Why does thinking so often precede procrastination?
Thinking seems to put the world on hold. You lose touch with your body. Life flies by as you occupy a space more dream than reality.
I think this happens because of a need for certainty.
You want to be “certain” you’re going to be productive. So you spend the day thinking about all the productive things you can do.
You want to be “certain” your opponent will not counter your attack —a mistake could prove fatal. So you calculate all the moves your opponent can make before he punches you in the face.
Not surprisingly, there are diminishing returns to thinking because most of the time:
(i) There is a limited amount of time available before you have to make a decision.
(ii) You cannot go over every possible outcome (Tic-Tac Toe excluded).
Thinking is like approaching a mathematical asymptote. You will never reach the point you want, but you can always get a little bit closer.
The progress you make towards a “final” conclusion becomes a trap because you can always improve something — there will always be work left unfinished.
Tim Pychyl (a world-class researcher on the science of procrastination) once said, “Procrastination is [a] failure to get on with life itself”
I think he’s right.
We all must go some day. But there will always be things left unsaid, work left unfinished. There will never be enough time to do everything we want to do. And never enough time to finish saying goodbye.
To do anything is to accept a kind of death.
Because you’re admitting, there will come a day when you can do no more, when there will be no more time left.
For, there’s only one certainty in this world.
You will die.
And until you die, you must live.