The demons are playing silly buggers with me. I had all of two paragraphs about procrastination writ out…and lost them. And to prove the point, I’m procrastinating even more by telling you. Carefully typing to avoid typos (a sure-fire indicator of time wasting).

Why do we procrastinate? I usually use the excuse that “the time’s not right”; that inspiration will come; that it would be wrong to push the work. I’m now looking for some scientific excuse. When I can find value in the substitute job, it totally justifies the cowardice.

….Like now! I can happily (oh, so happily, you cannot imagine) inform and educate you that the shrinks’ view is that we procrastinate to avoid the stress brought on by making a decision, starting a new task – or completing it. So it’s an anxiety thing, not a symptom of being bone idle (makes sense: you’re still being active). And there’s a time element, isn’t there? You deal with the faster, immediate job, not the bigger, longer one (usually).

Second science bit: the neurology. The prefrontal cortex (thanks, Wiki) is in charge of filtering out distractions. If it gets damaged or doesn’t work overly well, you’re less able to concentrate. I love this! Lots of educational gratification and justification….

OK, ok, the guilt’s kicking in. Indulge me for one more wee session: delayed gratification. This is what will get me back on the straight and narrow. If I set a limit to the jobs that have to be done, then I promise that when they’re finished, I’m going to treat myself. They’ve done tests on children to see how well they can deal with the concept of delayed gratification. Those that get it tend to flourish: we need (cast your mind back to the post on time) to be able to plan ahead to be successful in life. I just took a US university test online (it took minutes) about my ability to delay gratification. It told me I am a very sensible imp. Very dull; too dull to even share the link with you. Have bored myself into submission….The siren Work calls me…..

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