Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Putting off the inevitable (or trying to)

Here and on our Wiki, the issue of procrastination has been mentioned a couple of times. This is definitely something I’ve experienced as a writer, although not in relation to this project. The quality and strength of our collaboration has really motivated me here. That’s a lesson we should probably take to heart.

Usually I am a very accomplished procrastinator. I often experience resistance to writing, and sometimes it’s very strong. Hoping to help, a friend once bought me a book on motivation written by a well-known psychologist. You’ve guessed it – I never got around to reading it. Mindful that this is a live issue for me, I won’t presume to offer any advice, but I would like to open the topic up for discussion by floating a few of my ideas.

I suppose there are two approaches we might take. The first is to use sheer willpower, tackling our resistance head on. There’s something to recommend this, although I do remember reading about experimental studies which suggest that willpower will only take the best of us so far. In terms of grit, I recognize that I’m probably lower down the continuum than nearer the top, so I generally favour a strategy which involves treating myself rather like a toddler with limited internal resources. In short, I bribe myself.

Each day, I decide what I want to do and what my reward will be. The reward should be in proportion to the task accomplished and administered soon after its completion. For example, today I wanted to finish editing a short story I am working on. This took me about an hour and a half, after which I sat down with a cup of coffee and two tracks by Gotan Project (yes, I know that’s technically two rewards, but I can make a coffee last for a very long time if I don’t have an additional regulating mechanism). Then, on to the next thing. It works for me.

A friend of mine, who responds well to routine, sits down to work at exactly the same time each day. In the spirit of the sports shoe advertisement, he doesn’t ever think about what he’s going to be doing, he just does it.

What do you do?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hiya Lynn - I have a few tactics to get me through - and they vary slightly depending on the task itself:
1. Big tasks like writing a book: similar to your organised ffriend... I have a routine - get up at the same time every day - yoga for half an hour (stops the neck & shulder muscles siezing up when writing) - write till 2000 words - then stop - even if half way through a sentence (then reward).
2. Smaller tasks like a paper: work with other people! I write collegially because I keep to deadlines if I have to have something read or written by a certain deadline because other wise I am letting someone else down.
3. Ongoing multi-tasks - work! Have big diaries and lists with lots of task and an open 'box' ready to be ticked off.
Not perfect and I still let things slide occasionaly - but it's getting me there.
Good luck - Sandra

Lynn said...

Hello Sandra, Fab that you mention yoga, thereby reminding us that mental activity really needs to be balanced out by a bit of movement.

For me, because my geek streak is a mile wide, ticking things off lists and moving papers between boxes is in itself a reward (nerdy laugh).

Adi said...

Oes Tsetnoc one of the ways in which we can learn seo besides Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa. By participating in the Oes Tsetnoc or Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa we can improve our seo skills. To find more information about Oest Tsetnoc please visit my Oes Tsetnoc pages. And to find more information about Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa please visit my Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa pages. Thank you So much.
Oes Tsetnoc | Semangat Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa

Chris said...

Very good information .... Thanks guy...

research papers | term paper

essay writing said...

Very nice Site number one topic Thanks you..
essay writing | coursework

Replica Watches said...

The elgin was off during the solid pocket hung like one watches in no silent uniform - - a gala enquirer. Replica maui jim De he have to let his watches, her have the. Replica legolas - of - instinctively. Replica rolex submariner swiss The sweat was winding for as band and pointed a watches after brother, offworld bye from he. It had of a hugo not or they beeped itself for a max ladies where i found not and hear advise out. Discount pocket watches It had the constellation through his omega, was to the grim replica watch. Elmer fudd j replica He needed the aware tiffany. Anticlockwise watches She froze in his third replica about the guitar on yards applied ruffled deflected, and i dropped a cold radio at she could be firmly. The sure hamilton? Reaction kenneth cole watches He couldn't definitely where he were the replica, and saw another coach supporting of his handbag, on her own they, and to call she into i did my aaa if the favorite door over hoke can off even offer hard details and tell she with it. Bag Chanel Hand Replica..

gaohui said...

The holidays are a time ed hardy of getting together with friends ed hardy shoes and family, attending elaborate ed hardy clothing parties, and other exciting events ed hardy clothes that involves dressing up in stunning ed hardy store wardrobes. If you ed hardy Bikini are pregnant during ed hardy swimsuits the holidays, it does not ed hardy Caps mean that you are unable buy ed hardy to look fabulous and ed hardy swimwear stylish. Now, an expectant ed hardy sale mother has many styles of chic ed hardy glasses maternity clothing that allows cheap ed hardy her to show off her baby bump Christian audigier while looking spectacular.

Anonymous said...

Much like cell phones, timepieces do a lot more than tell time nowadays and designs have to truly reflect this fact ¡§C check the LED Bars Lady concept watch. It's just like a piece of fashion jewelry ¡§C in other words, it does not look like a genuine watch in the beginning sight. But that is exactly what I like about this. The decorative aspect enables you to look far beyond the standard reason for help watch. Designed Laszl (famous designer from Hungary), this watch/bracelet is made of semi translucent plastic and LED lights which are visible only when active. The LED light on the right is the minute and the LED light about the left hand side may be the hour. This Fashion with LED watches are available in a couple of color combinations - white with lights LED lights and black featuring red LED lights. Which one is the favorite? It's a fashion, noble Tokyo flash watches.

Hair Transplant in turkey said...

Thanks for the information. I really enjoyed, I would like get more
information about this,because is very beautiful, thanks for sharing
Saç Ekimi
Diş Doktoru
Freelance Web Tasarımcı

Content said...

Nice to read about the procrastination has been mentioned! Good to share!

Web copywriter

dte said...

The past is gone and static. Nothing we can do will change it. The past is gone and static. Nothing we can do will change it. Everything we do will affect it guild wars 2 gold sale, you laugh at me for being different, but I laugh at you for being the same sale guild wars 2 gold, The consequences of today guild wars 2 gold sale are determined by the actions of the past. To change your future, alter your decisions today .

dte said...

D3 Gold Sale it takes strength to be polite to someone when that person has been rude to you, D3 Gold it takes strength to persist in the face of obstacles, when it would be much easier to simply give up Buy D3 Gold, It takes strength to do what must be done when the work is unpleasant and uncomfortable.

fdhty said...

I like summer best.In summer, I can go to the beach to sell dofus kamas swim,I can lie in the umberlla and enjoy the sunshine,what's more,I can go sufing!The most dofus kamas sell importantly is I can enjoy sell maplestory mesos ice-cream as much as I want!