Thursday, March 16, 2006


This past fall, the artist of a popular web comic about graduate students (fascinating topic, I know) visited my school and gave a talk. The topic of his talk was the value of procrastination. One thing that stands out in my mind was an idea that he repeated several time: When you're procrastinating, you're not wasting time. Rather, you're doing exactly what you want to be doing. He didn't elaborate much on what he meant by this, but I think it has a frightening profundity to it. Often, when people (by what I mean myself) procrastinate, they rationalize it by arguing that they need a breather in order to recharge and work better. This is only true to a limited extent. Ultimately, the way that one chooses to procrastinate and the frequency and duration at which he does so speaks about his priorities and what's truly important to him. There is always more to be done in numerous areas of life. If one idly surfs the web while taking a break rather than shifting his focus to something else of greater utility, it may be saying more about him than he'd like it to be.

Of course, the reluctance to be the subject of such a sweeping condemnation will lead a person to poke holes in this concept, and ultimately discard it. But then, "Let he who listens listen and let he who forbears forbear" (Yechezkel 3:27).


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