The Joys of Procrastination

April 26, 2007 at 11:37 pm (stuff, web 2.0)

Yesterday I had the opportunity to see Jorge Cham, author of the grad student comic “Piled Higher and Deeper,” at the University of Arizona. Cham gave a great talk about procrastination, something I’ve been doing a lot lately. To procrastinate, he argues, is not necessarily a bad thing (separate from its close cousin, laziness)—you’re simply deferring a task, but still thinking about doing it; whereas laziness is simply a complete lack of desire to do anything. When we procrastinate, we let our minds wander from the tasks at hand, we can end up being even more creative, removing the mental blocks that occur when we concentrate too long on something. If you have the opportunity to see Cham speak, I highly recommend it—especially if you are or ever were a grad student–he really, really understands.

Procrastination is actually going to end up saving me a lot of time—the other day I was wandering around my del.icio.us bookmarks (I was supposed to be cleaning, but the computer was so enticing…) and I found one I had saved a while back: todoist. This seems to me like one of those fantastic applications developed by a software engineer while work was being avoided; procrastination brings us the most wonderful things.

Today at work when I needed to find a way to organize my (entire) life, todoist popped right back into my head again. You can create projects, add tasks, assign due dates, create color-coding and, best of all, there is a satisfying check box for when you complete something. It works like my brain, but with a bit more clarity—and you can access it from anywhere. With this tool, I can see myself becoming exponentially more productive than I am now…leaving me with oodles of valuable procrastination time. Life is good.

I was in humanities.  This is true.

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