A couple of days I received a tip from a friend about a blog (wait but why) he had found. Today I got around of reading it, and it’s quite good. Definitely the type of blog I like, fun but with insights in to improving your self. After reading through the latest entries, I found an entry about happiness, which is a favourite subject of mine, having been unhappy for a large part of my life. I can really recommend the TED talk referenced in the post. And while that was a very good post, the one (or actually two) that really struck home were two posts about procrastination (one and two). Image belongs to Wait But Why Inc.
Procrastination have been a huge part of my life and one of the bigger reasons to my unhappiness. And while I have been able to get it somewhat under control thanks to the excellence of GTD, I could still improve even more.
The posts describe the situation very well by a couple of analogies: the Instant Gratification Monkey, Panic Monster, The Dark Playground, The Dark Woods and The Happy Playground. These coupled with the images paints a very good picture of how procrastination work (at least for me, but I would guess for most). I’ve never really done a detailed thinking about how procrastination works and what components it has, realizing now that as usually, the easiest way to solve a problem is to break it down. Being a programmer, I should have thought about that. A lot about what he writes about is very similar to GTD, especially the part of breaking down the tasks in to “bricks”, in the GTD book, David Allen uses “cranks”.
And when I analyze my own behaviour I can see that the tasks that gets left behind are the once that are not sufficiently broken down, so they are still “icky” because you don’t really know how to start with them. One of the concepts in GTD that I’ve had the most problems incorporating in to my life is the weekly review and part of that is to find and take care of the “icky” tasks and try to break them down to become non-icky. But that of course requires you to sit down and analyze the task, and here is where the Instant Gratification Monkey usually gets a hold of me. I guess I shouldn’t blame him too much, since I would never have read the blog posts… but… I then wouldn’t have needed to… hmm, yes, lets not go down that hole.
I really liked the analogue that you have a “Storyline” and you need to rewrite that. It’s very similar to the way Stephen R. Covey uses the word “script” in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. There Stephen also talks about the need to create new (or rewrite) your “scripts”. And you can’t do that with everything at once, you have to do it piece by piece, basically learning new behaviour.
I’m going to make an effort of doing the weekly reviews and integrating the thinking from these blog posts and 7 Habits. And start to rewrite my storyline.