Hello again readers,
I haven’t blogged in ages, and as I’d just like to offer a quick explanation as I start up with my writing again. First, I’ve had some family-based things going on and I had to put aside my own priorities in order better support my family. This lasted from the end of May through most of July. Since then, I’ve been procrastinating on my procrastination goal (oh the irony!) – and just haven’t gotten around to writing.
Right now, I am reaffirming my goal to fight my own procrastination. And I will be a more active blogger going forwards. There is already something in the pipeline: a new technique called “Work Restriction” which I’ve been trying out in the past two weeks. More details to follow.
May 6th: It’s been a little while (almost a month, in fact) since I last added new content to this blog.
To be perfectly honest, I’ve been procrastinating about it – I just keep pushing the task back. It’s frustrating for me, but I think that it’s important for my blog to be perfectly honest: if I’m having trouble, then I don’t want to sugarcoat it.
This post is an introduction to the Dual Blog that I am writing with Piers Steel (author of The Procrastination Equation).
He contacted me after reading the first posts on my blog, and we’re now working together to get rid of my procrastination. I get to be a bit of an example, trying out different anti-procrastination techniques and then we will discuss them. My perspective is focused on my experiences, and I hope that it’s an interesting read for others who are struggling with Procrastination.
The first “episode” of the blog can be found on the Psychology Today website.
A while ago, I read Charles Hobb’s book Time Power.
Warning: This book is out of print.
It was suggested to me by a friend/supervisor because I was having trouble meeting deadlines. It was a book that he loved, and he had a lot of success by adopting the book’s system into his daily life.
The book includes a lot of content. The author has some really interesting ideas about living a life that is congruent with your self-image and your long-term goals. He does a very good job talking about high-level ideals and then helping you break it down into more day-to-day tasks. Reading the book really helped me think about how I can get my life under control.
At the same time, the book includes all the “how-to” instructions for a solid Time Management system. The system is very pencil & paper (rather than digitally-based) could either be seen as out of date, or as a purposeful choice.
One awesome nugget of wisdom that Hobb’s advocates is to separate priority from urgency. This concept really changed how I think about different tasks that I need to do. So you can classify your tasks according to how important they are as well as how quickly they need to be done. A couple examples:
- Paying bills would be high priority (very important) and also very urgent (as the deadline approaches).
- Watching a new episode of a favorite reality TV show would be low priority (not important to your life goals) but very urgent (it’s on when it’s on!)
- Investing money would be a high priority, but also low urgency (because there is no external deadline).
I found that the writing style in this book was also good. Hobbs writes very clearly, and his tone is non-judgemental and he never condescends.
Overall it’s a very good book.
But in the end, this book didn’t change my life. More recently, I’ve realized that my problem is with procrastination not with Time Management. Although these two things are related, they are not the same thing (at least in my experience)… I’m awesome at coming up with plans. I can divide a task into smaller tasks, and I can set deadlines for them. I can even set-up Time Management systems like the one described in the book. However, I’m sh*te at following through with these plans, and meeting the deadlines that I’ve created for myself.
So I really found this book interesting, and I highly recommend it to other people. But it doesn’t deal with procrastination.
Part of the inspiration for this blog was my results from the procrastinus.com survey; which called me a “master procrastinator”.
I have since gone out, and bought The Procrastination Equation book, by Piers Steel. And this is my very-quick review.
The first half of the book talks about procrastination from many different approaches. It’s talked about in relation to economics, history, our environment, technology, workplaces / institutions, etc etc etc. The second half of the book introduces the equation itself and introduces strategies to combat procrastination. The strategies are all backed up with scientific references, and are targeted to different parts of the procrastination equation.
The content of this book is fantastic. Specifically the second half, where all the anti-procrastination strategies are discussed. The author does an excellent job explaining the strategies and giving examples. The best part is how it can be personalized; it’s easy to select the strategies that best apply to me as an individual. This personalization comes from the structure of the book – by relating the strategies to each part of the procrastination equation, you can see how they would fit together to create a multifaceted anti-procrastination plan.
Personally, I found that the writing style was a little bit simplified. In particular, I rolled my eyes a little bit when the author was talking about the three example people that he’d created. The content was still there, and very clear, I just would have preferred to have more of the science-y info. (I guess I’ll have to look up some of the book’s references if I want to go deeper in to the content!)
This book hit very close to home.
As I was reading it, I could see the consequences of procrastination in my own life. I could see how my procrastination behaviour relates to my personality and to my work. This is all a good thing, because it means the book is a good one for me to read, but at the same time – it can be hard to face your flaws.
Bottom Line: If you are suffering from procrastination, then this book is a worthwhile read.
So I suspect that this blog may itself be a tool for my procrastination…
My story is simple: I procrastinate. A lot. To the point where I think it has destroyed my life. Currently I’m unemployed and I spend a large quantity of time watching tv online, and even more time feeling stressed about the work I should be doing.
Yesterday I stumbled across a test for procrastination (part of Piers Steel’s research on procrastination, and found here), and I scored 100 out of 100. The results told me that I was a “master procrastinator”. Which is something that I already knew.
So today I am turning over a new leaf… And part of that will be to talk about my efforts in this blog. Why? Because it’s cheaper than therapy.
How does one stop procrastinating?
I really don’t have a clue.
My overall plan is simple: keep trying until I am in control of my life. The key word in this plan is “trying.” It means that I need to actively seek out new techniques and then honestly put in the effort needed to try them out.