Procrastination is a learned behavior. Here is a very interesting metaphor of procrastination that I ran into recently in the book The Now Habit by Neil Fiore. I am not much of a self help book reader, however, this section on procrastination was highly recommended to me. This helps us to understand how we procrastinate. What goes on in our minds that leads us to develop habits of procrastination. I found the part very interesting and would like to share it with you here.
In the trenches, projects huddle together interconnected to a million details like neurons in our brains. Delays, contingencies, breakdowns and meltdowns happen when projects with perfect blueprints collide with the forces of reality.
Only in textbooks and classroom studies do projects exist alone, in their own domain, unattached to other factors of life and isolated from the interference of the forces of chaos. Glorified reports of “how we did it” tend to suffer from selective amnesia and results in simplistic process descriptions.
These process workflows are usually gobbled up and regurgitated in some form or the other by that unique beast of the trenches called the micro-manager. The micro manager gets involved with, and even dictates, every detail in the work flow process. This brings on the feeling that you are just an extension of the manager. A robotic tool to do their bidding. This leads to a huge degree of demoralization and alienation from the work in front of us. The work we care about.
What makes micromanagement so common? What attracts this behavior?
Like most people out there who like to stay organized and focused, I also rely on personal productivity systems. The core of most productivity systems is the age old idea of making to do lists and following up religiously on it. I have tried quite a few methods and of late the transition from to do to done has not been very smooth.