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Monthly Archives: October 2009

Sometimes we experience procrastination as a daily phenomenom — gosh, it’s two o’clock already, have I really been Facebooking for five hours? — but sometimes we lift our heads and see a procrastination that stretches back years.  That’s what mid-life crises are often about.  You know the ones: “I never wanted to be a pet shop owner.  I always wanted to be… A LUMBER JACK!”  Those lifetime procrastinations aren’t productivity sinks, they’re dream killers.

Alex Fayle has just released his new e-Book, I’ll Get Around To It Someday: A Practical Guide To Getting Things Done, and to give the book a proper launch he is putting six lab rats through his new maze of self-discovery.  Six volunteer procrastinators — hard cases — will work their way through the book’s exercises in full view of the public eye.  Alex will post weekly analyses of their progress.

One of the lab rats is *ahem* yours truly. Read More »

Here’s a time-management / project-management tip I learned a long time ago: when developing something, always plan for two complete revisions of the original, before everything works. That’s three iterations of the design-and-test loop. At least.

It seems that this will be true of my project to beat procrastination, too.

I have my new system, and most days I am succeeding at working for 2hrs on paying work and 2hrs on the important personal project. I’m practicing some good habits. But I haven’t eliminated the bad habits. Another useful maxim is demonstrated here: what gets measured gets done. The converse is also true.

In particular, I’m still checking my email forty times a day. Read More »

The work habits haven’t been very good for the past couple of days. Partly it has been procrastination, but there was something else, too. Even though a good portion of my day was spent working, I still got to five o’clock, stood up and said “where did the time go?”

And I think I know why. My new anti-procrastination system is missing a vital element: something to keep me from succumbing to fatigue or slipping into self-hypnosis.

When I sit for hours at a desk, I’m aware of my butt going numb. But it’s not until I eventually stand up and say “wow, what useless crap have I been doing for the past hour?” that I realize that my brain has gone numb too.

That old bit of advice about taking a break every 30 minutes is gold. Stand up, move around, swing the arms, drink some water, go outside for some bright light and fresh air and a dose of rich aural and visual landscape. It keeps the blood flowing and the brain sharp, not to mention the purely physical benefits. I’ve got to get back to doing that, setting a timer and everything.

I use Cool Timer for my 30-minute “break” timer and my 2-hour “work” timer. It’s simple, free, and it works.

D said:

I wanted to write about procrastination. I had another thought about it. I conducted an interview back in April with a client. He was a difficult client, hard to pull details from. Also, I did not conduct interviews as well then as I do now. I asked for and pulled the wrong information.

Now, months later, I am REALLY STUCK on this project. It is way over due and I hate working on it. Part of it is related to that perfectionism you talked about. I screwed up the initial interview and don’t want to go back to them to “fix it.” But now, it’s also very, very difficult to do the work. I have nothing solid to work with, so my initial “screw-up” is contributing to my antipathy towards the project. Read More »

I started a new system this week, to keep myself motivated and productive long enough to develop some good work habits.  And I started a page on here to track my progress and evaluate the system as I go along.

Take a look and see if I achieved my daily goals today!  Daily Log