October 27, 2006

“Project Emancipation Procrastination”

I’ve read and reread your posts on Ashlynn’s “Project Emancipation Procrastination” with great admiration and interest. Each of you has honestly laid out your thoughts and feelings on procrastination; I find it pretty incredible that you wrestle with this publicly; in other words, I find it to be more than “awesome” as it can be a toughie for anyone. For as Ashlynn notes:

Even the best and most gifted people can be procrastinators! You may even be reading this right now =P Even the incredibly talented Leonardo da Vinci was a procrastinator.

And many of you responded with your stories of procrastination so we know we are all in this together:

There are things I need to work out with myself, tendencies that I shouldn't have to begin with. I really don't know how they developed, but I have them and they're a problem for me. JessicaJill

Procrastination more or less starts off as a bad habit. Once you get into the habit of pushing things aside and waiting for the last minute to get it done that's when it becomes procrastination. It can take only one time for someone to get into this habit and it can become very very hard to get out. This is the case I'm in. Danny

Procrastination, in my opinion, is a habit, more than a disease. It is when one does things later, rather than sooner. Is it bad? Maybe. But what if that works for the person? Christian

My motivation to procrastinate falls under everything that causes anyone to procrastinate. I know it's sad, but I would rather go cloud watching and do nothing anytime! (I hope that comment doesn't affect my marks =P). But things have to be done =]. Manny

And some of you shared some suggestions:

Procrastination.....something that I'm sadly a part of. BUT then again....Who doesn't procrastinate and who hasn't procrastinated? I believe that everyone in their lifetime has had procrastinated at least once in their life spand. --- To avoid/solve procrastination, I should just finish whatever I'm going to do, right when I get it in the first place. Katrin

The trick I use in avoiding it... I tell myself that if I get my homework done, I can watch my tv shows or go to sleep early. It works for me, because I hardly have free time. All I've been doing is going to school, work, doing homework, signed up for a million committees, eating and sleeping. There's always something to do, so I know that putting one thing off no matter how easy it may be to catch up on, will put me behind.. and I for one can not afford that. Grade 12 is the year that counts Linger

What can I do to avoid it? I guess I should stay away from my room when I get home because it's the most distracting place for me. I should just do my homework before going into my room. Or do homework when I wake up (I wake up very early). I have about three hours to do what I have to do before school starts. Hopefully, I'll follow my own advice. Lindsay

So solutions to procrastination? Well, first you can get an agenda and plan your afternoon. Try to relax when you get home and eat. Mr.K said, "Set a time for yourself to do homework and do that everyday, to get your body used to doing homework." You can also try playing an instrument or playing your favorite sport. Your mind will get the stress off your head and you will get the blood flowing. Lastly, i think taking a hot shower can help, lol. The blood flows and loosens the clots in the brain, making you more relaxed. Mark

I think it is really quite unrealistic for me to try to stop procrastinating, so this is an honest way of improving myself and getting things done. If any of you think that making a schedule or locking yourself in an empty room after school with no way out is a bit too extreme, maybe this method can help you get things in a bit more control. Suzanne

Suzanne suggested an article that might be of value; one she saw helped her :

Here's the article: http://www.structuredprocrastination.com/
And thanks to the author, John Perry, for inspiring me to trick myself into working :)

In your thoughts on procrastination, the word "habit" was mentioned more than once and some of your solutions seemed to me to refer back to the same. I am wondering if indeed that might be a direction for the discussion to continue? Do you think? And in my wondering, I posted without a meaningful preface the following poem:

I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper, or your heaviest burden. I will push you onward, or drag you down to failure. I am at your command. Half of the task you do, you may just as well turn over to me. I will do them quickly and correctly.

I am easily managed, but you must be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done. After a few lessons I will do it automatically. I am the servant of all great people; of all great failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures.

I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine, plus the intelligence of a person. You may run me for profit, or run me for ruin--it makes no difference to me.

Take me -- train me -- be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet. Be easy with me, and I will destroy you!

Who Am I ?

Do you find this true for you? How can we help each become emanicipated from procrastination? Can compiling ideas from the proposed solutions help? And/or can looking at "habits" that lead to less procrastination be of value?

And by the way, I'm not procrastinating now because I consider this discussion one of my "rocks". More on that later---

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