Procrastination is putting things off for later. It is one form of self-destructive behavior although most of us don’t recognize it as such.
There is a difference between hesitation and procrastination. Hesitation is usually a short-term thing. Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is bad. What starts as hesitation sometimes ends up as procrastination. So that give this old brain another definition of procrastination. It is: prolonged hesitation.
When we fail to take action, it can be from one or more of the following reasons:
1. Fear: Folks can freeze from fear. It happens in combat when new troops have not yet learned to push fear aside to get what needs to be done, done. Training lessens this effect. Sometimes the example of a good leader helps. Sometimes fear of a leader or repercussions helps. Sometimes nothing helps. Then, my wife’s care giver, Georgia, says the fear of upsetting someone else. That would be the fear of what someone else would think.
2. Indecision: When we don’t know what to do, we hesitate. If we are confused by a situation, we have a hard time thinking of what we should do. We don’t want to make the wrong decision so we make no decision.
Sometimes when hesitation is putting us on the wrong track, we give into a bad decision. The solution to this kind of problem is to prepare for a bad situation before hand. If her date tries to get a young lady into a compromising situation, she could say, “I’ll call my parents on my cell phone to come get me.”
We have two examples from World War II.
British General Montgomery was too hesitant and screwed
up some offences.
General “Blood and Guts” George Patton (right pic) sometimes moved on the offensive so fast that he outran his supplies.
Now I said that procrastination is a self-destructive situation. My son has a hard time writing down his report after a medical procedure. This messes up the billing and his administrator doesn’t like it.
3. Lack of Interest: We just don’t give a darn about what is going on around us. An example would be Nazi Germany. “No use getting involved in that.” “That is none of my business.” “If you want to get shot, stick your nose in that.”
In our town some folks never get around to cutting the grass or pulling the weeds. The next thing they know, they have a warning from the city that tells them the city is going to have the yard cleaned and that they will slap a lien on the house if the clean-up bill is not paid by a certain date.
Do you watch those British comedies on public television? The one called Keeping Up Appearances has two sisters. One is fastidious (Hyacinth) and the other is a slob (Daisy). There is another sister who is promiscuous and one other is married to a weird man of some wealth.
Daisy (right pic) is married to my favorite character in the show. His name is Onslow, well named because he is ON SLOW. He has never worked a day in his life and prefers to sit around watching television and drinking beer. In bed he reads books on quantum mechanics and such.
This is what is called a dysfunctional family.
The “Bucket Woman” (Hyacinth) is the main character who says that her name is “Bouquet” despite what her weakfish husband says. She claims her fourth sister has an expensive home and car and a place for a pony.
She can’t stand going into Daisy’s house (the slob). Daisy not only puts off cleaning forever, she never cleans properly. She turns my stomach when she is “washing” the dishes.
Both sisters live in a dream world. Daisy is a romantic and her “Bucket Woman” sister (Hyacinth) dreams and pretends to be wealthy and of the upper class. One is putting off her household duties and the other is putting off reality.
There is webite called Mental Health Today that deals with among other things, self destructive behavoir. If you or a family member needs help, that is a good place to get it.
Robert Louis Stevenson had every right to not write. He said, “There has never been a day that I felt well enough to write, but if I didn’t, nothing would be accomplished.” He was sick every day of his life and he died young.
We don’t want to put off what needs to be done. If you have a term paper to write the time not to write it is the night before is is due. Putting things off puts you in Daisy’s situation. When you finally get around to doing something, you don’t do the best job possible.
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