The art of postponing

Like most things, postponement is in itself neither good nor bad. It’s a matter of the particular non-action in the particular context. There is the danger of putting something off until nothing can be done any longer. On the other hand, in some cases postponement simply means not being rash. Just as well, it’s no good doing things just for the sake of being able to tick off some imaginary box.

Problem is, often it’s hard to tell the correct time for an action. That can hardly be helped. One has to be reconciled to the fact that nobody is wise to the point of never making wrong decisions. You can only play it by ear, experience and common sense, be glad when you succced and accept failures.

Often, too, we tend to postpone things even when we know we shouldn’t. I’m no exception. My things-to-do list contains a few items put there as long ago as 2008. Nevertheless, the list does get shorter. The most important acomplishement this year will be revisiting Scotland. I’ve procrastinated on this one for at least seven years – but I’ve mentioned already there are few things which could stop me now. The second in importance is probably buying a proper desk – the one which is a part of the furnished accomodation in my place being little more than a coffee table. I’m fairly near achieving this as well.

A third problem is lack of time. You have to postpone something, and the question is which of a few options that should be. It seems to me that every month I’m getting somewhat better in getting the priorities right. In doing first things first.

However, some things you ultimately have to postpone forever. It’s the bad old “I can only do so much and there’s so much to do”. Sometimes it proves quite hard not to bite off more than one can chew. I still too often, on the spur of the moment, waste time on reacting to things I should just register and let go by. Or cutting deeper than necessary. Or trying too hard to be helpful. Or talking just to have my say.

Although I’ve already made some progress in this over the last few years, I feel it should have been greater. So that’s what I’m going to concentrate on now.

In a manner of speaking, it’s about fighting distraction. In another, it’s about drawing a wee bit more into seclusion again, if only for some time. And thinking thrice before starting anything completely new.

Incidentally, the reason why I’m posting this today is that it’s the birthday of two of my favourite Scottish musicians: Donovan Leitch and Kieren Webster. Not that I know anything about their postponing habits.



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