I'll write something here later...
I kid. I either have some sort of serious procrastination problems, or I have a want-to-do list hoarding disease. Or both. I don't think that's good. Especially when you're as lazy as me. Imagine this: 20 todo lists on my Wunderlist app - with an average of over 5 items each. That's over 100 unchecked items! Cray cray! Not mentioning some of these items have sub-items! Double cray cray! And who knows what else I've forgotten to list down because I thought I'd list it down later but I didn't? #ProcrastinationGod
In light of this problem, I'd like to share a great writeup by David McRaney in his book called You Are Not So Smart (which I'm planning to write a review on later. Right.) There is one section dedicated specifically for proscrastination, how it works, why it works, and how we might be able to do reduce it. Let's start off with the section opening:
The Misconception: You procrastinate because you are lazy and can’t manage your time well.
The Truth: Procrastination is fueled by weakness in the face of impulse and a failure to think about thinking.
Think about that for a bit. Oh, you don't want to right now because you have "better" things to think about. See? You're doing it again. Not because you're lazy but because of a weakness to care about it in the first place. So let's cut to the chase... how do I avoid procrastinating? Simply by letting now-you outsmart future-you into doing what you're supposed to do. To elaborate:
You must be adept at thinking about thinking to defeat yourself at procrastination. You must realize there is the you who sits there now reading this, and there is a you sometime in the future who will be influenced by a different set of ideas and desires, a you in a different setting where an alternate palette of brain functions will be available for painting reality.
The trick is to accept the now you will not be the person facing those choices, it will be the future you – a person who can’t be trusted. Future-you will give in, and then you’ll go back to being now-you and feel weak and ashamed. Now-you must trick future-you into doing what is right for both parties.
Specifically for me, to trick myself into blogging more, I plan to (see this? Already planning to procrastinate) plot repeating blog time schedules on my calendar since I rely heavily on it for work and deciding if I should go out tonight or take a trip this weekend. It is my jail. A good one. Oh, look, I'm not procrastinating. I just plotted my schedule: 8AM, one hour twice a week. Why in the morning? It has certain creative benefits.
This works for me because I am heavily dependent on my calendar. You have no idea. I have weak memory. I have mistakenly trained myself not to remember todos by putting them into the calendar. How screwed up am I gonna be in the next years of my lame life? Stick around and find out.
I love this book because it debunks a lot of logical shortcomings of the human mind (with factual references!), why it's there, and how to avoid it. Fortunately for you, the author has some of the sections on http://www.youarenotsosmart.com. Go check it out and be enlightened (or depressed) about how much our brain really sucks.
So what do you think is gonna work for you? How are you going to outsmart future-you? Comments! Now! Don't procrastinate!
Photo from valeriehayes.com.