualisation. Stumbling blocks or any issue must be identified and resolved, this is the process of weighing things up in your head and for me I call this my procrastination muse.

Without a full period of procrastination muse I may not be entirely satisfied with the finished article and many times an improvisation dawns on me a few days after publication.

This can be the same in many creative fields, the period of brewing the idea in your mind should be allowed to complete until satisfied with its conceptualisation.

This is the reason why deadlines should always be fully utilised to allow your procrastination muse the maximum allowable time for decision making.

Final decision making should always be at the last possible moment because this maximises the evaluation time frame giving fresher or better ideas the opportunity to emerge while the idea is still in your mind.

The art of the decision has many positive benefits which gives the quote 'procrastination, the chemistry of timing' a good philosophical standpoint for your creative work.

Michael Joseph


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