Does using anti-procrastination software like Concentrate make me smart or a lazy, horrible person? –@FreeMarketsFan
Anti-procrastination software is like “Robot Training”. Do you want to be a robot? Do you need your joints oiled like the Tin Man? Do you need a heart? (is that what the Tin Man needed? I forget).
I’m writing this in the morning. I procrastinated today. So far: I’ve had two cups of coffee. I’ve played about five games of chess online. Before that I read email. I looked at my blog statistics. I read a story by Mary Robison called “Daughters”. I read a story by Sam Lipsyte called “The Drury Girl”. I read an interview Gigantic Magazine did with Lipsyte. Then I saw they did an interview with Amy Hempel so I read that. She said in the interview that “Gary Lutz” who I had never heard of, was a writer’s writer. So I ordered a book of stories by him on Amazon. One of the books had a “Look Inside” so I read the first five pages of the book. Then I read the beginning of a story by Bukowski. Then I checked my email again.
Between answering the last question and this one I played two games of chess. I won one and lost one. I was listening to a song on Youtube while I played.
So I procrastinated. Altogether I “wasted” about an hour this morning. But it’s 7:45am. So not too late. I woke up early. I went to bed early. I stopped watching my itunes download of “Shark Tank” by 7:30 last night. I didn’t eat dinner. By 7:45 I was in bed reading.
Instead of worrying about procrastinating, worry about the big things in our day that tire us out. Did you go out with annoying friends who had nothing to say but everyone drank until 11 pm and now you are tired and your mind sluggish? Did you go to too many unnecessary meetings this week and now your mind needs a break from all the numbing conversation? Anti-procrastination implies you have a lot of little things you do that you put as a block between yourself and work. So there’s really two things:
A) Get rid of the big things that take too much time. There are a lot of them.
B) Maybe you don’t want to do your work. Did you think of that? Sometimes I procrastinate on telling someone “yes, I’ll go meet you at that time” because I really don’t want to go. Ask your body to tell you. Your body knows before you do. Think of what you have to do: does your body now hurt, even a little? Don’t do anything you don’t want to do. You might think you HAVE to do it but are you sure? Wouldn’t it be better to play another game? Or read another story? Or listen to more music? Are you procrastinating sending that resume out for yet another marketing job? Maybe you don’t want to do a marketing job. Maybe you want to do something completely different?
So let’s procrastinate more: take out a pad and make a list of the things that you’d rather be doing then what you are about to do. Maybe there will be something fun there that you can start doing for a living at some point
This is a messy answer. I know. There’s really three answers: procrastinate with things that will make you better, and/or your procrastination is telling you something about what you are avoiding. It’s a whisper so you have to listen hard to what it’s telling you. Then do it.
But using anti-procrastination software is like using botox to paralyze the skin in your face. Eventually the skin gets unparalyzed. And you’re uglier than ever.