Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Why Look at Procrastination as a Thief?

The idea of procrastinating one’s duties has its roots in prehistoric times. It is not a habit forming behavior resulting from the ease of comforts and luxury of modern times. It is as old as humanity. However, it was always and still is discouraged and looked at as a weakness marring the potential of a human being. In ‘the Picture of Dorian Gray’ by Oscar Wilde, a character Lord Henry describes ‘punctuality’ as a thief of time. Of course one dare take this as sacrosanct. Lord Henry, as you would find after reading the novel is not what he is.  Procrastination is not the opposite of punctuality. After investigation you would find that it is not that bad either. It gets replaced by another word or another phrase which would imply putting something off till more clarity sets in. 

In some contexts such as construction of monuments, procrastination was sometimes considered a useful device of managing energy and time. In the Bloomsbury circle, it was compulsory to postpone any discussion which would end up confusing the participants. Unless and until the speaker was clear about the message, he would hesitate to bring it to light. Procrastination also gives a sudden spark of energy which compulsive routines do not. In the case of a compulsion the individual has to indulge in a routine even if it is not warranted. Without doing so, he/she becomes uncomfortable. It is here that procrastination as a device carries with it a great range of benefits. A compulsion drains your energy while procrastination helps you preserve it. 

Postmodern art is brilliantly exceptional when it comes to hiding a clear idea. Its ideas get hidden by layers of imageries to make the spectator postpone the interpretation till all the layers are unraveled. The catch is that at no point would you be able to unravel its meaning completely as your interpretation is just one of the many possible interpretations. By procrastinating you take more time to carve out newer perspectives. You would not be able to do this if you surrender to the dictates of a demanding routine. You can use procrastination as a psychological technique to buy more time for solutions. Procrastination is from this angle not a thief of time but its innovative preserver.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting perspectives. Delightful style of writing