David Cain has an absolutely amazing post on Rapititude.com right now:
Procrastinators are familiar with the perverse feeling of watching oneself create trouble out of nothing, essentially volunteering for penalties, embarrassment and regret. We’re kind of like those people who are so predictably, stupidly late for everything that the rest of us learn to tell them to arrive at seven o’clock for what is actually an eight o’clock appointment.
The difference is that the appointments we miss are with ourselves, which means there are no social consequences to limit the scope of our delinquency. We leave things on our lists for months. We let ourselves down in ways we would never let down others.
There is something diabolical about procrastination, and I don’t claim to have cured it. But I have somehow maintained a self-employed existence for almost two years now, which has required me to get better at managing it than I used to be.
I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough recently that I want to share with you fellow sufferers. I now see the problem in a much simpler way, and it is working.
Stop reading mine now, and read his whole post. Here’s the link again. Go read it. There are graphs in it too, which I like.
I very recently told myself the lie that I get more work done when I have more on my plate. But the reality is, I get work done when my anxiety tells me I’ve run out of rope. The multiple, layered life-cycles of Hell Zone (David’s words, you read his post, right?) was where I was getting work done, only because I had languished too long in the unproductive zone.
Looking back, I’ve fallen into this trap many times in my life. I’ve battled with depression too, and it’s easy to see some correlation.
David’s advice is the best I’ve heard to battle procrastination. Ignore your stuff, and work on a thing. One thing. Once you’re out of the hell zone you get to work on these joyous ideas called ‘priorities,’ and then you’re really cookin’. Stuff becomes a thing of yesterday’s panic attack, and it’s hard to even talk about what the ‘stuff’ was. All that’s in front of you are things.
Now stop reading and go do a thing. 🙂