Monday, October 24, 2011


Somehow the subject of procrastination has interested me a lot these days. I just have happened to come across books that address the issue in one way or another:

1. The Now Habit, which gives a system a reduce procrastination

2. Linchpin - by Seth Godin, which also talks about the procrastination involved in creative work, and the discipline of 'shipping' as the key differentiating factor between average and outstanding producers.

There are two aspects of procrastination that fascinate me:

1. The more creative and risky the work you do, the more the likelihood that you will procrastinate. We don't procrastinate because we are lazy; we largely do so to protect us from the risk involved in the work i.e., the risk of failing, the risk of being judged by others for work that did not meet their expectation, and sometimes, even the risk of getting more difficult work when you complete the current work

2. Sometimes we procrastinate unpleasant tasks which turn out to be not so unpleasant after all. As an example, I have to cancel a credit card for a while for which I have no use (and of course there is an annual fee involved). I postponed the task 5 times, thought about it a few times and I am sure wasted some mental energy thinking about it. Why? Well, there is a the unpleasant task of talking to the credit card "retention" rep to explain why I am not using the card, listen to their sales tactics and still say no. This morning, I had 5 minutes break so I just called. Guess what? It took 3 minutes. That's it. Just 3 minutes. Some of the credit goes to Chase for not employing high pressure tactics (trust me, that makes me much more likely to bank with the firm in the future). So what was I procrastinating for?

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