Friday, 5 December 2014

10 Quotes on Procrastination and Living Your Ideals

I am a procrastinator. I leave things until last minute, put them off until I have to do them and avoid my To Do List in many and varied ways. If I have to write a report or essay it will be in on time but just about. Even my recent effort in light of illness came to the same end. I had written the essay 10 days before the deadline. All I had to do was add a couple of references and send it on-line. When did I do that? 3 hours before the deadline. 

Sometimes it works out that if I leave things long enough - they go away or are solved in a way I hadn't expected. Or people have changed their minds or cancelled.

Starting things are the hardest ...so are continuing things as well as keeping going til the end. So my only problem is starting, continuing and completing.

10 Quotes on Procrastination

  1. 'My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.' (Charles Dickens, 1850 in David Copperfield)
  2.  'Never put off till to-morrow what you can do day after to-morrow just as well.' (Mark Train, 1870, The Galaxy Magazine)
  3. 'When faced with two equally tough choices, most people choose the third choice: to not choose' ( Jarod Kintz, 2012 in This Book has No Title).
  4. 'We are so scared of being judged that we look for every excuse to procrastinate.' (Erica Jong, 2006, Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life)
  5. 'The scholar's greatest weakness: calling procrastination research' (Stephen King, 2011 in 11/22/63)
  6. “But indefinite visions of ambition are weak against the ease of doing what is habitual or beguilingly agreeable; and we all know the difficulty of carrying out a resolve when we secretly long that it may turn out to be unnecessary. In such states of mind the most incredulous person has a private leaning towards miracle: impossible to conceive how our wish could be fulfilled, still - very wonderful things have happened! (George Elliot or May Ann Evans, 1874 in Middlemarch)
  7.  'How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world.' Anne Frank, 1947, The Diary of a Young Girl)
  8. 'You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.' (Martin Luter King Jnr TBC)
  9. 'If not now then when?' (Tracy Chapman, 1988, in her album Tracy Chapman).
  10. 'Had we but world enough and time...But at my back I always hear, Times winged chariot hurrying near...' Andrew Marvell, around 1650, in his poem To His Coy Mistress)
The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectivenes

... by Epictetus around 100 AD (translated by Sharon Lebell, 2004) had this to say on the subject of procrastination: 
  
'Now is the time to get serious about living your ideals. Once you have determined the spiritual principles you wish to exemplify, abide by these as if they were laws, as if it were indeed sinful to compromise them. Don't mind if others don't share your convictions. 

How long can you afford to put off who you really want to be? Your nobler self cannot wait any longer. Put your principles into practice—now. Stop the excuses and the procrastination. This is your life! You aren't a child anymore. The sooner you set yourself to your spiritual program, the happier you will be. 

The longer you wait, the more you will be vulnerable to mediocrity and feel filled with shame and regret, because you know you are capable of better. From this instant on, vow to stop disappointing yourself. Separate yourself from the mob. Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do—now.'

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