Saturday, 27 February 2010

Beat Procrastination!

I know you've stumbled over here expecting me to give you the holy grail and help you beat procrastination with some sort of magic trick. Unfortunately for you, I am hoping that since you've stumbled over here already, you'd give me the gold and tell me how I can beat it myself.

Thing is, I know there are like, tricks. Like breaking things up into manageable chunks for example. This is one that I do myself. For my essays, I read the bits I need to read and make notes, then make an essay plan, then first draft, then finalise it all. Only, the first draft part stumps me. Starting essays makes me a little anxious and I avoid it like it's poison or something. Once I've started and the ball has a steady roll going on I'm fine and I can sit and write and save myself a tiny bit from the mound of work I have to get through. But it takes me days to start.

I literally sit staring at it for days. I leave the window open all the time, so I can see it while I'm doing other things. Like this for example... I go to start it off, but can't seem to find the right words so I take a break and do something else. A lot of time is spent playing with photo booth, see Exhibit A above.

It seems to the rest of the world (well, ish - depends where they're picking my projection up from) that I'm projecting this super hard working ethic and that I don't leave my room or the library for mass amounts of time to study. Only most of that time I'm not really doing much.

So help me out. How do I go about starting?

The irony of this all is, that the essay I'm trying to write is that same weakness of will one I mentioned last week. I guess I'm a little weak willed myself? I guess that maybe I agree with Aristotle on the matter then rather than Socrates in saying that people can in fact know what the right thing is and be able to do it but still do something else. We do the thing we want to do, as a matter of opinion. It's the possibility of the incontinent person, who knows what is good but does wrong anyway because they lack self control required to resist licentious behaviour. It isn't just about being ignorant of certain things like Socrates suggested. Humans form bad habits and are constantly tempted to take pleasure in the wrong sorts of activities (Aristotle believed pleasure was a great thing - unlike Plato - and that we take pleasure from the right sorts of things). Our intellect and rationality do not have full control of our every action.

If there is a wallet on the floor with £100 in it I bet most people would pocket the money. Some people might even thank a god or two for the gift. But is taking the money wrong? Aren't you meant to hand wallets into police stations or something if you find them? Do you feel guilty for it?

I don't know. I'll keep thinking on this. But I guess I just found the solution to that procrastination problem after all...


  1. my attention is so bad i can't even focus on a blog about procrastination.... fuck my life

  2. Oh I was about to write about procrastination for my next entry as well. But you beat me! What you have written is kind of different from what I had in mind though. It was more like "Why do we procrastinate?" Now I am not sure whether I should write it, so I am not gonna say anything about it at the moment. You may have to come to my blog and find your answer later! But my conclusion is gonna be a bit lame.

    Some thoughts on weakness of will though. I think we are weak willed most of the time. But self-control, however, can be learnt. In the modern world, we are constantly creating new desires which we don't really need, so we may be able to cure our weakness of will by eliminating those useless desires. You may wanna look into Marx or Rousseau for that. And like I said, we do stupid things which we think are right all the time. Maybe we are not weak willed. We are probably just too lazy to think.

    Just a thought.


  3. Have you ever tried planning your work backwards i.e. starting the end and working your way back to the beginning. Ive used this method a few times when totally struggling. It works sometimes, sometimes not.

  4. By the way this Blog is lookin great! Love your graphics

  5. hi, long time no see.

    are you ok?