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T O P I C     R E V I E W
Member # 1422
 - posted December 14, 2006 17:23
Dear All,

It is 01:17, GMT. I have an essay due in tomorrow at 12 noon. It is the first essay I have had to write so far on my Master's course. It is meant to be 4,000 words long.

So far, I have written 2,502 of those words [Razz] .

I am here, posting this topic, because I have an affliction. It is known as the absolute-goddamn-inability-to-get-a-damn-thing-done disease. It means I spend a lot of time fscking about on the internets.

There are less than 12 hours left, people. It's getting serious now.

So I am here to make a personal appeal. Please, tell me to get back to work. Email me, PM me, reply to this thread... just yell at me, call me names, threaten to give me a beating, tell me I'm ruining my life. Anything!

I will be posting intermittently throughout the evening to update my word-count and waste a few more minutes. Even if no one replies to this thing, the time wasted will have made it all worth it [Happytears]

Thank you. Now, once more unto the breach, dear friends.


Member # 3446
 - posted December 14, 2006 17:29
Yeah, but to reach the highest ranks of the procrastinators, you need to be doing some group work, with a few other people relying on you to get it finished in order for them to achieve a reasonable grade.
Member # 955
 - posted December 14, 2006 17:30
I think I must've given that to you, I have it too. Thankfully, my semester is over, however yours isn't.... GET BACK TO WORK! [Mad]
Member # 1941
 - posted December 14, 2006 17:32
Yes, another procrastinator here.

Unfortunately, "get to work you lazy thing" tactics don't always work with serial procrastination. I recommend some reading "The Now Habit" (covers procrastination specifically and tries to deal with the cause(s) and not the symptoms), and "Getting Things Done" which is a time/action management method which is different to traditional approaches and more suitable for us of geeky personage (IMO)

Now, get back to work! (says he, procrastinating about getting back to work himself...)
Member # 1422
 - posted December 14, 2006 17:41
01:39 - 2,738 words...

sloooooooow going [cry baby]

Thanks for the words of harshness, guys [Big Grin]

csk, I've heard quite a bit about GTD, but have always been too lazy to put it into practice. You'd say it's worth the incredible effort? Wow! [Smile]
Member # 1089
 - posted December 14, 2006 17:44
I'm such a procrastinator that I can't even post any more.


GET BACK TO WORK, YOU! No Masters, no job - it'll be McDonalds for you! [Wink]
Member # 1422
 - posted December 14, 2006 17:56
01:53 - 2,738 words [shake head]

Note to self: Browsing through 300 pages of bad pre-made myspace layouts when you should be writing about visual culture and textuality is not a good idea. In fact, it's possibly the worst idea anyone has ever had. Why do you even have a myspace, skylar? Tsk. Tsk.

01:56 - Begins talking to self.
Member # 1422
 - posted December 14, 2006 18:14
02:14 - 3,041 ... w00t, the 3,000 mark is broken!!

Time to celebrate with some hot Facebook non-action [Big Grin]
Member # 1734
 - posted December 14, 2006 18:17
The best thing I find for procrastination is give yourself a task or two that you must be doing if you are not working on your essay. Ideally, these should be things that you want to do even less like finally matching up all of your socks, cleaning underneath your bed, or finally organizing *that* drawer. All of a sudden you're no longer procrastinating on your essay because you're too busy procrastinating on your cleaning. [crazy]
Member # 1941
 - posted December 14, 2006 19:04
Originally posted by skylar:
csk, I've heard quite a bit about GTD, but have always been too lazy to put it into practice. You'd say it's worth the incredible effort? Wow! [Smile]

Apparently so .. I'm somewhat of a failed GTD convert who doesn't practise it as much as he'd like, but the ideas are sound. The basic concept of stopping trying to use your head to remember everything you have to do and get it into a trusted system instead is brilliant in itself. As is the "what is the next action" concept, etc... My advice .. read the book, and take as much or little on board as you require.

