February 7th, 2008


How to Anticrastinate

By the way, forgot to mention, you won't be seeing nearly as much of me on the internets between now and my trip to London. That's because it's Lent, and I've decided to reduce my leisure surfing to one hour a day.

But, hey, that gives me more time to refine the practice of anticrastination.

So here's what I've been doing. When I come across something and think "Hm, I really need to do something about that sometime." I immediately ask myself the question "What's stopping me from doing it right now?"

Sometimes the answer is "well, nothing" and so I go and do it. (Putting away that thing that's been sitting on the floor for ages, for example.) Or the answer sounds kind of stupid when I really think about it ("I don't want to get my hands wet") and I kick myself into doing it.

Sometimes the answer is something like "because I'll be late for work if I spend time on it now." Then I ask myself the next question "Okay, is there any small thing I can do on it now?" So I may not be able to scrub the entire sink, but I can at least wipe that mucky bit up and still make it to work on time. Or if I can't do a small thing, I ask myself "Okay, when WILL you be able to do something about it?" And I set a time, or a date, or just decide that if I can't do anything about it now, then I won't spend any excess mental energy thinking about it.

Sometimes the answer will be something like "because I've been doing stuff all day and I'm cranky and tired." Which is perfectly valid, especially after a long day of Stuff Doing. So I give myself a break, let myself de-crank a bit, whether it's by writing or taking a short nap or even hitting the internets for a bit. Then I check back in when I'm feeling better and resume what needs to be done. Or sometimes I'll just sneak it past my cranky self by asking "Well, can you do one small thing on it and then take a break?" And then one small thing becomes another small thing and then I get sucked into it and it winds up finished.

Like, for example, this blog entry. ;)

Today I took pleasure in seeing my blue chair without all the stuff that had been piled up on it for, well, longer than I care to contemplate.

Today I learned how much our usual file folder labels cost. Yikes.