Enter the characters you see below Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot. I have been intending to write this essay for months. Why am I finally doing essay on self motivation? Because I finally found some uncommitted time?
I have papers to grade, textbook orders to fill out, an NSF proposal to referee, dissertation drafts to read. I am working on this essay as a way of not doing all of those things. Structured procrastination means shaping the structure of the tasks one has to do in a way that exploits this fact. The list of tasks one has in mind will be ordered by importance.
Tasks that seem most urgent and important are on top. But there are also worthwhile tasks to perform lower down on the list. Doing these tasks becomes a way of not doing the things higher up on the list. With this sort of appropriate task structure, the procrastinator becomes a useful citizen. The most perfect situation for structured procrastination that I ever had was when my wife and I served as Resident Fellows in Soto House, a Stanford dormitory.
In the evening, faced with papers to grade, lectures to prepare, committee work to be done, I would leave our cottage next to the dorm and go over to the lounge and play ping-pong with the residents, or talk over things with them in their rooms, or just sit there and read the paper. Procrastinators often follow exactly the wrong tack. They try to minimize their commitments, assuming that if they have only a few things to do, they will quit procrastinating and get them done. But this goes contrary to the basic nature of the procrastinator and destroys his most important source of motivation. The few tasks on his list will be by definition the most important, and the only way to avoid doing them will be to do nothing. At this point you may be asking, “How about the important tasks at the top of the list, that one never does?
Admittedly, there is a potential problem here. The trick is to pick the right sorts of projects for the top of the list. Luckily, life abounds with such tasks. In universities the vast majority of tasks fall into this category, and I’m sure the same is true for most other large institutions.
Take for example the item right at the top of my list right now. Another example is book order forms. In October, I will teach a class on Epistemology. The book order forms are already overdue at the book store.
I will observe that deadlines really start to press a week or two after they pass. The observant reader may feel at this point that structured procrastination requires a certain amount of self-deception, since one is in effect constantly perpetrating a pyramid scheme on oneself. One needs to be able to recognize and commit oneself to tasks with inflated importance and unreal deadlines, while making oneself feel that they are important and urgent. This is not a problem, because virtually all procrastinators have excellent self-deceptive skills also. John Perry: Copyrighted from somewhat recently til as of now Site designed by the author’s granddaughter, who did the work while avoiding the far more weighty assignment of her literature test. Please forward this error screen to sharedip-10718051104. How Successful Students Make the Grade Like many students at university, you may be unhappy about the results you attain in exams.