Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The only motivational technique you will ever need!

I believe I have found the most reliable possible method of overcoming procrastination.

Oh, the internet is full of them - planning, project-management, Gantt charts, timers long or short, quiet environments, music (but only the right sort), changes of scenery, turning off the internet, using different web browsers for work and for play, caffeine, alcohol where appropriate, abstinence from chemical aids, fitness, time of day, time of night, calculating your biorhythms, use of tools, abandoning tools, positive attitudes, mantras, self-checking...

The list goes on.

All of them, however, skirt around the edges of the greatest method of all, the one I'm employing right now to write this blog post (and the last one), a method which ties right in with human psychology:

Having something more important to do.

It's that easy.

If you're sitting down and there are several things you could be doing, and the clock's ticking on one of them, what will you actually be doing?

That's right. Not the important one. Suddenly, you will get an inspiration for a blog post that isn't actually all that important.

Suddenly you will remember the email you had to reply to, but it's just a friend and it could wait.

Suddenly you remember that in two weeks a bill will be due, so you may as well pay it now.

Suddenly you get inspiration for the next-but-one article, rather than the one the editor is actually waiting for right now.

You will do everything, in fact, except that task you know backwards, know how to do, need to get done yesterday, but haven't quite managed to build up momentum on yet.

Therefore, if you want to get something done, you have to find something more important you should be doing. The trick here, of course, is to not use techniques guaranteed to get you fired, divorced, kicked out of home or held on child neglect charges.

No. You have to be subtle about this. You have to talk yourself into the sure and certain knowledge that it is absolutely vital that you right now do the dishes because, really, they're disgusting and there are things breeding on the two cups and the bowl sitting rinsed on the draining board waiting to be washed in six hours when there are enough dishes there to justify it.

Have you swept the floors lately? Well get a move on! Don't you know your neighbours will sneer at you if those three stray dog hairs are left lurking in the corner? You filthy pig! (N.B.: No offence is meant towards any members of the pig family, who are clean, intelligent, and only have a bad reputation due to misunderstandings and poor farming conditions).

Have you taken a walk around the garden lately? You lazy slob! Get to it!

After you write another two pages, of course. Just those, then you can get some exercise. It'll be fine, really.

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