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I might have cracked the procrastination nut

I might have cracked the procrastination nut.

One of the things that's plagued me for years is that a heavy, intense period of doing lots of good stuff is frequently followed by a crash.

The crash partially negates the gains from having a good period. If you put in an excellent, intense four days of creative work, that's good. But if you can't look at your work and projects for half a week afterwards, you negate some of that progress as compared to just slowly, steadily putting in time.

What's worse is that, for me, the crashes tended to be full-on, nothing-valuable-happening. I don't mean not working. I mean nothing valuable. When I'd crash, I'd usually not be reading good books, spending time in nature on the beach, or whatever. It'd be more like getting into high stimulation distraction, where it sucks your time without giving you anything back. Without even recharging you, even.

So, I started looking at how crashes come on.

Results, Not Feelings

On Huan M. Nguyen

The way I used to do my homework was through feelings. Early on, it was enough and I generally got most of my work done.

Now, I have a lot more work to do, and more general life responsibilities like housekeeping. So my internal, instinctual gauge of how much I have done gets thrown off.

Some days, I'll feel like I get a lot done by working out and meditating early in the day, as well as washing the dishes and doing laundry. But I'll not have much homework done and that's not good.

I tackled this problem by implementing tracking and a daily todo list that I write out with the goal of completion in mind. That helps both my internal gauge (it feels damn good to have the whole list crossed out when it is), and also to help me keep track of how much actual work I'm getting in.

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