Procrastination has gotten a bad rap. It has been called the thief of time. But the truth is that this delightful habit benefits all. Procrastination, or the delights of dawdling, is a very interesting and exciting subject. I will be happy to explain that sentence to you, in detail, at some later date.

Time is money, but to dilly dally is tax-free.

Do you really have time to read this whole article? Aren’t there other things that you need to be doing? Such as catching a plane? Eating lunch? Going to the doctors? Filing an extension for your taxes? Getting your hair cut? Having a pedicure? Pulling out all your hair? Getting to work earlier? Working longer hours to get finished? Get going y’all!

But, what words and phrases swirl around in your head day in and day out? Here are a few that you have heard many times through the years? Deadlines. Zero hour. Target dates. Hurry up and wait. Better never late. Time flies. Time’s-a-wastin’. Tick tock, and so forth.

Are these words meant to encourage you? They almost seem like disgusting words, don’t they? When have you ever been inspired by these words that are carelessly tossed out into the maze of the workday? Someone once told me that you’re a true procrastinator if you follow the Zen path, but I thought that was the secret to a long and serene existence. That one that has puzzled so many issues over the centuries is quite simple, but why hurry up to tell it right now? Wouldn’t a good sea yarn do just as well?

Come to think of it, sailing ships are a great place for procrastinators. When they are in the doldrums, and time seems to stop, the procrastinator is in their element. There is no place to go and nothing to do, except wait on deck. And continue to wait until something happens. The idea of just waiting with nothing to do or see or say is so alluring that this article may not ever get finished.

Does anyone have a schooner for sale? A catamaran will do. Okay, this has gone on long enough.

Procrastination is performed by the nicest people.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to appear for sentencing before a judge who looked you in the eye and said sleepily, “Oh well, the day’s nearly over? I think I’ll render sentence when I get around to it. In the mean time you are free to go. I’ll have someone contact you sometime or other.”

Or how would it be if the IRS came to your door one sunny day to tell you that they couldn’t be bothered any more to harass  you about your back taxes. Instead, they’ll just trust you to send in something on account each month, or, you know, whenever.

This world would be a much better place if more people practiced procrastination. Cars would go slower. People would speak less. Everyone would just go off fishing.

The whole world would be speaking in the passive, not active voice.

Embrace procrastination.

The one thing you don’t want to do is to schedule when you will shilly-shally. It must be spontaneous and unpremeditated. Otherwise you are just being lazy. There is nothing lazy about a dedicated procrastinator. They have an inner muse that alerts them to opportunities to dither and loiter.

Did you know that goldbricking increases the life expectancy by an enormous amount? The exact number of years it will add to anyone’s life is not set in stone. But look at the snail. It never really goes anywhere or does anything yet it lives 25 years doing nothing.

Tarry and titivate.

It can actually be quite exciting to stall and wool-gather. Schedules and Calendars stifle the imagination and make you work too hard. You get things done that you planned to do, but never really wanted to accomplish in the first place. Whoever heard of a poet consulting a day planner? Well the poets that get published, for one — but who else? When one gives in to entropy, that’s when the real creative work begins. Though your work is never done and never published, you can keep and enjoy your work all by yourself.

Life is but a dream, says the old song. So why not fritter it away? Thinking of your castle in the clouds? It worked for Walter Mitty, so why shouldn’t it work for you?

All things come to him who waits. And that could include anything from a gallon of vanilla ice cream to a leprechaun with his pot of gold. (Or is it a box of cereal?)

If you sit still long enough and keep your eyes open you will eventually see some amazing things. Whereas if you are always busy hurrying about you will probably miss such things as the sunlight striking the dew on a spider web. Or the transient odor of a rose petal falling to the ground. And in the long run wouldn’t it be more pleasant to remember that rose petal in your old age rather than how often you were on time for the bus?

So stretch out and be still. Throw your datebook on the dust heap. And put off reading this article until another distant day.

Image Credit: Marcus Aurelius; Pexels; Thank you!