Let me start by saying that I’ve had just about enough of the irony of battling through crippling procrastination while trying to write posts on procrastination and how to beat it. I’m not a professional at any of this, just a lifelong procrastinator who thinks about this topic all the time.
Alright, so last week we dove into the everyday inner struggle of the procrastinator to examine the underlying psychology going on. We know about the Instant Gratification Monkey (the part of your brain that makes you procrastinate) and his dominion over the Rational Decision Maker, but what’s really happening there?
The answer is that he has incredibly low confidence when it comes to this part of his life, allowing himself to become enslaved by a self-defeating, self-fulfilling prophecy. For the Have-To-Dos in my life, I’ll end up waiting until the last minute, panicking, and then either doing less than my best work or shutting down and not doing anything at all. Before we talk about how Storylines change, let’s examine, concretely, what the procrastinator even wants to change into.
There are two components of being able to achieve things in a healthy and effective manner—planning and doing. Procrastinators love planning, quite simply because planning does not involve doing, and doing is the procrastinator’s Kryptonite. But when procrastinators plan, they like to do it in a vague way that doesn’t consider details or reality too closely, and their planning leaves them perfectly set up to not actually accomplish anything. A big list is perhaps an early phase of planning, but planning must end with rigorous prioritizing and one item that emerges as the winner—the item you’re going to make your first priority. So let’s say your dream is to make your own app, and you know that if you build a successful app you could quit your job and become a full-time developer.
To un-icky the item, you need to read, research, and ask questions to find out exactly how one learns how to code, the specific means necessary for each step along the way, and how long each one should take.
A remarkable, glorious achievement is just what a long series of unremarkable, unglorious tasks looks like from far away. But when the actual moment arrives to begin that scheduled brick-laying, the procrastinator does what the procrastinator does best—he lets the monkey take over and ruin everything. And since we just stressed above that all achievement boils down to the ability to lay that one brick during that slot when it’s on your schedule, we seem to have isolated the core struggle here. So this diagram represents the challenge at hand anytime you take on a task, whether it’s making a PowerPoint for work, going on a jog, working on a script, or anything else you do in your life. Well unfortunately for procrastinators, they tend to miss out on both The Happy Playground and Flow. After he finishes, he feels decent because he accomplished something, but he’s also not that pleased because he knows he did an underwhelming job on the project because he had to rush so much, and he feels like he wasted most of his day procrastinating for no reason. The monkey absolutely hates stopping something fun to start something hard, and this is where you need to be the strongest.
It makes no sense to leave the Dark Woods in favor of the Dark Playground—they’re both dark.
The good news is, if you can power through a bit of the Dark Woods, something funny happens. The Tipping Point is important because it’s not just you who can smell the Happy Playground up ahead—the monkey can smell it too. Fighting through to the Tipping Point is hard, but what makes procrastination so hard to beat is that the Instant Gratification Monkey has a terribly short-term memory—even if you wildly succeed on Monday, when you begin a task on Tuesday, the monkey has forgotten everything and will again resist entering the Dark Woods or working through them. Start by thinking about the terms we’ve used in these posts, and if they resonated with you, write them down. Solicit external support by telling one or more friends or family members about a goal you’re trying to accomplish and asking them to hold you to it. If you really want to start a business, quitting your job makes the Panic Monster your new roommate. Lock yourself into something—put down a non-refundable deposit for lessons or a membership.
In the same way a great achievement happens unglorious brick by unglorious brick, a deeply-engrained habit like procrastination doesn’t change all at once, it changes one modest improvement at a time. Why do I think about this topic so much, and why did I just write a 19,000-word blog post on it?
A religion for the nonreligious. An even deeper look at the deal with the monkey and the other animals in your brain.


I have a question why actually that guy trying to saw a piece out of the corner of the house? I think it’s very important to try integrate long tasks or projects in to your daily life. First public online comment ever and have just one word: Awesome blog–even more awesome post! Not only that, but it only took me one day to build the hurried house, whereas it took me 10 days for the other one. Also, I still have to say that procrastination (IMO) is when you wait to the last minute to do something, but you still do it. Finally, I wonder if some of what you’re dealing with relates to your Generation Y post, where you seem to set some incredibly lofty goals for yourself. So maybe one factor at play here is by setting such lofty goals for yourself, some of which are likely out of your reach, you doom yourself to failure and disappointment. However, most people who procrastinate feel like crap while they’re procrastinating and feel just as bad after finishing something they procrastinated on.
I really love this analogy of the monkey and agree it gives clarity to the subject of procrastination. I’ve spent the last two weeks being this guy, who shoots himself in the foot while talking about gun safety, and I look forward to getting back to irony-free procrastination following this post. But this week, when we’re actually trying to do something about it, we need to dig even deeper.
He continues to have the intention to control the monkey, but he puts forth a hapless effort, using the same proven-not-to-work methods he’s used for years, and deep down, he knows the monkey will win. What do the right habits even look like, and where exactly will the procrastinator run into trouble? And the item that wins should be the one that means the most to you—the item that’s most important for your happiness. Procrastinators are great visionaries—they love to fantasize about the beautiful mansion they will one day have built—but what they need to be are gritty construction workers, who methodically lay one brick after the other, day after day, without giving up, until a house is built. The real author writes a couple pages, laying a brick, and the wannabe author writes nothing.
