29 August 2014

QOTD: Procrastination

Let me share a few thoughts I keep in reserve about writing, which transfers to procrastination in general: #1 - One time Jim Thorpe was competing for high jump, and his coach found him resting under a tree, eyes closed. To the coach's rebuke, he replied, "I am practicing my jump." IOW, whenever you have a project, make a habit of mapping it out in your mind during the odd hour, and well before you actually sit down to write it. #2 - Another time someone approached Goethe and asked him how me managed to write so much, to which he replied, "I just blow on my hands!" IOW, just start writing. You can worry about editing it later. Writing is just like speaking, albeit a bit more formal. So just start. It's only after you start that you can see what the problems are going to be. Then it's time for a nap, a la #1. #3 - Jacques Barzun used to say, write a brouillage, that is, a scrambled mess. You can figure it out later. The key is that most procrastination grows out of inactivity and inertia, both of which create anxiety and then performance anxiety and then failure. Start writing yesterday, and, also, write every day. As William James used to say, "Habit a second nature? Habit is ten times nature!" #4 - The last thing of course: be yourself. Don't be afraid of yourself, and don't be unhappy with yourself. Just write who you are. The good parts will show, eventually.
- "Edward Fortyhands. Original story: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/08/the-procrastination-loop-and-how-to-break-it/379142/2/#comments

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