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On Busy-ness In The Business, And The Power Of Procrastination

Guest blogger Steven DeNure, president and COO of DHX Media, on finding balance between the things you need to do and the things you want to do.
April 9, 2013

Me with my godsons, Thomas and Rory in 2012.

By Steven DeNure, guest blogger

Sometime last spring, Josh asked me to write a guest blog.  I was flattered, immediately said yes, but said it might take a while.  Then I contrived to get so busy that I could not possibly find the time to write.  When he politely checked in to see how the blog was coming, I told him I was too busy, first without explanation, then with increasingly elaborate excuses.

I have tested Josh’s patience.  While we were toiling away in secret last year on the recent transaction at DHX, I am sure Josh imagined that I was demonstrating a propensity to procrastinate that he was previously unaware of.

My grandmother used to say, “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”  While I was sure that it was original to her, she was apparently quoting Thomas Jefferson, perhaps without knowing it.

I have thought about this aphorism and decided that Jefferson, and my grandmother, had it wrong.  We actually need to put off until tomorrow the things that don’t need to be done today, and hopefully be wise enough to recognize which is which.  One of the consistent refrains that I hear from our colleagues in the kids media business is how busy they are.  OK – we are all busy – but when it comes down to it we all make choices about how we spend our limited time.  And one thing is certain – and we all know it – getting involved in creating kids content can be an all-consuming choice.  Josh speaks fondly of the “zealots” in the business, and he rightly points out that a passionate commitment to entertaining and educating kids is a key driver for people who make kids media.

But it is also this commitment that makes us occasionally take on too much.  And that brings me back to Jefferson, and not just figuring out your busy creative and business priorities, but how to find a balance between the things you need to do and the things you want to do, between the commitment to your work and to your life outside of work.

So, for all you busy people, how about “Put off until tomorrow the things that don’t need to be done today.”  Some call it procrastination, but it is not – as long as you deliver when you are supposed to!

My Grandmother and her twin sisters in about 1905.

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