Monday, June 11, 2007

Structured procrastination

Note to all my imaginary readers who are upset by the blog famine in these parts lately, let me just say that this lack of work is a vital part of my larger strategy of structured procrastination.

By harnessing my guilt about not blogging, I reap the power to perform other tasks. As Stanford professor John Perry explains,

Procrastinators often follow exactly the wrong tack. They try to minimize their commitments, assuming that if they have only a few things to do, they will quit procrastinating and get them done. But this goes contrary to the basic nature of the procrastinator and destroys his most important source of motivation. ...

The trick is to pick the right sorts of projects for the top of the list. The ideal sorts of things have two characteristics, First, they seem to have clear deadlines (but really don't). Second, they seem awfully important (but really aren't). Luckily, life abounds with such tasks. ...

Not blogging has allowed me to: finish final exams, final papers, and class grades; move offices; put my RA to work on vital research tasks; exercise away 10 pounds; arrange great Mothers' Day surprises for my mother and sister; celebrate my birthday and my brother's; paint most of the inside of my house; acquire a new desk and rearrange the furniture in my home; read up for the the lit review chapter of my dissertation; and most importantly, watch all of Lost, season 3. Thank you, not blogging!

Of course, now that writing the lit review chapter, it's time to start blogging again, both here and on my other, secret blog. Hooray for procrastination!



Scott said...

3 cheers for procrastination! Thank you John Payne for blogging. Blog stalkers all around the word are thankful to you this day!

Sara said...

I'm glad I found this. Funny (the procrastination bit). BTW, how is the painting the house going? How does it look?

Sam said...

So how does a procrastinator get it right? I choose to mindlessly waste the day in 5 minute increments of drink breaks.

the House of Payne said...

SEP - House painting is about 85% done, which is as much as we got finished before David left. The rest will probably wait until he gets back from his internship. I would normally at this point apologize for being lazy, but I have learned that putting this off will allow me to do other things. So I will pretend I am putting it off on purpose.

SHP - How do you get it right? I don't know. Read the article, man. Or, put it off and do something else. Whatever works.