The Haught guide to procrastination
How long have you been working on it?
Or – I suppose – not working on it, more to the point.
You know what I’m referring to. That one piece of work you’ve been putting off for so long you’re starting to think it might be best to never think about it again and hope everyone else at work does the same.
Nah, come on – I know it’s embarrassing, but don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m on about. I can see your eyes darting and an unnerved quarter-smile forming on your face even from here. And by “here” I mean in the past. (Yes, your guilt is that obvious.)
You don’t even give it a name in your head anymore. It’s just a shape. A shadow, really. A ghost you desperately wish I hadn’t brought up.
How long? Three weeks? Three months? Three quarters?
For me it’s been three years. But I’m pleased to inform you that I’ve finally got around to it.
It’s this. This post you’re reading right now. A Haught guide to procrastination that I began in late 2015 and didn’t until now get around to finishing because I didn’t know how to approach the whole thing.
Yes, I procrastinated about procrastination. And I left it for such an exotically long period of time that my untouched work moved beyond the bad stages like rigamortis, bloat and decay and got as far as fossilisation and, finally, as you can now see, gem formation.
Always put off today what will be even better if you do it tomorrow.
An edited version of this article first appeared in the MyCareer section of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.
You can read the column – Benign to Five – in those papers every Saturday, and if you miss it, you can look it up online in the Workplace section of The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, The Canberra Times, WAToday and Brisbane Times. (I now wankishly call myself a “syndicated columnist” on my CV.)