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Some Thoughts on Procrastination

When I was in high school and I had a week to do a paper, I would put it off. Not until two days before it was due, not until the night before it was due, and not even until the morning it was due. During the period before it was due, I would whip out my tiny Toshiba Libretto laptop and start churning away at it. Teacher's didn't mind, because it looked like I was taking notes for once. I'd be editing and touching it up right until the bell. When I got to my next class, I'd tell the teacher that I wasn't able to print it at home, and ask if I could go print it in the library.

I got a lot of Cs.

I think that being able to get things done under pressure at the last minute is a good skill to have. Putting yourself in the position of HAVING to do that every single day isn't so good, but that's the zone I've lived in for most of my life. Over time I learned that procrastination isn't just a "different way of doing things", but rather a true weakness. It's succumbing to the immediate desire for comfort rather than investing effort for the future. In my life now, it's inexcusable.

The upside of battling procrastinating for so long is that I've developed a pretty good understanding of why it happens and how to combat it. In this post I'll share a few of the most effective lessons I've learned.

What Procrastination Looks Like


A major realization for me -

Procrastination is fed by action to alleviate suffering.

It's very hard to procrastinate by sitting and looking at the work you want to do or are supposed to be doing.

If you're procrastinating on cleaning the mess up in your garage, it's almost impossible to do so by standing in your garage just staring at the mess for long periods of time. No, you have to go back inside your home and do something else.

If you're procrastinating on some work, it's very hard to do it by staring at the work materials and nothing else. No, you'll fire up your web browser or make phonecalls or go do something else.

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