It turns out procrastination is not typically a function of laziness, apathy or work ethic as it is often regarded to be. It’s a neurotic self-defense behavior that develops to protect a person’s sense of self-worth.
You see, procrastinators tend to be people who have, for whatever reason, developed to perceive an unusually strong association between their performance and their value as a person. This makes failure or criticism disproportionately painful, which leads naturally to hesitancy when it comes to the prospect of doing anything that reflects their ability — which is pretty much everything.
But in real life, you can’t avoid doing things. We have to earn a living, do our taxes, have difficult conversations sometimes. Human life requires confronting uncertainty and risk, so pressure mounts. Procrastination gives a person a temporary hit of relief from this pressure of “having to do” things, which is a self-rewarding behavior. So it continues and becomes the normal way to respond to these pressures.
Particularly prone to serious procrastination problems are children who grew up with unusually high expectations placed on them. Their older siblings may have been high achievers, leaving big shoes to fill, or their parents may have had neurotic and inhuman expectations of their own, or else they exhibited exceptional talents early on, and thereafter “average” performances were met with concern and suspicion from parents and teachers.— David Cain, “Procrastination Is Not Laziness” (via pawneeparksdepartment)
“I will not lose, for even in defeat / There’s a valuable lesson learned, so it evens out for me.”
Friedrich Nietzsche (via cavum)
I’m catching up late but it’s now obvious why this post was tweeted like crazy today. Well done Dave.
Relaxing too much stresses me out.
I’ve been watching too much TV, smoking too much weed, and overall doing too much chilling these past few months.
Needless to say, now I’m at Caje (my new favorite workspace) studying calculus on Khan Academy. And hopefully I’ll have enough willpower come Monday to start waking up at 5:30 to workout, meditate, cook breakfast, and read before work. Gotta get that shit done at the beginning of the day or it doesn’t happen, ya know?
Especially the breakfast part.
I need a microwave. But I digress.