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qsz comments on Procrastination checklist - Less Wrong

5 Post author: Elo 03 March 2016 03:04AM

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Comment author: [deleted] 03 March 2016 10:21:04AM *  0 points [-]

I like the 1st person one a little better (quibble, the other one is 2nd person).

The repetition of "If yes then do it" initially struck me as highly redundant but when I tried this out, I found it was an effective reminder at each step along the way.

Point 4: set achievable goal for this session is a very important part to me - my personal battle with procrastination is usually around frustration with seemingly unmanageable longer term goals but which can be reached with clear session-level milestones.

I somewhat disagree with the level of detail of #5 and have seen it happen to many others as well - the quest to set up a "perfect" working environment can kill a lot of time in itself ("Oh, I'm nearly ready to work but need to make a cup of herbal tea and get a biscuit...."). But even worse, this approach can lead to a situation where the chronic procrastinator comes prepared with an excuse for failure even before the session begins if any one of an ever-growing list of perfect environments is not optimal. So I suggest regularly working on more easily attainable goals without removing every single possible distraction, to try and expand the range of effective working environments.

Point 6, reminding oneself of the value of the task is incredibly motivating. However it can be very frustrating if previous steps to encourage incremental progress are not followed.

Point 7 is another potential procrastination time sink in itself - I have not found "gamification" solutions for my main procrastination hurdles, but oh they are so interesting to think about........

And for me, I would drop #9 from being explicitly listed - for me this is part of #4 (setting a goal for this session)

Comment author: Elo 03 March 2016 10:26:51PM 0 points [-]

quibble, the other one is 2nd person

yep. woops.

Point 4: ... is a very important part to me

parts of 2,3,4,5 can be arranged to a more useful order for different people. They matter more or less depending on how you work.

For some, having a desk (of 5) is an absolute requirement that comes before deciding how long to work for (of 2). I will include this in the top post.

"perfect" working environment

yes, they say perfect is the enemy of the good (or good enough to work in).

ever-growing list of perfect environments is not optimal.

I agree, but also I know I can't solder things on a train. I need a solid and not moving desk. There are genuine disqualifies in an environment and not-genuine disqualifiers. The room mate playing loud music might be a problem; but it might not; or worse - a genuine problem for one person and a not-genuine problem for another.

I intend for a whole separate post about work-environment.

I suppose it's worth the caveat - if these are part of your procrastination you can skip it; but hopefully it's better than going about the task without the list. Should I include this disclaimer in the top post?