I should get around to re-reading "The Now Habit", too...
Member # 1422
 - posted December 14, 2006 19:24
Thanks, csk, will do [Big Grin]

03:23... 3,352/4000...

I think I will just rest my eyes for a minute.......
Member # 1297
 - posted December 14, 2006 19:55
The best thing I find for procrastination is give yourself a task or two that you must be doing if you are not working on your essay ... All of a sudden you're no longer procrastinating on your essay because you're too busy procrastinating on your cleaning.

I think for me, the biggest problem is the extent of my fear of all the pain and stress of what I'm expected to do, all the sitting there with a totally numbed, tired brain trying and failing to understand and achieve the task. (And you have to work alone, and I desperately need communication and partnership to keep my brain conscious, else the mere thought of an unpleasant task leaves me feeling like I'm on the verge of collapse.)

So ... can I face it? No. Shall I do what I really want to do? No, I have work to do. And then I'm trapped in a hours-devouring struggle of nothingness.

Until I bail out and do whatever it was I really wanted to do as I know I've already lost. Which in effect makes work I don't want to do, my biggest motivator in everything from room tidying to writing software. I wrote so much of my own software at university simply from hiding away from what I was meant to be doing -- the fear of unsavoury work pushes me away into the direction of so much of the work I want to be doing.

When I no longer have any pressure to do nasty work, I lose my motivation to do what I wanted to do in the first place! I need to have nasty work to be avoiding in order to be productive in terms of freeware development etc.

The other strong motivation to do stuff is women, but there aren't enough women who need me to code or design them cool stuff...

And skylar ... DO YOUR WORK! :P
(Damn, I am the world's greatest hypocrite bar none for having said that!! ;)
Member # 1422
 - posted December 14, 2006 20:32
uilleann, you just encapsulated perfectly exactly how I feel about procrastination... bravo, sir!


Dammit, I just spilled a huge glass of water all over my notes [Mad]

But, ah well, guess it doesn't matter too much cos' I just hit 3,978 and wrote the last few words of my conclusion! I'm finished!!! [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

Thank you folks tremendously for your encouragement... now I'm off to sleep for the next hundred years. It's bloody half four in the morning! [crazy]
Member # 1297
 - posted December 14, 2006 20:47
Heheheh ... now if only you'd spilt it on the laptop (if you've not long since thrown your iBook and its crappy Mac OS 10.1.5 out of a window) you'd have a perfect excuse! :P

Ok, kinda shabby excuse but still.

I do presume you have a half-decent version of X now btw? Like Tiger grrrrr (Heh I was given an iMac with 10.0 on, like, dude, wtf)

And maybe indeed, this topic actually formed that human bond you needed ...
Member # 1422
 - posted December 14, 2006 21:00
Ah, so you didn't hear about my misadventures with a MacBook? I was given a beautiful shiny new one, running Tiger o' course, for my 21st birthday. A month later we were burgled, and that was the last I saw of my woefully uninsured true love [weep]

My parents being the lovely people they are, though, bought me a replacement (and the insurance to cover it!). However, the budget didn't quite stretch to another MacBook... so I'm now playing with an Acer Aspire 5100.. which is, shockingly, actually quite damn nice! [Smile]

And I think you're right... I was kept motivated to work because I had some input to look forward to regarding the whole thing.
Member # 1297
 - posted December 14, 2006 21:35
Most PC notebooks now are all lumpy and hideous looking, the underside looks more like the surface of the Death Star than a computer. Not sure why, since they never used to. As much as I despise Sony, the original Vaios were really, really nice, especially their little VHS cassette-sized one, incredible little thing *lust* Not sure what the current ones are like. But there must still be decent-looking PC notebooks, and I'm quite acclimatised to Windows so I can stand using that on a laptop.

