The literary heroine best known for her procrastinating ways is without a doubt Scarlett O’Hara. Uttering lines like “I can’t think about that right now. I’ll think about that tomorrow” she surely is the queen of procrastination. Well, that’s what I thought until I was asked to write a blog at work.
I work in Macroom E (www.macroom-e.com), an enterprise centre where we offer space and support to start-up companies and small businesses (as hotdesks, small offices or industrial units), as well as renting our conference facilities to companies. We also run a number of projects such as the E Centres projects (a cluster of enterprise centres in Cork County www.ecentres.ie ), the Greenshoots Emerging Entrepreneurs Programme (a programme aimed at start-up companies to help them get the best start for their business www.greenshootscork.ie) and SMILE (a free service for business to encourage the sharing and exchanging of resources in order to reduce costs and help the environment www.smileexchange.ie). We also have a monthly networking event for businesses to make contacts called CONNECT.
We have found that social media is a great platform to promote our services and our work. To that end, we’ve all been asked to contribute in the form of a blog and that’s why you are reading this today. No doubt you’ve enjoyed my colleagues’ past efforts and the most recent blog written by Michelle showed that she too suffered a small attack of the procrastination monster! So a sense of dread filled me at a staff meeting today when I was told that my turn has finally come.
And now I had to find a subject to write about. One of my first ideas was to relate my trials & tribulations as a working mother of 2, a subject that seemed fitting when I was first approached to write this as I was just back from maternity leave. However, the idea slowly faded as the weeks went past & I still hadn’t put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, as it were). Indeed, my baby son is almost entering the realm of toddler hood and my daily routine is well rehearsed, hardly worth mentioning in a blog!
After today’s staff meeting, when I was told I couldn’t put it off any longer, I thought I’d write about procrastination. By the sound of it, it shouldn’t have the negative connotation it carries. Indeed a lot of words in business start with the “pro” prefix and they all have a positive association: professional, proficient, proactive, to name but a few. These words are always used on many CVs and most episodes of the Apprentice (Irish and British versions alike). Even in everyday life, we find examples of “pro” words in positive context. For example your yogurts give you loads of good bacteria, probiotics.
Our trusted Wikipedia source (what would we do without them???) informs us of the etymology of the word:
“The modern term comes from the Latin word procrastinatus, which is the past participle of procrastinare derived from pro- (forward) and crastinus (of tomorrow). Though descriptions of procrastination appear in ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman texts, it first appears by name in the English language in 1548 according to the Oxford English Dictionary.”
So there you have it, procrastination has a long and distinguished history. Indeed with ancient civilisations already indulging in it, pushing things forward to another day seems to be part and parcel of the human condition. This definition of the word also happens to fit our Scarlett (and me it seems!) down to a T!
Well it makes me feel better anyway, to know that I’m not the only procrastinator out there.
Now I just have to think about the subject of my next blog but to be honest, I can’t think about it right now. I’ll think about it tomorrow…