Procrastination is The Thief of Time

We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood — it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, ‘Too late.’ – MLK jr.

Brilliant reminders about ‘doing’ rather than ‘thinking of doing’ have been popping up all over for me in the past 48 hours…several over the weekend, the above from Seth’s blog this morning. I’m taking it as a sign to spread the word. If you were thinking of putting off that portrait to tomorrow, rather than today, or thinking of not picking up the phone and calling that client, skipping that research for your next short film, or whatever it might be… perhaps you should re-consider and do it today. I sure am.

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54 Responses to Procrastination is The Thief of Time

  1. Jeremy Corbin January 17, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    Chase, you’re thinking what I’m thinking. I spent the past 3 days reading the Best Practices by John Harrington. I now know what I didn’t know, and I’ve been all over my client base this morning playing catch up. I want to stay in business. I don’t want to wait tables next month because I failed this month.

  2. JC Ruiz January 17, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    I suffer from procrastination. It’s getting better though.

  3. Violet January 17, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    I agree with both of you. However, I have another thing looming over me that continues to force me to procrastinate is depression. Since losing my job in September, I’ve decided to freelance, but one of the biggest problems I face is depression, which leads to procrastination, which leads to missed opportunities. It’s a daily struggle, but it’s getting better.

    Thanks Chase :)

    • Chase January 17, 2011 at 11:57 am #

      i’m not a therapist, but i know from my own experince that the simple and repeat act of ‘doing’ – if you can muster that in the most basic sense of the word – is enough to break almost any cycle of funk.

    • Robert D.Jones January 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

      What a powerful and poignant message with superb timing! Thanks Chase and Thanks Dr. King!

    • Jim January 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

      Hi Violet, I lost my job 2 years ago and I started photography around the same time. Since then, I have been showing agency models and few designers. When i lost my job, my friend encouraged me to walk outside the house (important not to stay in the house too long) to take some photos or perhps make yourself a project to keep it interesting. Someone once told me that the greatest art pieces were created in great depression and I believe we can use our limited resources to create something great. (limited resources force creativity to come out in my case). I guess there is no right or wrong how to take photos as long as we start to learn from the process and improve from it. Just want to encourage you to keep shooting , your creativity is limitless because you have a camera in your hands. Hope you will get a break through from this soon. You are not alone.

    • Anonymous January 17, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

      I suffer depression too, it needs to be harnessed like a beast.
      You need to train yourself. you need tools to cope.
      When you’re feeling flat, get out of house with camera, surround yourself with friends and people. Volunteer to take photos for a youth or homeless group. It puts things into perspective.
      Do the opposite to how you feel…. Don’t want to finsh off a job or send a quote, just do it. Right in the now.
      When you feel you have no energy, get out and run, walk a dog, then return back to the job with a clear mind.
      Exercise pumps up the feel good hormones.
      Today I have to finish off a couple of client’s work, I don’t have much energy or inspiration.
      My tactic, coffee, The National playing and then my reward….work on personal stuff.
      Hang in there.

    • Robert Michael January 18, 2011 at 10:12 am #

      Ditto, Violet.

      It’s been about two years, and the fear and stress are still there.

      Here’s my advice. Take a step forward. Tell everyone what you did. Repeat. Eventually things will start to come about.

      Best of luck!

  4. DanielKphoto January 17, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    Great, absolutely great. Something that I should really work on… Thank you very much for sharing, this is definitely of importance to me.

  5. Morten Koldby January 17, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    True that. Act on your ideas before they wear out. Before you think them to death. Sometimes a concept or an idea that may seem trivial, can lead to the evolution of better ideas if you keep an open mind to what you are doing. Thats why (at least for me) concepts like iphone photography is so interesting, because the result is immediate.

  6. Joshua Dance January 17, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    To true. Get out there and do it. One important thing is to pick carefully what you do, but always do it.

  7. Renee January 17, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    this same message has been reverberating in the airwaves for me too in the last week … Time I took the hint I’d say ;-)
    Thanks for this post

  8. brittani January 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    Blegh. I am queen of procrastination. But I won’t be anymore. I really needed to read this post. Simple, and to the point. Thanks. =)

  9. bbebop January 17, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    “hard work pays off in the future, but procrastination pays off right now!”

