John Perry the propagator of the ‘structured procrastination’ theory says, “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.”
He justifies his theory by saying that a procrastinator procrastinates “because they are a way of not doing something more important. If all the procrastinator had left to do was to sharpen some pencils, no force on earth could get him do it. However, the procrastinator can be motivated to do difficult, timely and important tasks, as long as these tasks are a way of not doing something more important.”
Does it sound confusing? Actually, it is much simpler than it sounds. John Perry suggests that instead of tackling the important and hence a formidable task with dread and foreboding, tackle the much simpler tasks first. As you complete each small task, the satisfaction of completing them reinforces your fragile self-confidence and you become enthused and eager to tackle the work you are putting off.
So why don’t you try it and let us know the results.
You can read more on John Perry and his Structured Procrastination here.
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