Friday, 28 February 2014

Dancing on the deadline (Dansa på deadline)

I read an interesting article in one of the major Swedish papers (DN) this morning. Within short there will be a new Swedish book called Dancing on the deadline (Dansa på deadline). It is written by the psychologist Alexander Rozental and the journalist Lina Wennersten. It concerns a problem which I think a lot of us have today - at least I do; that is, to delay things to the last minute. The book is trying to explain why we delay things although we know that we will feel bad when we finally have to deal with it. There seem to be some American literature on the subject, but not very much in Swedish. The symptom is called procrastination (from latin pro crastinus which means until tomorrow).

In the 1970s an American survey showed that 5% of the population suffered from procrastination. In a similar survey recently done the figures show that 15-20% suffers from delaying tasks. One important explanation is that the
work is quite different today. We have more
individual responsibilities, we work towards goals set far in the future which might not always be very clear today. Furthermore, there are more landscaped offices (more in the States I think than in Sweden, but the trend is going towards this in Sweden as well). Then of course there is the 24/24 availability
approach today which means we are always interrupted in what we are doing; sms, mails, gsm etc. That makes it harder to concentrate on the tasks ahead.

This book will hopefully help people in need and make them realise that you feel much better if you don't delay things to the last minute. In the end of the article there is a quote from one of our greatest authors Fritiof Nilsson Piraten. It is actually the inscription on his tomb (my translation into English).


Below here is the ash of a man who had the habit to delay everything until tomorrow. However, he improved himself in the end of his life and actually died on 31 January 1972.

I think we should try to improve a little bit earlier ourselves!









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