  10. Farrah January 17, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    This is a beautiful reminder of how precious life is and how squandered time leads to disappointment and missed opportunity.

    Far too many people are under the belief that having a creative or non-traditional “job” is something to be ashamed of. We are called idealistic dreamers and cursed with the underlying message that we will never succeed. That little voice can also cause us to procrastinate out of fear that it is correct.

    We need to conquer that voice and live our passions now! No more procrastinating.

    I recently lost my mother to cancer and that lesson has never rang more true than it does now.

    Life is too short, as they say.

    Living your passion may have some disappointment involved but it’s a filter process. The sooner you filter out those who are not worthy of your talent the sooner you can see your dreams realized!

  11. James January 17, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    I should be working right now. Instead, I’m reading this. Oh, the irony :)

  12. Albert January 17, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    “Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity.” So true and an all too frequent experience. The other side of that coin is reveling in “Island Time” , the piece and carity that often comes from total abandonment of the need to produce. I believe defining time for each is imparative. It is the shifting of gears between the two that is the trick for me. I grind a lot of gears.

  13. Greg Jordan January 17, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    Yes! I’m going to make a photo book that I’ve been thinking about (procrastinating bout) doing for some time. I’ll sell it as a PDF download and donate the $ to charity. I’ll have it up on my website starting in February, maybe sooner. Just started working on it!

  14. Martin Ellard January 17, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    you’ve given me something to think about….again

  15. Chris Berdy January 17, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    Chase: your post is right on, and just yesterday, took preserve a bit of my own family history before it slips away from us even more. StoryCorps (storycorps.org) is currently in Birmingham, AL, where I live, and I managed to snag a coveted slot to interview my dad about his childhood. I surprised him, flew him into town, and did the “interview” yesterday to record his story.

    He was born in December 1942 in Lyon, France to Jewish parents who had fled Vienna, Austria to France before the Nazi occupation. In 1949, his family immigrated through Ellis Island to the U.S. At the time, they literally had nothing, and they hardly spoke a word of English. After being a Boy Scout, a first-generation college graduate, and serving in the U.S. Navy, he has maintained a successful periodontal practice in North Florida for over 40 years. Truly, he embodies the American Dream. His parents are both deceased, and I wanted to make sure I seized on the chance to record just a bit of his story.

    The StoryCorps mobile soundbooth is parked adjacent to the entrance of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and across the street from the 16th Street Baptist Church, where four girls were killed in a 1963 Sunday bombing that killed four young girls during the Civil Rights era.

    Inspired by the thought of my dad’s own personal story and the setting in which we were recording it, she posted this video on her own photography blog: http://www.katherineberdy.com/blog. I hope you’ll take a minute to watch it.

  16. Farrukh Riaz January 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    There I am thinking again: shall I? shan’t I? shall I ? shan’t I? Shan’t I always keeps beating and eating me up. What’s the point, I ask myself.

    Y’know, I watched Ron Gallela: “Smash his camera”. I watched and awed. Finally the reason to get rid of shan’t I.

    Got myself Mamiya C3 TLR and Mamiya 645 – I have broken out of my shackles: just want B&W.

    I cant wait for the now.

  17. motzo January 17, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    i will post a comment now and not do it tomorrow :)

    and i shall mash this music video today
    today

  18. Dominic DiMaria January 17, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    These reminders keep popping up for me, as well. Thanks for sharing. Working on my next project right now.

  19. Skeptikal January 17, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    Does procrastination really make you go blind?

  20. Simon January 17, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    I’m not procrastinating, I’m only reading your blog… instead of doing my school homework ! lol

  21. Optic Bard January 17, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    So ironic that you post about procrastination today. I recently started a project that I have been wanting to do for almost a year now. The reason I say ironic is because truth be told I’m glad that I waited. If I had started the project a year ago it wouldn’t have gone as well as my project currently is. I believe there is a fine line between procrastination, and waiting for the right time. I don’t know how to tell the difference but I do know that sometimes waiting is a good thing, and sometimes it’s just a pile of excusses blocking our way.

  22. jetgreen1 January 17, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

    It really is about self control. Control yourself and control your mind. Sometimes people need a swift kick….Marinating in your own juices is gross.

