Procrastination: Bane of the geek

As you may now I quit my job to the end of 2010 and I am now trying to “get things done” at home. That is easier said than done, as you may well know.

I’ve just spent a couple of days trying to work – yes let’s call it that, more about that part later – at home and I am already noticing how time flies by and how hard it is to really focus on the work part of the day.

We are all prone to procrastination – geeks especially so – and so my first series of posts here will focus on optimizing and reducing procrastination in order to get more of the important things done.

Procrastination refers to the counterproductive deferment of actions or tasks to a later time. Psychologists often cite such behavior as a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision. …

Let’s skip the anxiety part for now and deal with what we are doing while we are “deferring our tasks to a later time”. There’s a multitude of distractions available online for the procrastinating mind:

  • Social Networks: I can easily spend a considerable part of my day on facebook or twitter, posting or just reading updates.
  • Blogs: I take my time reading blogs and news in my favorite rss reader.
  • Email: I check my email every couple of minutes or keep reloading my flickr stream to check on the number of views on a photo
  • Games: Webgames can easily turn into sinkholes for productive time

Even writing blogposts like this can qualify as procrastination – as I should be doing tutorials for the stuff I really said I wanted to be doing right now.

How do I get back from procrastination to work? Either the content that I was using to procrastinate is exhausted or I use sheer force of will to disrupt the cycle and get back to work. So there are two strategies we can use to get more done:

  1. reduce and optimize the content
  2. improve discipline

In my next post I want to focus on part 1. Why? Because that is the easy part.

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