Musings of an Alternative Equestrian

In Defence of Procrastination

In Defence of Procrastination

This might be controversial but I think procrastination has a place in the modern world

Today our busy lives are full of rush rush rush and in this time of instantaneous mobile communication we expect quick answers and rapid results, but do you sometimes find yourself leaving tasks, projects and jobs?

Instead you find yourself focusing on something else, or sometimes nothing at all, carrying out meaningless tasks and or distraction activities. But if asked why you delayed or even what you have been doing instead you cannot remember or provide an explanation.

Thats procrastination in action and I believe that sometimes it is an essential process. I think serves two purposes, the first is to give us some time out, to slow down and breather and the second is that gives time for our brains to process the task, or for an alternative and more suitable solution to present itself.

I like to take on interesting projects, but often they are challenging and new, and procrastination allows my brain time to sort out what is needed.

Sometimes I need to learn new skills but very often something happens which allows a solution to appear that would not have been available if I had rushed headlong in.

This could be some changes in circumstances, or a book or website I have discovered that brings new insight to the project.

We live in a world of instant results, instant rewards, fads and trends, where we are onto the next thing as soon as we are done with current, rushing around cramming as much as possible into our lives, procrastination is an evolutionary process to allow us to take time out, process thoughts fully and gain the skills we need.

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So can this apply to horsemanship?

Undoubtedly. Horses have no sense of time based goals, no need to be rushing about fitting as much as possible into busy lives, they don’t have projects or tasks, they have no need for procrastination but we do!

Very often if I have an aim or an issue with my horses I don’t try and solve it or achieve it straight away. Just for clarity I would like to point out that by issue I do not mean injuries, medical issues or anything that could cause my horses pain or stress, I am thinking of trainings issues and the like. Sometimes I don’t tackle these things for a long time, many months in some cases, and this is because I don’t have the answers yet.

Sometimes I have an a-ha moment when reading a book, its like a piece of puzzle fits into place. Other times it is because I have given my brain enough time to process the issue and it can also happen from something that is completely unrelated.

My most recent example is trying to deal with the separation anxiety in my horses, the start of our story is covered in All Journeys Start with a Single Step¬†Even though since we moved to Windy Acres 3 years ago, I knew it is something I would have to find an answer for at some point. I knew I wanted it to be a positive and stress free experience and I knew I didn’t have the answers right then. Could I have actively sought the answers? possibly but would they have been the answers I wanted? Who knows, but it wasn’t until a couple of pieces of the jigsaw, (an online camp and the publication of an excellent book) fell into place that it made sense, and it has been hugely successful.

I am a firm believer of everything happens for a reason and everything happens at the right time for it to occur so procrastinating is allowing for it to be the perfect time. So next time you have a task maybe wait for the right time and enjoy procrastinating……..

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