Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Procrastination as easy as 1,2...

It seems that a fair number of my favorite blogs are talking about procrastination today.  I am an expert on this subject and feel I would be remiss not to share my knowledge with the gentlereaders out there.  

Let me start by addressing all those naysayers who claim that productivity is really the desirable goal.  


Unfortunately I doubt a productive person would understand the compelling argument of the "pfft", so I'm sure I'll have to spell this out for them.  Productivity is a fine trait for the common man.  It is the working man's bread and butter, and contains intrinsic value as any decent virtue does.  Procrastination is an artform zen-like in nature.  The more you work at it, the more elusive it seems.  If one can allow the spirit of procrastination to come through them, it becomes as natural as breathing, and in many years time, the student of procrastination becomes a master and thought is no longer necessary to practice their craft.  

I humbly tell you, gentlereader, that I have become a grandmaster of procrastination.  Do not gape in admiration, for I'm here to tell you that if I can do it, so can you.  While difficult to express that which is no longer given a thought in my mind, I will attempt to teach you too how to "be" the procrastination.  I think the easiest way to do this is by example.  Here are a few examples of how to combat the droll instructions of the productivist.  

zenhabits offers a list of ways to be productive.  Let me offer my own response to a few of their "ways".  

The Productivist Says:
Focus for five minutes.  The hardest part is getting started.  If you can commit to focusing on a project for five minutes, you will often find that when that first five minutes is up you'll feel like you can continue on with  your project for another 5 or 15 or 20 minutes.

The Procrastinator Says:
That's a great idea.  I'll just finish up this blog post and maybe do that after dinner some time.

The Productivist Says:
Decide on the next action.  When faced with an intimidating task, break it down into small specific chunks to tackle.

The Procrastinator Says:
Oh goody!  I love making lists!  I'll break it all down and put it in Excel and make a pretty chart because pretty things make me happy.  I'll need to attach it to my email so I can access it wherever I am and tackle something when the mood is right.  Of course then I'll need to update it.  Although my first list is a little outdated at this point, I should reorganize my list...

The Productivist Says:
Play let's make a deal.  Make a promise to yourself that if you do some work on an item you'll give yourself a reward.  

The Procrastinator Says:
I did five minutes of work.  I can reward myself with 5o minutes of tv.  (a master procrastinator rewards themselves with 5 hours of movie marathoning.  A grandmaster procrastinator rewards themselves with 5 days of reading productivity posts).

It may take some getting used to, but with time you'll find your procrastination skills become more and more fine tuned.  I do encourage you to view the full post on zenhabits to see how the other half live.  You'll want to gain a better understanding of what we are up against.  As a fine young G.I once said, "Knowing is half the battle".    

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