Did anyone else read the excellent essay in the Sunday Times about procrastination?
Writer Anna Della Subin recounts a conference she attended on the topic, noting:
Humans will never stop procrastinating, and it might do us good to remember that the guilt and shame of the do-it-tomorrow cycle are not necessarily inescapable. The French philosopher Michel Foucault wrote about mental illness that it acquires its reality as an illness “only within a culture that recognizes it as such.” Why not view procrastination not as a defect, an illness or a sin, but as an act of resistance against the strictures of time and productivity imposed by higher powers?
I’ve come to accept a certain amount of procrastination as integral to my own creative process, but have stopped short of embracing it in my broader work life. Still, there is, I think a useful lesson here: Americans, and maybe Anglo-Saxon culture generally, do fetishize productivity in ways that are sometimes, shall we say, spiritually unproductive. We are too quick to assign personal blame to “failings” that are more structural in nature. And we should be able to admit this without feeling even awfuller about it.
What do you think?