On Procrastination III

The last two times I’ve explored procrastination. In the first part I wrote about that peculiar individual who always gets everything done on time but is a chronic procrastinator. They ALWAYS wait until the last minute to do the things they do but ALWAYS get things done. Somehow, though, they know they could do better. The minute after that paper is handed in or that presentation is given they see the flaws, the mistakes, and the areas for improvement. Their procrastination drove them to get things done, but not to do them as well as they could have. While their work is always successful, it doesn’t live up to the standard they know they could reach if only they’d star a little earlier.

The second installment started with advice for overcoming procrastination. You can, actually, find a different way to work. In part I’ve gotten better at procrastination by having less time. With near zero downtime between the various responsibilities I had while in graduate school the last minute often occurred days before things were due because of other prior commitments. I had to get better at planning so that I could use the last minute, which was rarely the last minute. So today is about planning.

Having little free time to actively procrastinate in, I found it necessary to plan for the last minute. How much work could I do while on the bus or waiting in the doctor’s office? As it turns out: quite a lot. This led to other activities and tools. I found myself forming and (mostly) using a “to do” list. This took many forms. The most basic was a piece of paper where I wrote the things I needed to do that day, put it in plain sight, and crossed them out as they were completed. Even that simple act of knowing what to do during the day improved my productiveness tenfold. Write one now.