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  1. #1
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Default Why do you procrastinate?

    I read an interesting article about procrastination today. Some of it was bullshit, but I did agree with the claim that procrastination is irrational, that procrastinators are feeding their emotions.

    Procrastinating Again? How to Kick the Habit: Scientific American

    As for me, I most often procrastinate because I'm a perfectionist. If I'm not confident that I can complete a task to a level that satisfies me, I put it off. I've also procrastinated because of anxiety, to a lesser extent. For example, there have been times when I've known the balance in my bank account is pretty low, but I don't know the exact amount. Rather than checking my account balance, I put it off because I don't want to know. It's the feeling that seeing that number will actually cause pain.

    I haven't found a solution to the anxiety, but for the perfectionism I can usually find some way to get myself to just start (there's too much variance for me to give a more detailed synopsis). At that point, it becomes an obsession until it's complete. As I write this, I find myself unable to start working on a presentation for a coil gun project that's due next week. I don't know where to start.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  2. #2
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    STFU, J.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Grayscale's Avatar
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    procrastination is not irrational because it is a conditioned behavior.

    when one's cost-benefit analysis concludes that the consequences of waiting are not bad enough to outweigh the benefits of the more immediate pleasures, then someone will often procrastinate. this happens over and over and yet people still procrastinate. what does that tell you about it, in terms of conditioned behavior?

    those who dont procrastinate place a higher value on the task, and thus a larger cost of failure... more often than not, it is these people who have their values askew, because they antagonize and overestimate the importance of something.

    it is easy to outline the benefits of doing something earlier than later, it is not so easy to quantify the benefits of the psychological motivation behind why people procrastinate.

    humans are only stupid on a conscious level, the subconscious patterns of behavior generally have something to them. as far as procrastination goes, we procrastinate because we can.

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    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    I want to read your article, but my emotional needs are more important right now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

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    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Often, I procrastinate because I dislike dealing with the variables necessary to fully complete the task. Anxiety and stress are likely motivators.

    When it isn't a case of my "often", it usually arises from a simple preferential standpoint: would I rather do activity A or activity B? Taking the task outside of its contextual importance (is A more/less/similar to the urgency of B) often leads to a disproportionate amount of ease finding ways to justify doing other tasks in front of B. This sucks.

    For me, procrastination can often lead to something of a domino effect.

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    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grayscale View Post
    procrastination is not irrational because it is a conditioned behavior.
    So you're saying conditioned behavior is rational, by definition. I don't agree with that, at all.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  7. #7
    Senior Member VanillaCat's Avatar
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    I opened it, read 5 sentences, then favorited it because I want to read it later. Ironic. :P
    It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

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    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Some procrastination is about rebellion/self-sabotage.

    For example, I may complete a certain task with pleasure if there is no expectation for me to do so within a certain period of time. If a critical outcome is dependent on that same task - e.g. submitting a paper on time - I am less likely to do it.
    IOW, Bloody-mindedness.

    Expectations are obstacles for Ps (they create resistance) but seem to be motivational for Js.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  9. #9
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluemonday View Post

    Expectations are obstacles for Ps (they create resistance) but seem to be motivational for Js.
    Yes -- at least for me.

  10. #10
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    So you're saying conditioned behavior is rational, by definition. I don't agree with that, at all.
    I think conditioned responses just are... neither rational nor irrational. No different than a cat that hiss at you and fluffs itself up when you spooked it.

    Why do I procrastinate... because work can be "un-fun". Short term rewards always seem so much more tangible than the long term ones that requires hard work.

    Now I better get cracking...

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