Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

Finite time, infinite work

I found this wonderful quote on Kate's book blog and thought you might enjoy it. The quote comes from a book by Kenneth Atchity, A Writer’s Time: Making the Time to Write (1995).

 In a productive, well-ordered life two elements must be managed: time and work. Poor time-managers fail to recognize the difference between the two elements: Work is infinite; time is finite. Therefore, you must manage your time, not your work. Work expands to fill whatever time is allotted to it. If your work is successful, it generates more work; as a result, the concept of “finishing your work” is a contradiction in terms so blatant and so dangerous that it can lead to nervous breakdowns—because it puts the pressures on the wrong places in your mind and habits. Time, on the other hand, is finite, though there’s much more of it available than people who manage it poorly think. The real problem is that we don’t have enough disciplined energy to use all the time that’s given to us.
         Instead of trying to finish your work, you need merely find time to do your work; then simply concentrate on doing it the best you can. The satisfaction will come from knowing that each day you’ve allotted time for the work you love, the work you want to do.

very helpful quote!! Thanks for this.

I think I might print this out and put it on my wall. There's much truth in it.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

Re: Finite time, infinite work

alexa, thanks!!!!! This so resonates with me! I have this image of work as an ever-expanding, infinite to begin with volume, and of the absurdity of even attempting to chip away at it. The chipping away is pitiful, and the volume and mass just expand with no regard for my efforts.

I love the perspective this quote offers. Thanks again for sharing it!

re: finite time

Thanks Alexa, I agree with Kaoba, this is a great quote and a great perspective.  I think one reason I resort to procrastination is exactly because of that feeling of "never getting finished".   I've always felt that one should get their work done first, and then play - but when the work is never ending the guilt-free play time never comes.  So we "steal" play time by procrastinating. 


“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” - Stephen Covey

Right On!

This is so revealing.  No wonder I always feel like I can't keep up.

Thanks, Alexa.