Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thinking about Procrastination

The other day I was talking to a friend and stated that if I did not leave my house for three straight weeks, and all I did was work, perhaps I could finish most of the projects I am working on.  Not positive that she believed me, however that lead me to start thinking.  Honestly, with other projects pending I could stay and work for about 2 straight months and not finish everything.  More honesty, there is no way I can stay home all day every day for 2 straight months and not leave the house so these projects will be with me longer.  

Of course that led me to wondering if I was overwhelmed or had I been procrastinating.  I looked Procrastination up in Wikipedia it is defined there as "... the act of replacing high-priority actions with tasks of low-priority, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time."

Given the many projects I have going; I started thinking, am I procrastinating? Am I doing too much?  Are my priorities aligned with what other see as priorities?   Then I started contemplating about other people, and work situations where someone is maligned as being a "procrastinator."  

The first thing that is bothering me is that the term seems to be used in a derogatory manner.  Yet when researching ISD I repeatedly find that the process itself takes more time than the actual writing.  Revising what you have written, as I did the other day when I trashed 2 months of work and changed it all, takes even longer.  I do not want to "complete" a project for the sake of completing it, I want it done right the first time.  

All this thought took me down the path of why we look at procrastination as a negative.  Sure, intentionally not completing a project is bad, yet if it is part of the creative process, and we simply don't understand what the person is doing, how they are working, are we misjudging people?  Without communicating with others, can we really judge their conduct? I don't think we can.  Situations arise, life happens, and repeatedly we are all drawn away from working for short (or longer) time periods.  If the project is not life/death immediate, I find it easier to be distracted.   

Then I thought about being overwhelmed.  I think that having a lot to do actually invigorates a person, if that person is me.  The more I have pending, the faster and better I work.  So is procrastination and/or being overwhelmed more a case of being under challenged - a sort of deprivational stress? There is an old saying, if you want something done, ask a busy person.  That saying certainly fits this thought process.

Okay, now to get back to my projects and get some stuff done!

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