If you are familiar with the philosophy of this blog, or should we say methodology of #notgettingthingsdone, you might have noticed that I heavily push on the idea that no matter what your state of mind is, it is OK. It is not OK to desire to have a different state of mind. So let’s now talk about overcoming procrastination in the same perspective. Is it productive to desire to overcome procrastination?
Before we go on, watch this amazing and fun ted talk, from TIM URBAN. Here is his blog – what but why – about procrastination as well: http://waitbutwhy.com/
I have not read his blog yet, and I am going to look at it for sure, but I completely agree on the point he makes. As procrastinator himself he knows and feels that he is who he is, and rather than desiring not to be who he is and wasting energy on it, he accepts the fact and looks at how his experience of procrastination works.
It’s very similar philosophy to not getting things done, except that we are talking here about being productive, and take it very seriously. So now let me breath my perspective into what Tim is saying.
For me, the most important point is that no matter what, we all are procrastinators, and it is always about the deadline. And when there is no deadline, we have a problem. Well Tim also points out that we do have a lifetime deadline, and it is good he does so, but I think that part does not solve the problem of not having deadlines causing procrastination. I mean, having THE Deadline, does not actually motivate us and make us more productive.
But what does? I think Tim’s talk opens the worms, but… what then?
And let me try to take on from there.
What if we completely accepted the fact of procrastination. I mean fully. What if we did not look at it as a problem at all. You can see in Tim’s tone of humor that he does accept it and enjoys it a lot, but then again he fights it with monkeys and monsters. What if there was no resistance at all?
What if your instant gratification monkey found the gratification and without ever having to panic at all. What if there was no need for monsters.
You might say, this is too much what ifs. And you would be right. It is too much what ifs. You don’t need what ifs, because there is no need of what if, as long as you accept procrastination as something that is part of you, and not feel guilty about it, or not stress about the deadlines at all, even when you fail your big exam, don’t blame it on your weakness of procrastination. Instead embrace it. Instead let it be there. Observe it.
You see, when TIM says that procrastination becomes a problem when there is no deadline, it is because he observed that when there is a deadline, procrastination as a problem seizes to be, since it is now powered by monster. But I think when once says deadline solves the problem of procrastination, for your mind, a message of procrastination being a problem is more important. Tim tells us to accept the procrastination, but to accept it as something that needs to be solved. And it is solved by deadline. But when there is no deadline, there is no salvation. And thinking about life’s deadline is too far away and not top of mind as other specific deadlines.
But if procrastination was not a problem at all, it would need no deadline to be solved. And maybe then and only then, you would find ways to procrastinate on the tasks on the things that you do not need to get done, as described in methodology of this blog.