While idly perusing Fast Company online, I came across an article. Before I get to that, however, I’d like to make a few things clear:
- I came across the article on a Saturday, so I wasn’t procrastinating.
- Okay, I might have been procrastinating. But my procrastination wasn’t related to any professional obligations.
- My wife’s empirical observations notwithstanding, my office didn’t really need to be cleaned. Neither I nor our pets had yet been injured negotiating the clutter between the door and my desk.
- For the record, the carpets in the house could have stood some vacuuming and the flower beds might have benefited from a little watering. But neither the carpets nor the flower beds really needed tending.
With those matters settled, leave us transition (as we say in the biz) to Fast Company.
The missive in question was entitled, “5 reasons why you’re probably procrastinating more right now“. To set the stage for the ostensible premises for its argument, the composition began thusly:
Many of us had high hopes at the beginning of quarantine. We’d read more books, tackle long-overdue home improvement projects, and make use of our now-free commuting time to get ahead at work. But it hasn’t necessarily worked out that way.
Said disquisition went on to cite the five reasons it surmised we might be procrasting more now than we might have been before the restrictions imposed on us by the coronovirus pandemic. Each of the five was followed by a justifying rationale (or rationalization). Here are the alleged reasons, sans their respective rationales (or rationalizations):
- Additional stress
- Absence of buffer behaviors
- Shifting priorities
- Fewer social interactions
As Quick Draw McGraw famously said, “Hold on thar, Baba Louie!” Those things may be the reasons (or rationalizations) for which some people are procrastinating. But not me.
All the Nuance That’s Fit to Print
In my case, I make a distinction between procrastination and distraction. While the effects may appear to be the same, the causes are quite different. If it appears, at any point, that I may be procrastinating, these are, to paraphrase the title of the thesis under examination here, the five reasons I’m distracted more right now:
- I spend more time reading articles like this one that purport to tell me why I might be procrastinating.
- I listen to more people telling me why I shouldn’t be able to do the things I’m doing.
- I have more people complaining to me about more things none of us can understand, let alone control.
- My wife is almost as happy I’m home all the time as my dog is, and they both think work from home is synonymous with retirement.
- I’ve found Wordscapes to be oddly compelling.
Look, by all means, read Fast Company. In fact, read everything you can find that will explain to you why you’re anxious, unhappy, unproductive, tired, caught in crossfires of prioritization, and socially starved. But if I don’t do something I promised I’d do when I promised I’d do it, don’t accuse me of procrastinating. I’m just distracted.
Now, let’s see. What word can you spell with the letters c, r, o, p, r, a, t, i, s, t, e, n, a?