At about 11:30 am on Thursday, I was shocked to see my inbox overflowing with emails from WordPress. “No way!” I thought. Freshly Pressed! I was jumping up and down and twirling at work!
Thanks to WordPress, and especially a big thank you to everyone who read, liked, commented on and/or subscribed to my blog. I really, really appreciate all of the positive feedback!
Since the topic of procrastination really seem to strike a chord with many people, I thought it might be helpful to share some of the useful, creative and wise pointers I got. Sifting through the many comments, it was interesting to see people picking up on my ambivalence about procrastination. There were two main, broad categories of comments: praise for embracing the positive side of procrastination, and praise for trying and somewhat succeeding to overcome it.
So, here’s a round-up!
On Embracing Procrastination:
- A number of people pointed out that sometimes we need to put a looming task off until we’re really ready to tackle it.
pltprincess said: “Sometimes procrastination is not ‘putting things off’ but rather it’s a ‘waiting for inspiration’…”
Or as minlit so poetically stated, “It’s on the winding paths of procrastination that we daydream our way to good ideas. It’s like the brain’s way of compensating for the subtle shadow of guilt cast by the notion of ‘wasting time’.”
- Similarly, some pointed out that while we might not be physically getting the job done, this doesn’t mean we’re not making any progress on it: “Often we are writing things in our mind, so it is merely a style of organization. I’ve been doing it for almost 50 years now,” said judithornot
- Another excellent point was that we all have different times at which we are more productive, lucid or clear-headed and ready to work. “Discipline has come with age, but it’s worked the opposite way for me! I’ve accepted that my brain just doesn’t work too well academically before 6pm so now I just get down to it when I’m in the zone.” (makersidiom)
- And a few wise readers assured us that our procrastinating won’t necessarily hold us back: “I am a procrastinator, have always been throughout my life. And the fact that I am Fifty four years old and have not only survived but have done reasonably well (I think so, others may not) would encourage the young lot! Cheer up!” Saroj Thakur
On Overcoming Procrastination:
- “My recommendation: Find a partner in crime. And someone who is as different from you as possible. If you tend to be inspired and move quickly from one amazing idea to the next, leaving behind a battlefield of half-finished amazing drafts, work with someone who is less productive in terms of having good ideas but great at finishing stuff… Intuitively and if uncontrolled, we lean towards wanting to work with people who are similar to us but we will achieve so much more (and actually finish it) if we partner with people who carry our missing piece.” –Eva Schiffer
- A number of people commented that blogging or keeping a journal can help with the self-critical aspect of procrastination/perfectionism, especially for writers. Curt Mekemson noted that with a blog, “Perfection isn’t required, or expected,” and when writing in a journal, “I am the reader and the writer so I learn to get my words down more quickly.”
- Many readers talked about making lists to help break up all of our tasks into more palatable pieces. The act of crossing things off is very satisfying, creating the boost in confidence and sense of accomplishment that push us forward.
- Following that, cupcakesandrainbows recommends “setting an alarm and moving onto something else when the alarm goes off” to keep us moving ahead on the list.
- I had also come across this article from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill’s, Writing Center with a whole number of great thoughts on procrastination and tips to overcome it.
Other Cool Things:
- harleenjabs recommended this article from New Yorker to help us understand our problem!
- Sonia M. a self-proclaimed “creative procrastinator” gave us the title, the Procrastinatrix.
- And my friend Deborah, in a typo, created “Procrastinatron.”
Thanks again for all of the fantastic comments, and for reading!
P.S.: Since so many people complimented my desk:
Also, my computer is a 6 year old PowerBook G4, but I’m hoping to upgrade to a shiny, new MacBook Pro soon!