Ok, I admit, every academic ever has written a piece about procrastination. This isn’t new. If you are looking for universe-altering insight turn away now, and recognize that I am CURRENTLY PROCRASTINATING BY WRITING THIS BLOG. However, if you’re interested in how I procrastinate and my self-reflection on my ‘useless time wasting,’ here’s my rant today while I procrastinate from writing a chapter that I don’t have a good vision for yet…
There are some days when I think procrastination is a necessary part of science. Sometimes I think it’s productive for writing to procrastinate a bit before starting. I tend to write in big blocks, where I will focus for hours on the paper I’m writing, or not at all. The last few days have qualified as “not at all.” I think this is OK, perhaps collecting my thoughts, letting my brain fire some electrons around the paper that isn’t quite as structured as it could be. Perhaps this shuffling of electrons will give organization, new insights, or ways to communicate the things I’ve learned over the past few years into the document known as “the thesis.” Perhaps I should distinguish procrastination in general from productive procrastination, otherwise known as “thinking” I don’t think that enough thinking happens today. Few people would consider what I’ve done this morning productive. Stared off into space at my local coffee shop, not writing anything, just clearing my mind of the things that have complicated it in the past few weeks. There’s a strong probability that I won’t write a single paragraph this morning before lunch, but I think that’s OK. I find after a good procrastination/thinking session, my brain is more apt to flow freely and produce organized thoughts and paragraphs that actually make sense when put together. I’ve written entire papers in a single day that sound far better than the piecemeal potpourri of paragraphs I’ve put together over the past couple days. Sometimes procrastination, and thinking, is better than trying to mash keys better than a million monkeys. So if you’ve read my brief Friday rant, go spend some time procrastinating this week before trying to be creative. It just might help you achieve your goals faster.
ps – naturally, after clicking “publish” the quote that was given to me advertising the WordPress Pro bundle was exactly relevant to my writing today: