Last week I said I’d try my hand at intentionally practicing one of the writing tools from Roy Clark’s Writing Essentials book. Here’s an attempt…
“Procrastination is the thief of time.” — Edward Young, Night-Thoughts on Life, Death, & Immortality
That was one of many quotes we were required to memorize in Mr. Riggs’ 7th grade social studies class. I repeat this one often, even 40 years later, because I’m a procrastinator–who isn’t, really. There’s so much guilt around procrastinating and the time lost or thieved. But what about all that is gained when procrastinating. Take my very neat desk with its papers filed, surface dusted, and books stacked with their spines aligned. I couldn’t get started with my writing with a messy desk! What about the new knowledge gained clicking through websites doing “research”? I couldn’t include a quote without looking for verified sources. Still didn’t exactly find the line in a primary source; it’s a long poem. But I think there’s enough corroborating evidence. My research also confirmed that indeed, the Brits do put punctuation outside of the quotation marks, which is how I like it when I’m using air quotes. Could I have continued with publishing this post without that knowledge? Of course, not. We haven’t even gotten to the chores yet: dishes done, laundry folded (not put away, don’t get crazy), kitchen tidied. Is procrastination the thief of time or is it actually a productivity/life hack?
Here’s another line from Mr. Young’s poem, “Time wasted is existence, used is life.” Some might call it procrastinating, I prefer living.