You're not procrastinating

You're not procrastinating

You're doing other things. Maybe you're napping, shopping, retweeting, watching videos and chilling. You're doing something. Maybe you're reading this.

Pro crastinus: for tomorrow. I've got an appointment-filled day tomorrow, together with a couple of commitments that will be handled ad hoc -- if I may continue speaking as a first-century Roman. However, and while those things are for tomorrow, I don't consider them procrastination by the 21st century English understanding, because I have them in hand. If something comes up to interrupt my plans, it will because I yielded to a more compelling circumstance, and will recommit and reschedule my intentions.

In fact, this post is a consequence of that. I planned to draft this Friday morning. A time-limited opportunity arose that I judged important to seize. I did something else and redirected this writing to today, Monday morning.

As a result of seizing an opportunity on Friday and further commitments on the weekend, when I reviewed my inbox last night, there were a number of loops open that I didn't feel comfortable postponing. Postpone, unlike procrastinate, is an affirmative action meaning, to place after. I didn't want to place them after the blog post, and I didn't want to place working on this post to later. Mornings are the optimum time for me to do an intellectual heavy lift like this and the next nearest mornings have other commitments.

Now, in order to do these, I had to not do other things. In this case, starting my day with coffee and light reading followed by my lane in the local pool, got blown out of my life. I didn't procrastinate reading and exercise: I didn't do them. I did other things. For tomorrow, I hope to do both those things, unless I decide to do something else.

Doing is not doing all the other opportunities the universe offers us. Which means living this life right now and not the aspirational life of imaginary limitlessness.

This is brought home powerfully by the French scholar, Pierre Bayard, in his very seriously titled book, How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read.

"Reading is first and foremost not reading," writes Bayard. "Even in the case of the most passionate lifelong readers, the act of picking up and opening a book masks the countergesture that occurs at the same time; the involuntary act of not picking up and not opening all the other books in the universe."

Procrastination focuses on all the things you're not doing: in short, the infinite. Doing, therefore, is optimized by choosing the best you've got available to you right now.

The rest is not our business.

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