Time and the Art of Not Procrastinating

  • I’ve been working on one of my 30 Must-Read Books, Time and the Art of Living by Robert Grudin. It’s a book on the subject of Time, and it’s a difficult read, as you might expect from a philosophy book written by an English professor on an abstract topic. Time is not something that can gathered into a sample, dissected, and examined under a microscope. But the author did his best to give us a thorough examination of how we experience Time and how to get the most out of it. The book is divided into individual, relatively-short passages. I’ve been attacking the sections randomly and marking each one as I read it. I flagged those that I liked, the ones that seemed worth additional meditation, and/or that I thought might be personally helpful. (Note: I don’t usually approve of writing in books. This one is a softcover from the ’80s, and its pages are foxed and tanned, so it’s already less than pristine.) I’ve made a lot of progress, and I might be able to finish the book this weekend.
  • I’ve tried to read this book before, and I’m so glad that I wrote about my previous attempt. That post contains a cute little snapshot of my life during Livia’s infancy. It is one of those “letters through time” that Grudin was talking about in the quote at the beginning of the post.
  • I have to undecorate the tree this weekend. I don’t want to, but procrastination can really mess things up. As Grudin wrote, “Every time we postpone some necessary event—whether we put off doing the dinner dishes till morning or defer an operation or some difficult labor or study—we do so with the implication that present time is more important than future time. . . . Very often our decision to delay is less a free choice than a semiconscious mechanism—a conspiracy between our reasoning awareness and our native dislike of pain. . . . When we delay something, we simultaneously admit its necessity and refuse to do it. Seen more extensively, habitual delays can clutter our lives, leave us in the annoying position of always having to do yesterday’s chores. Disrespect for the future is a subtly poisonous disrespect for self, and forces us, paradoxically enough, to live in the past.” So true. Better to just get things done and over with.
  • I will also be putting away the Advent calendar today. I’m going to put a list of Christmas ticket ideas into the box with it. Next year, when I open it up, I’ll find that half my work has already been done. That’s what I call “a love letter through time.” 🙂
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1 Response to Time and the Art of Not Procrastinating

  1. Pingback: Thanks, Me | Blue-Footed Musings

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