Lessons on procrastination

Inspired by Mizunogirl’s post on procrastination, I decided to change my approach to my to-do list. I’m very good at making lists, but not so good at getting through them. I’ve always taken the approach of easiest first and I almost inevitably run out of motivation by the time I get to the harder tasks. So, today, I made two columns for my to-do list, one for difficult tasks and one for easier tasks. The difficult tasks were inevitably the ones that cause me most anxiety. They include the important-for-my-life but not-essential-for-survival tasks, things I am unfairly obligated to do, and an endless list of cleaning and decluttering jobs around the house. The idea is to tackle these difficult things before I do the tedious but easy ones, like washing dishes, or the fun but time-consuming ones, like cooking new recipes. I can’t call today a resounding success because it took me until early evening to confront the top item on my “difficult” list, but I did get it done. And I feel so much better. It has been on my list for days. I feel like a weight has lifted. Now I just need to remember this feeling, so when I am next confronted by such a task, I will avoid the temptation of procrastinating.

Mani’s philosophy on procrastination:

Never put off a nap
mani 6-20-2011 10-12-14 AM

Ping’s philosophy on procrastination:

If you can’t do it while taking a nap, it is best left undone.
ping 6-19-2011 11-19-17 AM

Chun’s philosophy on procrastination:

Never ignore the mouse.
adoption day 3-13-2011 1-58-33 PM

Yes, my mighty and merciless hunter just caught another mouse. If I approached my to-do list with the same determination and excitement he approaches his poor mousies, I think I would be a lot better off.

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15 Responses to Lessons on procrastination

  1. leendadll says:

    I’d get stuck at my first item: Sort to-do list

  2. trishc1812 says:

    Was that a ‘was alive and moving at one time’ mouse that Chun caught? Or was it a furry fuzzy inanimate toy mouse?

    Procrastination. I suffer from it a lot. Like a lot a lot. I have realized that my procrastination time grows longer and longer the more time the computer is on. If I could just leave it off until my chores for the day were done, I’d be sitting in front of it with a free and clear conscious by noon or sooner. Even as I sit down in front of it I tell myself that I will only be five minutes at the longest….some 90 minutes later I walk away and attempt to get back to the daily chores…I’m back at the computer in less than 20 minutes. ~sigh~ If I could just keep the durn thing off until chores were done.

    We must remember the feeling of marking something off our ‘to-do’ lists and strive to make it happen more often.

    • littlemiao says:

      It was an alive-and-moving-at-one-time mouse, alas. 😦

      I agree, the computer is such an easy trap for procrastination. It got a lot worse when I started getting Netflix last year. Unfortunately, some of the tasks I need to do are on my computer so I can’t turn it off for those. But when I’m cleaning, do I really need to take a computer break every five minutes…? Probably not. I think 20 minutes is a pretty good stretch of productivity.

  3. mizunogirl says:

    I love the visuals with this post. And of course for a long time now, when I am thinking about procrastinating, I will say to myself, “Never Ignore the mouse!”

  4. good luck with your lists!

  5. nadbugs says:

    I need to get up and go to work but I can’t stand it when I see that Chun’s little tabby-nose is a little bit — how did OldCat put it? rufous. I mean — there’s procrastination — and then there’s being diverted by the truly important things in life.

  6. Lauri says:

    I am so slepp deprived (that I just typed “slepp). Orion was up whining most of the night. Alas, there goes MY motivation. I can’t even get my brain to work. I think I need some protein.

    • littlemiao says:

      Aw. 😦 Whiny babies. I remembered Chun whined every night for a whole year after I got him. I think it was his crafty plan to get me to slepp during the daytime instead.

  7. I like the kitteh philosophy. Are you sure that you shouldn’t be following their lifestyle?

    • littlemiao says:

      It is so tempting to eat and nap and snorgle floof all day. It is what the Miao Brothers have been encouraging me to do for months. But I think that now I need to try Chun’s mouse-hunting lifestyle for a change, metaphorically speaking of course.

Miao & Purr!

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