Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Structured Procrastination

Procrastinator Mousepad
Read an entertaining essay on "Stuctured Procrastination" written by John Perry at Stanford. Please refer to the link to see the whole essay, but I will paste the gist of it here:
"This is the essence of what I call structured procrastination, an amazing strategy I have discovered that converts procrastinators into effective human beings, respected and admired for all that they can accomplish and the good use they make of time. All procrastinators put off things they have to do. Structured procrastination is the art of making this bad trait work for you. The key idea is that procrastinating does not mean doing absolutely nothing. Procrastinators seldom do absolutely nothing; they do marginally useful things, like gardening or sharpening pencils or making a diagram of how they will reorganize their files when they get around to it...
The list of tasks one has in mind will be ordered by importance. Tasks that seem most urgent and important are on top. But there are also worthwhile tasks to perform lower down on the list. Doing these tasks becomes a way of not doing the things higher up on the list. With this sort of appropriate task structure, the procrastinator becomes a useful citizen. Indeed, the procrastinator can even acquire, as I have, a reputation for getting a lot done."
Ah-HA. I must revise my earlier self-diagnosis...I am NOT an academic bulimic...I am a STRUCTURED PROCRASTINATOR/ACADEMIC BULIMIC. Because it is true that studying...like closet space...will expand to fill the space allotted to it. And so it is much easier to get things done and out of the way earlier in the academic cycle before school rears its head. Unfortunately for me, the important thing at the top of my list is always "studying."

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