This content was originally published more than five years ago and is archived here for preservation.
More up-to-date content is available on this blog.
Everyone but the most tirelessly (and tiresome) self-motivated has at one point or another procrastinated in the face of some worthy activity. I think I’ve found a way to use procrastination for profit and gain; read on to see whether I have…
Buy the t-shirt at RedBubble
At university, I recall how my housemates and I were practically fighting to do the washing-up, which had otherwise lain festering for weeks, over the more eminently pressing task of revising for our finals. I have since reached the conclusion that I could put this tendency to procrastinate to profitable use. Here’s my system:
- Create a list of the main activities you’re meant to be doing
- Do the ones that your husband / wife / partner is threatening bloody violence over
- Rank everything else in terms of desirability, most desirable first
- Attempt the first task on your list
- Observe how everything else on the suddenly becomes more enticing
- When bored, attempt the next item down the list
- When bored, either remind self that it is more interesting than the original task, or start the next one
- Eventually you’ll find equilibrium between desirability and boredom and be able to complete a task. Perhaps.
Thus I exploit the positive power of procrastination. Not sure how I ever get back to the original task though… Of course, if you fail to create the list in the first place, then you may be beyond redemption. Have you considered a career in street theatre?
Next time: how to use Sod’s Law to make the universe revolve around you.