Mindful Moments: Stories and Lessons of Procrastination

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What did Voltaire have to say about procrastination?

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Lifehacker weighs in on perfectionism and procrastination. Jason refers to Voltaire’s comments on the subject… but what were those comments? Love to know…


Written by clayward

July 14, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Posted in history

A message of warning from ancient Rome.

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The word “Procrastinate” used to have much more positive connotations.  In chapter two of Coping With Stress: Effective People and Processes, Joseph R Ferrari outlines its history:

“The Romans provided the roots of the present form of the word “procrastination” –pro = “forward” + crastinus = “of tomorrow”.  Interestingly, the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius warned against delaying unnecessarily.  The earliest known English usage of the word “procrastination” was in 1548, where it appeared in Edward Hall’s Chronicle: The Union of Two Noble and Illustrious Families of Lancestre and York.  The term is used… without pejorative connotations, reflecting the idea of “informed delay” or “wisely chosen restraint” that was popular in Roman accounts (1).  The word “procrastination” was in relatively common usage by the early 1600s (1)… The negative connotations of the term, however, did not seem to emerge until the mid-1800s, at approximately the time of the industrial revolution, when the word became associated with “sinful” sloth.” (p. 30-31)

Written by clayward

September 27, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Posted in history, tips