We all know it, we all love it. Well maybe we don't love it, we just love to do it. Well maybe you don't love to do it, but I do. Well actually I don't, but I do it anyway. Why?
You see, up until now I've had a system. It's real simple; whenever I don't feel like doing something I do something else. If I don't have anything else to do then I start a new project. This allows for perpetual procrastination by steadily adding more important tasks and completing the less important ones first. As long as I keep adding more important tasks the process can continue in perpetuity and I stay relatively productive.
But suddenly I find myself paralyzed. I've got way too much to do, not enough time, and no desire to get started. Even though I've always been a procrastinator, I've generally been able to pull myself together for those crucial moments like college finals and taxes. Now that ability feels like it's sliding away.
Instead of living in the moment, my thoughts are consumed with endless self-reflection and prognostication. While I'm sure there are some people who need to slow down and do a little self-reflection, I am not one of them. I do it all the time, and the more I do it the more useless I feel. I feel tension building; muscles twitch and mind races; surf the web, read a book, organize my desk, call a friend. Tension must be released, but it's set too deep now. By the time I get to the task at hand, even success feels like failure.
Of course this writeup is just another symptom of the problem, but I place it here as a personal landmark. I'm hereby instituting a new system:
- Every time I think of something I need to do, I'll write it down.
- When I consult my list, I will pick something from it and do it promptly.
- I will not think about what I need to do other than using the list.
- At all other times I will focus on what I'm doing.
If this doesn't work, I don't know what I'll do, but at least I've been able to put off some work for a little while longer.