On a cure for procrastination

If you’ve ever wondered how procrastination works, it apparently involves a monkey.  I myself spend many hours every day in the Dark Playground.  But I think I might have stumbled upon a strategy that could keep the monkey at bay (cause let’s face it, if you work from home and get paid on a freelance basis you can’t bank on the Panic Monster coming to your rescue).  (If you have no idea what I just said you really should click on that link.  It’s a much better post than this one.)

I was put onto that brilliant explanation by Timothy Edwards, who reckons the solution is to plan so thoroughly that the monkey doesn’t get a chance to take over.  Sounds to me like something that belongs in the Dark Playground.  We’ll call it the “Spending All Your Time Making Plans To Spend Your Time More Effectively Merry-Go-Round”.

My idea, on the other hand, is foolproof.  I’m going to use a reward-system.  See, I have two major things need doing.  I need to get on track with my studies, and I need to finish the first draft of my novel.  (Okay, I need to start looking at a way of getting paid for counselling as well, and getting clients to counsel (I might have those two in the wrong order) but that’s rather dependant on finishing my degree, so let’s not worry about that just yet.)

Being a good writer de-motivation poster
So easy, yet so hard…

Studies and writing.  Both things that I actually enjoy if I truly get into them, but both things that I also heavily procrastinate for some very obscure reason.  Well, my strategy is to use one as a reward for completing the other.  For every five chapters I finish reading for my degree, I’ll allow myself to work on my novel.  And for every five thousand words I finish writing, I’ll allow myself to dig into the academics once again.

Sounds like a terrible plan, doesn’t it?  So terrible it just might work.  Hopefully it will confuse the monkey to such an extent that he’ll forget about Youtube (where I recently discovered the highly entertaining channel, How it should have ended – they remake the endings of popular movies so they make more sense), Facebook (more coming on their acquisition of WhatsApp as soon as I stop procrastinating) and the family tree I’ve started to construct in an attempt to discover my extended family (my grandfather Kokkie was an orphan, so apart from my father’s siblings and their children I have no knowledge of my extended family on his side).

What do you think?  Is my plan foolproof or am I merely a fool?  Hopefully I at least made you smile 😉

9 thoughts on “On a cure for procrastination

  1. Thanks for pointing out my blog post! I’ll keep you posted, I’ve got another 52 minutes of chores/free time (dishwasher and washing machine help!) before I bunker into writing. Also, no one person’s theories or methods will work for everyone. All we can do is bumble along like zombies until we find something that works for us and then stick to it. No one is the fool as long as we are all sticking to what we want to do… and quite simply that is achieve something!

  2. It will only work if you don’t procrastinate on taking the reward.

    And I know you were hoping this would inspire an easy song title like “Monkey” by George Michael but I’m not that nice. However, one of my regular commenters sounded like she might be joining the challenge sometime. And she’s good. (I get to claim I was following her before she was freshly pressed, and her post actually deserved it.)

    1. Thanks for pointing out that crucial loophole. I’ll be sure to incorporate it into the strategy.

      You think “Monkey” is an easy song title? It has nothing to work with! It’s a case of too many possibilities. Longer song titles actually limit the options and that’s what makes them challenging and interesting.

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