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Article by Phil Brown

Phil Brown - Journalist - Author Profile | Email | Website
Phil Brown - Journalist - Author As a journalist I am a senior writer with News Queensland. As an author I write about myself and, if that sounds self-indulgent, you don't know the half of it. Mind you if you read either of my memoirs - Travels with My Angst or Any Guru Will Do, all will be revealed.
Available as Speaker - humorist focusing on problems associated with existential angst and life's journey.
Australia 2000
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Procrastination has had some pretty bad press over the years: being the thief of time and all that. However I have found it to be a rather productive failing. Putting off until tomorrow what you should be doing today has some very handy collateral effects.

For example en route to my desk to write this I hesitated and decided to get myself a strawberry yoghurt ice-block from the fridge instead. This postponed the writing of my column for, say, ten minutes. In that time I enjoyed a very tasty treat and watched, with my son, part of a documentary about that leviathan of the air, the Antonov cargo plane. Was this wasting time? Well, yes but it was an enjoyable diversion and I learned something from watching the documentary.

I have actually spent the past month procrastinating. When the Christmas break looms I always plan to use it wisely to do some writing of my own. Now I am about to go back to work and all I have written is a couple of shopping lists. I have thought of writing, dreamt of writing and have woken imagining I have written, though of course I haven’t. What have I been doing? Well, a lot actually.

Perhaps some procrastinate by sitting on the couch doing nothing but my procrastination is of the restless kind and it bears fruit. My evasion has propelled me and inspired me to do all sorts of jobs around the house. I have cleaned out my wardrobe, assembled the new stereo, sorted out some tree lopping and gardening - by hiring someone else to do it. I have even taken that bag of clothes that has been sitting in the hallway for six months to the Lifeline bin and have cleared out my library and traded in unwanted books, making space for new ones.  I have had the car cleaned, tidied the house innumerable times, planned a holiday to Bali, studied the brochures, got some quotes from the travel agent and realised we can’t afford it but what the heck. I have called all the people I have neglected all year, arranged social gatherings, dropped in on friends, worked on the calendar for 2011.... See how busy I have been?

When my son has asked me to play cricket with him downstairs I have leapt at the chance to put off writing for yet another hour. And I have embraced the opportunity to go to Coles to do the grocery shopping, glad of another diversion. I have lost count of the number of times that I have popped out to Officeworks to purchase stationery.

When I am at work I find procrastination equally productive. I’m always writing my magazine stories at the last minute’: the panic gives me focus and a sense of immediacy is reflected in the text. In the meantime I spend hours tidying my desk and forward planning. Thus I am the most organised person in the office. Anal, some would call it.

In the end of course, despite the procrastination, I have written something: this. Even this is a form of procrastination though considering the fact that I should actually be working on my novel instead of indulging myself here. Never mind. I promise that I will start on that after I have tidied the house, washed the towels, put the garbage out and straightened all the clothes hanging in my closet.

This is not exactly seizing the day but eventually I will get around to doing that too – tomorrow.

31 Dec 2010

Article/Information supplied by Phil Brown

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.