How a calendar in my notebook - sometimes - helps me avoid procastration and makes me more aware of my season and lifetime.
In 2016 or 2017, I saw a TED talk by Tim Urban on Youtube. Tim Urban (@waitbutwhy) is founder of the blog waitbutwhy.com/. The Prokrastination Talk, held in February 2016, was the one with the fastest 10 million views of all TED Talks and is ranked second on the list of most watched TED Talks.
Tim Urban seems to have hit a nerve with his talk, or so I think. He distinguishes between two types of procrastination, that which has to do with external constraints and that which has to do with our own "drives". The type of procrastination that has to do with constant and mostly self-staged distractions. The distractions that keep us from doing things we would like to do or want to do.
You always make it
Tim Urban says that if we are honest with ourselves, if we look back, if there are external deadlines, external constraints, then we will actually always make our deadlines. It is June, we know that we have to give a lecture in September, even on the Sunday before the Friday there are still 5 days left. So in the course of the next five days the time monster really comes to life, on Thursday evening we are really exhausted and at 4:00 a.m. the presentation is ready and we are happy. The monster has done it again. Let's be honest, it usually goes like this, but it's okay. If we leave the stress aside.
But with private projects, with things we want to do, says Tim Urban, things are completely different. For an attention-deprived person like me, it's even more difficult and difficult. The monster doesn't step on the parquet, it doesn't appear, it doesn't force us.
Why is that?
The reason may be quite simple: Our private goals, our wishes, projects and intentions are not subject to any constraints. Only we can motivate, compel, push and focus. This is quite difficult if we are honest. isn't it? Procrastination is derived from the Latin procrastinatio ("postponement", "adjournment"), which is composed of the prefix pro- ("forward", forward) and the noun crastinum,-i ("tomorrow day"; cf. the adverb cras = "tomorrow"). We postpone the errands from today to tomorrow. Tim Urban then conjured up a nice picture (minute 14) that should make it clear to us that there is already a tremendous compulsion that can help us to deal with our time in a more responsible and purposeful way. This is our life time. He says: The average Western person will live to be 80 years old. Draw a box on a piece of paper for each week of your life, and then cross out all the ones that are already over. I thought it looked terrible then. It's almost two-thirds over already.
And that's why I hand-write an annual calendar in each new notebook. I make myself aware of the year that lies before me, I see time as space more clearly before me.
Every day I cross out the day that lies behind me. Sometimes, not always, I manage to deal with my life time in a more responsible way. I only have one.
A few words about procastration and how a simple calendar helps me to make myself more aware of life time.