How to deal with procrastination

I was going to title this Janac Meena, Master of Procrastination. Or maybe Procrasto-champion.But I realize that I’m actually not THAT bad, all the time. I think I’m a binge-procrastinator. I’m not entirely sure about that statement just yet, but what I do know is that once I fall into that procrastinationy cycle, I tend to get stuck. The same goes for a productivity, if I am productive for at least 30 mins, I can expand that 30 mins to 3 hours of high-efficiency productivity.

People like to give advice, mostly because it makes them feel superior to whoever they are talking to. An ego thing. But other times, people are genuinely interested in your well-being. If I become a professor, I would be motivated by the fact that I am generating the next set of engineers, scientists, critical-thinkers .etc, and that would make a larger impact on society than me trying to change the world on my own. I would be creating a team of world changers.

Anyway, the reason I decided to start this entry is because I kept losing focus, breaking concentration, and generally being a shitty student. If you search up “5 steps to solve a physics problem”, or “Outline of tackling an engineering problem”, or read a guide in a text about find the solution to a question, you will find that the first or second step is always “Identify the problem”. Such simple and usually useless advice, since, as students, we are usually given the problem, already written out for us, and sometimes with tips. So I usually look over that step, but this time, I am not trying to solve a question in an assignment. I’m trying to solve a question of my life.

Why am I not being productive? Why is it that I can give awesome advice about how to be productive, how to manage time, how to do all the things I am aspiring to be, but I have difficulty taking my own advice. Maybe because the advice itself isn’t that great? Today I wasted time uploading, editing, organizing and watching videos on youtube. I also uploaded to facebook, spent time listening to a stupid Alpha Flight binaural beat. I basically started my procrastination with the usual organizing folders on my computer and deleting as many things as I can, in order to save space on my SSD. I also updated my galaxy nexus, but first I read articles on whether I should update it or not. I did study a little bit of calculus. I have a rough idea of what Multiple Integrals are for. I didn’t do any problems, or write out any notes. I just read the first few paragraphs, and drew some diagrams to help me understand it.

I just thought of something! I think, deep down, I believe that if I just do whatever procrastination activity it is that I’m doing (lets say uploading videos to youtube), I will be able to finish procrastinating. Ah hah! I do remember thinking things like “well lemme just do this first, and then i’ll go back to reading”. At one point, I would upload a video, and while I was waiting for an upload to finish, I would read some calculus. It was reverse productivity. Almost as if my priority was YouTube and calculus was just something I did to pass the time while I waited for YouTube. That chart that Randy Pausch uses, with the four boxes, it makes perfect sense.

I have received a lot of advice, and I have tried a variety of techniques, read many books/articles, listened to audio books/binaural beats, attended lectures/seminars, and have even created techniques of my own, all about being productive. What if I made a master list, an ultimate compilation of everything I’ve learned. What if I made a procrastination textbook, documenting all of the different tactics and critically reviewed them. Wow, what if I had something to refer to every time I procrastinated, which automatically pulled me out of a procrastination loop and put me back on track. This would be a pretty big endeavor on its own.

Okay well wordpress says “Draft saved at 4:36:31 pm”, and now its 6:33. So I began procrastinating during the middle of this post lol.

Now its 8:47, I suddenly became productive and got a full 45 mins of high-efficiency calculus done. How did I get into that productive mood? I drank coffee, but after the coffee I loafted for at least half an hour. Most likely more. I searched up Rescue Time, which is good, but doesn’t always work for me. I mostly use it because it does a good job of showing me what applications I spend most of my time with, but its difficult when I’m doing something productive away from my computer. So I searched up alternatives and found Time Doctor.

Time Doctor has a simple interface

Time Doctor

I entered Calculus as one of my categories. I like how it prompts me every once in a while to catch me in the midst of procrastination. It also is easy to use, and makes sense so far. I actually got 45 minutes of work done. I was doing great right up until I got up to drink water, and I told pritesh he needed to move his microwave. This led into a large debate, and I killed approx 40 mins with that, and I came back to this.

Something about being monitored, recorded, almost supervised by the Time Doctor has made me productive. At first I though it was goal setting, but I had no goal. It is not counting down, its counting up, till infinity. Infinity is not a goal.

I found timedoctor while trying to get an alternative for rescue time. Time Doctor is not as useful as rescue time. So I’m switching back. Anyway I will be posting about what works and doesn’t work over the next few posts.


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