What Is Procrastination And How To Avoid It? Maybe you have noticed it or not, but when you go to Google or go to a bookstore to look for material on procrastination and everything is “leave laziness, change now, discipline your mind, the habit of now” and I read those things, I already want to leave it for tomorrow. Instead, stop trying to change.
Has it happened to you that you have to deliver a project, the date is approaching, time is passing, and you just can’t sit down to work? As soon as you sit down, it occurs to you that the best idea is to tidy up your room, sharpen your pencils, suddenly think Why not go out for a run? It is excellent for your health. Anything is a better plan, and no matter how much pressure is on your shoulders, you can’t sit down to work.
It is even worse when there is no deadline and when there is no pressure to do what you have to do, because eventually, with a little more pressure, you will end up doing it. Maybe not in the best way because you put it off too long, but at least you sit down and do it.
Does this happen to you?
What about those projects that no one is chasing you for delivery? Of course, they are easier to postpone. Procrastination has been regarded as “the monster “that chases you and won’t let you do what you have to do, and, in slightly kinder metaphors, it’s like that voice that talks to your brain instead of your “rational self“.
This has been going on for millennia. Plato and Aristotle have already discussed this and called it “Akrasia“. Akrasia is that state of mind in which you know what is best for you, and yet, because of a lack of will, you act completely against it.
Akrasia: Lack of self-control, the state of acting against your best judgment.
This is a brilliant idea from a Stanford philosopher named John Perry. He came across this idea when he was thinking of his own way of working.
Like many procrastinators, he was feeling very guilty of “wasting time” for deferring tasks but eventually realized that he was, in fact, a very productive person. He wrote articles, he was a good teacher, he did do some fitness, he was aware of his family, he had good hobbies, and he realized that perhaps the reason why he was doing well on so many fronts were that he was a procrastinator.
These ideas from Perry are in an essay that he wrote many years ago and that has caused much resonance throughout the planet. If we pay attention, we will realize that there may be some hidden treasure in procrastination that we had not thought of before and, instead of feeling guilty, start using it to our advantage.
How to start procrastinating in a structured way?
It is possible that you already do it, otherwise, the logic is very simple.
Having a “to-do list” that can be literal or conceptual, ordering the most important items at the top, of course, and completing things that are not so pressing, that is not so urgent but that, in any case, they are productive and constructive.
When you see that you are procrastinating, instead of spending time watching a Netflix series, watching the infinity, or feeling bad about yourself for not being able to close YouTube. What you are doing, in this case, is to include in your to-do list things that are not at all urgent, that is not so pressing, but that is nevertheless productive.
So, if you want to put off the task that you have to deliver soon, you could, for example, do some fitness, learn to cook, or spend time with your family, or, for example, make a video and learn how to edit it.
Those are productive activities that mean that you manage to put off what you had to do, because, eventually, you will do it because you commit, but in the meantime, you did several things that build, contribute something to you, and contribute to The humanity.
Structured procrastination has served many very productive people. If you’ve done a Ph.D., you’ve surely heard of Jorge Cham, creator of phdcomics.com. If you don’t know it, it’s a great way to procrastinate.
Cham, while writing his thesis, began to make drawings and comics, and it turns out that, with that, he set up his “lifetime business“. He has written several books, he spends traveling the world giving talks, they made a movie, etc. and it ended up being a cool product.
If you think about it for a few minutes, you will surely find examples around you of people who are procrastinators and yet have made important contributions and good things for the planet.
Did you know that happiness – and this is one of the true certainties that we have – depends above all on the relationships that you have with others?
So, while you are procrastinating with your friends, building relationships, being with your family, maybe checking the latest odds of the Kentucky Derby horse race or even walking your dog, you are doing something good. Don’t feel so guilty, rather, stay right then and enjoy it. Rest assured that you are doing something that adds a lot to your life.
Sometimes we are so obsessed with the duty that we forget the most important things in life. So, for the love of the universe, if that’s happening to you, procrastinate more.
Nonetheless, let’s not forget that procrastination can be a little stressful for some people at times. The bad temper appears, especially when time is pressing or we leave things for the last minute, affecting us in some way.
Procrastination pro-tip: Try to stop being a procrastinator, but if you are going to procrastinate, procrastinate better.
One of the best strategies for procrastination is undoubtedly structured procrastination. It promises hours of productivity, creativity, and the ability to discover things that being so disciplined you would never discover.
At some point in your life, has being a procrastinator been of any use to you? Have you ever done something productive while procrastinating? Do you consider yourself a structured procrastinator? What do you think about these ideas?
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