Heck, Mac laptops have such crap keyboards it's worth running Windows to get back my dedicated home, end, page up, page down and forwards delete keys :-P As archaic as the 102 (105) key keyboard is, all those keys are really useful. When I gave my sister my iMac I bought her a brand new keyboard with a full set of keys instead of the original diddy keyboard (OK, it did have a broken key too, but I pine without all my keys ;)

One brand -- Compaq? -- even made one with a full 105 (? I ain't gonna count) key keyboard, so awesome. Me want. OK, it may have also been 10 ft wide and weight half a ton :)

Besides, you can probably sneak Mac OS X onto the Acer if you needed ;)

Ok enough raving nerdery, I need my bed.

PS Goto bed :>
Member # 1177
 - posted December 14, 2006 21:38
Nothing beats a ThinkPad keyboard.
Member # 1297
 - posted December 14, 2006 21:43
Dunno. I am sure I could do a respectable job with a large brick.
Member # 2280
 - posted December 15, 2006 00:15
I am a terrible procrastinator.

This has afflicted me for as long as I can remember. I always feel a sense of guilt for not doing what I should be doing and a sense of worthlessness for not being as studious as I could potentially be. The procrastination habit also leads to self-deprecation and jealousy of those who seem to be perfect and have their lives under control while in the meantime I'm spiraling face-first into an event horizon.

Then again, I think many people feel that they are far inferior to others. A survey of the freshman class at my school was taken a few months ago; 70% of the freshman class felt that they were in the bottom 1/3 of the class in terms of preparedness and academic ability.

The Famous Druid
Member # 1769
 - posted December 15, 2006 00:19
I'll get around to posting a "GET BACK TO WORK" message some time soon, promise.
Member # 1297
 - posted December 15, 2006 07:36
That's a tough one, gooa. I know what you mean: you feel that if you actually got on with your work, you'd learn more, achieve more, fulfil your own natural potential.

Of course, you could be like Edison, and just keep working -- to the neglect of your wife and children -- hour after hour until you physically collapse unconscious on the floor. Men can be like that, just keep going and going forever.

If you're lucky, you might be able to pull that off, without simply burning out. I imagine mere mortals have a quite definite limit -- for the sake of their health no less -- of how much work you can do before you're going to feel the strain. I don't hear many people feeling that their day job should be all day and all night.

But university/school/college (whatever you want to call it) tends to give out the feeling that you should be working on your homework all day and all night (except when in lectures). The opposite extreme is the procrastinator's desire to just play video games or sexx0r instead, or fill up on cheap student beer.

Where is the middle ground? How do you actually know as a person, what your potential is? How should a day be planned out? Are you underachieving? How much better could you be if you ran your life differently? What could you accomplish if you read more/studied more/did more of this and less of that ...

That's quite a painful thing to contemplate -- how much better could I be? If I look at all the accomplishments of other people, could I be achieving what they are if I tried harder? Or if I'd studied more? Am I mentally capable of that and if I'm not achieving it now, what wrong path did I take or am taking now?

The more intellectual you are, the more depressed you will get from life it seems, as you have the power of reflection that most people don't seem to heed or be aware of. As long as they get plenty of parties, booze and sex, who's complaining? (Only the other bloke if they stole his girl ...)

Being truly aware of what you are and are not capable of -- if there truly is a limit (and it's going to be bounded also by personal wealth, free time, who your friends are and what they know and can help you with etc) -- could really help, or really hinder.

Xanthine will no doubt believe that no-one has a limit of any kind, and that may be true, but you do need to find the right support to help you learn. When I started learning C (the programming language) I was hopelessly stuck on pointers, and calling methods relating to them. I was just getting gibberish output and system crashes. All I needed was a friendly soul to show me why I wasn't understanding it. It would not be until university some years later that it would click (and they're crucial to working with C) and even now, I still don't follow how they're used, even if I understand the basic concept.

There are limits to what you can understand and achieve, and knowing those may help you focus on what you can do so that you can do those better.

But this is a very slow, very painful, very depressing and very confusing journey that seems to have no end. Yes, those people who just sort out their lives and get down to the dancing, boozing and sex, are the truly lucky ones.

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