Structured Procrastination

01/14/2004 15:50:24

I discovered an interesting article describing “Structured Procrastination” while reading Jason Clark’s weblog.

The article, by John Perry, discusses an interesting use of self-deception to become more productive…. It’s one of those articles you read that seems to make sense, yet doesn’t. As a procrastinator myself, I can relate to some of the concepts, but find it hard to imagine going so far as to intentionally make a to-do list whose most important item is there simply to encourage you to do other things. But I suppose it’s possible that this has something to do with why we make lists in the first place.

The basic premise is that when we procrastinate we actively avoid doing something important by doing something less important. Therefore, one can accomplish many things, all while avoiding that most significant task. By stacking your to-do list at the top end, you can increase the number of tasks completed further down the list.

I think Perry describes it best by stating that “one is in effect constantly perpetrating a pyramid scheme on oneself.” There’s a really good idea in this article somewhere, if I could just tease it out. :)

In any event, it’s an interesting read…

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