  23. Ian MacMichael January 18, 2011 at 3:15 am #

    a friend of mine said:

    “We spend so much time in our speed boat on the turbulent sea of our life, racing ahead to get to the next opportunity, the next client, we actually leave most of our opportunities in our wake, to concerned about rushing forever forwards”

  24. Guasch January 18, 2011 at 4:12 am #

    cool reminder/article Chase! This shot me right through. though a bit different.

    A brick wall made of financial deficiencies stared me down while i was planning a shoot a few days ago.

    Procrastination came in as the thought of going around the brick wall would be beyond me. I started quitting, delaying, and doing less of what i was aiming for but then i realized it was just another challenge to take a different route to my plan. Even felt i was good as paperweight if didnt my right to create.

    Anyway, hope you guys here watch this, a bit far from what chase blogg’d but i still believe its a video worth watching. found this while researching on Godin, thanks to chase!

    happy shooting! :D

    http://www.ted.com/talks/seth_godin_on_sliced_bread.html

  25. Digital Photography Fan January 18, 2011 at 6:29 am #

    Great post..we all need these reminders!!

  26. Steve S January 18, 2011 at 7:25 am #

    What is the one thing that once lost, can never be found? Time.

    Set realistic goals, measure your progress daily against them. Doing that in writing really helps. Until I started doing that and taking remedial actions when I didn’t achieve them, I lost a lot of time.

    You’ll be surprised how good you feel about yourself when you achive those goals.

    • Biill Wittman January 18, 2011 at 8:19 am #

      The greatest enemy is fear.

  27. bimal nair January 18, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    thankyou for the kick on the butt Chase!
    That is something that i really lack…..the conviction of “doing” than “thinking of doing”! Thanks again.

  28. Matthew May January 18, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    You wouldn’t think it would take much to do what you love doing.. but wow this post really spoke to me… Thanks Chase!

  29. sdsd January 18, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    sdsdsd

  30. Vincent January 18, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    Nice! This is so true. Just like Biill Witman said: The greatest enemy is fear.
    Let’s all stop procrastinating and ”Just do it”. I wish it was as easy as it sounds.

  31. richNYC January 18, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    The best book I read on how to fight procrastination is Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art”. Give it a try, quite an inspirational quick page turner…

  32. Corbin Crimmins January 18, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

    Seth is on it!

  33. Grunge January 19, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    Chase – your advice on “doing” is spot on.
    What gets me going, when I can’t get going, is accomplishing something – anything – and realizing the “to do” list is doable. Just go to the next one and go!

  34. Ryan Lue-Clarke January 19, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    Hey Chase, I know exactly what you mean. Emails from clients keep piling up and I keep saying to myself I’m gonna email/call back. By the end of the day I’m tired from editing photos and put off contacting the clients till the next day. The next day still hasn’t come yet lol

  35. Terrence January 20, 2011 at 7:44 am #

    Words to live by!

    “Twenty years from now
    you will be more disappointed
    by the things you didn’t do
    than by the ones you did do.
    So throw off the bowlines.
    Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds
    in your sails.
    Explore. Dream. Discover.”
    (Mark Twain)

  36. Nigel Pinto February 2, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    Chase, truely have connected to most of us. The worst thing to do is just wait and hope and pray it gets done by itself.
    Seth Godin has been an inspiration to most.
    I have changed my ways and working on a more fulfilling life.

    And yes of course, will spread the word.

  37. Nikon D7000 Price February 3, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    The price of D7000 with body only at $1,200 is considered quite steep and there’s not much improvement as compared to the D90.

    I will still stick with my D90 for sometime.

  38. Kevin Jeet March 28, 2011 at 5:47 am #

    Hi to all
    procrastination is the wastage of time only..if u put on tomorrow then u’r work load will be increased. The most funny thing is that we know that our work will be increased if we will do procrastination. Sooo the question is WHY OUR MIND SAYS,” I’LL DO ON TOMORROW” ?

  39. music citizens July 31, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    Maybe God wants us to meet a few wrong people before meeting the right one, so that when we finally meet the person, we will know how to be grateful.

  40. smrithi August 15, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    yes yar ri8………………………….

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    Thanks for that article

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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