I love deadlines. Especially the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. - Douglas Adams
Procrastination is a much maligned posted about a recent NPR podcast of a Talk of the Nation broadcast entitled, "How to Be a Productive Procrastinator." One of the guests was Timothy A. Pychyl a professor of psychology at Carleton University and the Procrastination Research Group and a blogger at Psychology Today. I found listening to the thirty-five minute discussion (in the background) while I diligently attended to work here, enlightening.. Abraham Lincoln, ultra-lawyer, told young lawyers never to leave until tomorrow what could be accomplished today while his wife, Mary, was accused of being a chronic procrastinator. Lifehacker contributor, Adam Pash,
Dr. Pychyl won my respect instantly because he stated during the show that he does not regard procrastination as being "lazy." In fact, he said he does not like the word lazy. Procrastination may be a part of an unwillingness to complete work because of a need for perfection or fear of failure. It may be that you set unnecessary "intentions" and deadlines and then do not follow through. But, "lazy" is a term usually used to attack others.
I avoided some end-of-the-week work and read through some of the Doctor's posts. Including this one,
"To the extent that we find ourselves thinking things like, 'My life path is controlled by forces I cannot influence,' we are now aware that this thinking may contribute to our task avoidance. Similarly, if we find ourselves thinking things like, 'I am not able to resist temptations when I know that there is work to be done,' or even, 'Taking risk keeps my life from becoming boring,' we should recognize that we're vulnerable to impulsive decisions to delay now and pay later. I think of these sorts of thoughts as 'flags.' They should serve to signal us that we're about to undermine our own plans and goals."
Good show. Great advice. Of course, you could try out Great Moments in Procrastination if your still killing time at work.