How Do You Deal with Procrastination?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - 11:19 AM

Procrastination is so widespread that it's become the subject of philosophical enquiry. A group of writers take on the problem of putting things off in a new collection of essays. And we're asking for your stories and tips about procrastination. How much do you do put off tasks? And how do you overcome it?


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Comments [22]


I procrastinate a lot when it comes to writing I have to do - and I have to write a LOT in my work. The hardest thing is to get started. I don't completely understand why, but when I am trying to start a new piece of writing I become incredibly agitated and almost can't look at the page. It is SO hard to write the first main ideas, that frame the piece. After that, it is not so bad. The only thing that helps me is to understand that I will get through it, I always have, although it never is easy. I feel like my brain is jumping all over the place and won't quiet down enough to get anything accomplished.

Oct. 21 2010 06:17 PM
By text from New York, NY

Duke Ellington said I have no time -- just give me a deadline.

Oct. 20 2010 12:35 PM
By text from Denver, CO

OMG!!! Do I...people procrastinate out of fear of failing and being overwhelmed by the task at hand. Procrastination is an assassination on your motivation!

Oct. 20 2010 12:35 PM
By text from Salt Lake City, UT

Was going to answer, but keep putting it off

Oct. 20 2010 12:35 PM
By text from Brooklyn, NY

Being a shy person, I find if I need to be somewhere and leave myself a shade too little time...I will kick into 'mad hatter' mode and rush, focusing on mechanics and logistic,s thus not allowing myself time to contemplate or reconsider. It actually works. I arrive often a bit breathless. But I usually arrive!

Oct. 20 2010 12:33 PM
By text from FL

Denial is very powerful.

Oct. 20 2010 12:33 PM
By text from Cody, WY

Stay off of Facebook!

Oct. 20 2010 12:33 PM
By text from Brooklyn, NY

Being a shy person, I find if I need to be somewhere and leave myself a shade too little time...I will kick into 'mad hatter' mode and rush, focusing on

Oct. 20 2010 12:29 PM
Beth L from Massachusetts

You can learn from procrastination. It tells you that it is time to change. For example, I have several friends who are considering starting their own businesses. The ones who procrastinate taking the first steps are not serious, but they keep telling themselves they are. The ones that dive in with gusto are currently earning revenue. Use procrastination to stop fooling yourself. When you procrastinate, change your plans (if possible).

Oct. 20 2010 10:01 AM

True story:
About six years ago I was browsing in a Barnes & Noble and is discovered two books prominently displayed -- Bill Knaus' "Break the Procrastination Habit...Now!" and his "The Procrastination Workbook".
I got excited because I'm a procrastinator and figured these books were written for me. So I bought them impulsively.

Needless to say, I have yet to open either book...

Oct. 20 2010 08:57 AM
Peg from Finger Lakes NY

Americans are always conflicted with the directives to "Be All You Can Be" or to "Be Who You Are." Procrastination helps us understand the difference.

Oct. 20 2010 08:33 AM
James Fayal from Providence, RI

I first saw this quote in college:
If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing;
and from robbing he comes next to drinking and sabbath-breaking,
and from that to incivility and procrastination.—Thomas de Quincey

Oct. 20 2010 06:30 AM
paulb from brooklyn

I'm pretty sure it was Edward Hoagland the essayist who wrote it was logical to procrastinate. Life is finite, it ends, so the more unpleasant things you put off, the fewer unpleasant things you'll have to do.

Words I live by.

Oct. 20 2010 06:09 AM
Phil Bunch from Medellin, Colombia

Thinking about the importance of the various things I need to and/or want do and then making a prioritized list. I try to keep my plans within areas I am really interested in. I still put some things off but no where like I used to.

Oct. 19 2010 05:24 PM
By text from Fort Lauderdale, FL

Do the hardest things first. It makes things a lot easier

Oct. 19 2010 12:07 PM
By text from Conyers, GA

I'll answer later...

Oct. 19 2010 12:06 PM
By text from Sarasota, FL

Make lists of completed items as well as the traditional "to-do" lists. Looking at what you've already accomplished can motivate you to keep going!

Oct. 19 2010 12:06 PM
By text from MI

All the time. I try to set a series of small goals to get things done.

Oct. 19 2010 12:06 PM
By text from Jersey City, NJ

I procrastinated a lot, but really only when it relates to school work. The best way to stop yourself is to tell yourself when you're going to do it and just DO it.

Oct. 19 2010 12:06 PM
By text from Pontiac, MI

Procrastination is often a passive/aggressive way to maintain control. Or at least the illusion of same.

Oct. 19 2010 12:06 PM
By text from New York, NY

Procrastination is as difficult to kick as substance abuse. A 12-step program is needed here. Gotta try to get back to work. Sigh.

Oct. 19 2010 11:38 AM
By text from Providence, RI

We Make lists to keep from procrastinating and set an urgency to the tasks then set three dates to complete the task. So you have an "early, ideal, and must" do by date.

Oct. 19 2010 11:37 AM

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