Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Art of Procrastination

I'm so busy, it's unbelievable. I've got tons of laundry to do (followed by folding it and putting it all away, a London shopping list to create, DVDs to order, emails to catch up on, and of course this blog entry (which I started months ago) to complete ...

Of course, I'm trying to tackle all these chores when I've got a really big task - a conference paper related to my PhD due in a week. I know the task will get done, but I also know, as I'm spending time typing this out, I should be working on it now -- instead of ... who knows when!

I don't know what it is that makes me put things off until the last minute. I think, ironically enough, a lot of it is about control.
For example, I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to be writing about for my conference paper. In order to complete it, I've got to do a lot of research and sit down and really, really concentrate on the task. The vauge idea that I have about my topic is not enough to inspire confidence within me, so I shift my attention to things that I can control ... tasks in which the end result is easily achievable.
My favorite ways to procrastinate are:
1) Making to-do lists. Whenever I start a to-do list (which is quite often) I feel like I'm being organized. I'm writing down the tasks that I need to complete. It makes me feel productive, but I know I'm just putting off the inevitable.
2) Looking through online shopping sites, especially Amazon. I can't tell you how many times I've filled up my shopping basket with things I'd like to buy ... I rarely purchase them, but just browing through the different items (particularly shoes) makes me feel happy!
3) Checking my email/Facebook/other blogs. I think seeing that others are emailing, posting status updates, or writing blogs makes me feel like I'm not the only one spending (wasting?) my time in that manner.
4) Organizing almost anything. Turning something chaotic into order definitely makes me feel more in control and productive -- and hey, at least I'm getting something done!)
5) Going to the gym. I have mixed feelings about adding this on my list of ways I procrastinate. I mean, exercise is important. Exercising helps me clear my mind. Exercising invigorates me. Okay, so spending several hours at the gym might be unnecessary (though I disagree) ... I could scale it back a little and get more work done ... hmmmm ... perhaps. I'll give it some thought.
You know, when I look through this list I think - wow, I do a lot of stuff. Granted it's not the task I should be working on, but I am being productive, aren't I? Look at all that I've completed today ...
Laundry. Check.
Clothes folded and put away. Check.
London shopping list. Check.
DVD order. Check.
Emails written. Check.
Blog to post. Check.

Ok. I really need to get some work done.


بصيص said...

I noticed you've been on blogger since 2006, this is in itself is an acheivemnt since the vast majority of bloggers just pack up well before.

You are struggling between your house chores and your phd, I don't frankly know which is more demanding.

But good luck anyway

Mel said...

You'll get through it - just keep calm and carry on ;)

Jade said...

It seems like you've definitely used blogging as a way to procrastinate - but don't stop! Love reading your posts and I'm glad to see you're back online. Now get back to work (but post often)! Hugs.