One of my biggest fears in starting a blog is my old nemesis… procrastination. Will I really ever get to writing a consistent blog if I keep putting it off for more-attractive/ less-important tasks? While pondering this question at work (and thus avoiding the stack of student essays that are awaiting my red pen), I remembered one of the most brilliant essays that I have ever come across on this topic and well, I just had to share.
The essay is titled “Structured Procrastination,” and it posits that one can actually harness the powers of procrastination for good (had I only read this in high school…). According to John Perry, esteemed philosopher, Ig Nobel Award winner, and my personal hero, this seemingly miraculous feat is accomplished once one realizes that procrastination is merely a way of avoiding something that’s more important. Perry writes,
The list of tasks one has in mind will be ordered by importance. Tasks that seem most urgent and important are on top. But there are also worthwhile tasks to perform lower down on the list. Doing these tasks becomes a way of not doing the things higher up on the list. With this sort of appropriate task structure, the procrastinator becomes a useful citizen. Indeed, the procrastinator can even acquire, as I have, a reputation for getting a lot done.
So with a bit of self-deception and a re-prioritization of the tasks at hand, keeping up with this blog should be no problem, as long as there are papers to grade and lectures to prepare, of course.