The Critical Entrance is where you go to officially start work on the task, the Dark Woods are the process of actually doing the work, and once you finish, you’re rewarded by ending up in The Happy Playground—a place where you feel satisfaction and where leisure time is pleasant and rewarding because you got something hard done.
Eventually, the deadline got so close, the Panic Monster suddenly came roaring into the room, freaking him out and causing him to fly through the task to hit the deadline. If you can get started and force the monkey into the Dark Woods, you’ve broken a bit of his will.
It’s not a fun place to be, and the Instant Gratification Monkey wants nothing to do with it. They both suck to be in, but the big difference is the Dark Woods leads to happiness and the Dark Playground leads only to more misery. Making progress on a task produces positive feelings of accomplishment and raises your self-esteem. The monkey doesn’t care if his instant gratification comes alongside you or at your expense, he just loves things that are easy and fun. You’ve become obsessed with the task and you lose interest in basically everything else, including food and time—this is called Flow. Laying each brick yields an inner struggle—and in the end, your ability to win this very specific struggle and lay brick after brick, day after day, is what lies at the core of a procrastinator’s struggle to gain control over his world. Part of the reason I assigned terms to so many of these feelings or phenomena—the Instant Gratification Monkey, the Rational Decision-Maker, the Panic Monster, the Dark Playground, Ickiness, Bricks, the Critical Entrance, the Dark Woods, the Tipping Point, the Happy Playground, Flow, your Storyline—is that terms help you clarify the reality of the choices you’re making.
Remember, this is all about showing yourself you can do it, so the key isn’t to be perfect, but to simply improve.
So much of what makes people happy or unhappy—their level of fulfillment and satisfaction, their self-esteem, the regrets they carry with them, the amount of free time they have to dedicate to their relationships—is severely affected by procrastination. TLDR, have given me wonderful feelers of great knowledgeability; you further causeth these feelers to overfloweth with overflowing overflowingness, and proveth upon more and increasing provingnation that 20 years of alcoholism haven’t totally destroyed my ability to learn and remember.
There is no requirement for individual trusts or CCGs to follow them if they don’t feel it is a priority versus balancing their budget with other critical areas. Basically faking your mind that’s just a regular chore you just do like going to work, vacuum your place or eating lunch.


If urgent items are involved, those will have to come first and should be knocked out as quickly as possible in order to make way for the important items (procrastinators love to use unimportant but urgent items as an excuse to forever put off the important ones).
So the final step in planning is to make a Brick Timeline, which slots bricks into the calendar. But the Instant Gratification Monkey isn’t logical and to him, the Dark Playground seems like much more fun. The monkey gains his strength off of low self-esteem, and when you feel a jolt of self-satisfaction, the monkey finds a High Self-Esteem Banana in his path.
Once you hit the Tipping Point, the monkey becomes more interested in getting to the Happy Playground than the Dark Playground. When this happens, you lose all impulse to procrastinate and now both you and the monkey are speeding toward the finish. It helps expose bad choices and highlights when it’s most critical to make good ones.
If the internet’s a huge problem, get a second computer for work that has Wifi disabled, and turn your phone on Airplane Mode during work sessions. So it’s worthy of being taken dead seriously, and the time to start improving is now. Most importantly of all, you have reminded me that sometimes a little goodness can EVEN come from people being insensitive and ignorant.
Just something you do every day without having the big overarching goal in mind.This is really something that helped me on my diet. Question is whether YOU prefer to have this conversation with the nihilist monkey in a happy playground or a dark playground.
I checked last night at around midnight (it was actually now Wednesday on the East coast) and it still wasn’t live, realizing what a huge problem procrastination is even for the guy who is writing about the cure. In this case, procrastination has a significant negative impact on the emotional state of the person procrastinating. You have no choice, you pick up the phone to call her, but she sends you a message at the same time.
So why would an otherwise capable person put forth such a lame and futile effort again and again? But a year later, the real author has a completed first draft of a book and the wannabe author has…nothing.
The slots are non-negotiable and non-cancellable—after all, it’s your first priority and the thing that matters most to you, isn’t it? The procrastinator who gets slightly better every week is a totally changed person a year later. However, thanks to Google, once upon a time I looked up those very letters—TLDR—and so now as I read your brilliant reply to this blog, I already know what they mean! It allowed me to do sports on almost every day for over 2 years now and I HATED sports before all that. Amazing article, your the king of the Internet right now and people are going to see it soon.
But because it just became part of my daily life I just did it – still with minor procrastinating of course, but in the end I never quit and with 50 kilos less on my ribs it really paid off. You used to be so ugly that your mother had to tie a steak around your neck, otherwise even the dog would not play with you. I can't find a brain.God created the earth, God created the woods, God created you too, but yes, even God makes mistakes! This cat, is cat, a cat, good cat, way cat, to cat, keep cat, an cat, idiot cat, busy cat, for cat, 20 cat, seconds cat! Nobody was home.Humor, especially in the form of laughter has been the discovery of the human species to counteract the daily stress and worries of life. Funny text messages give us the chance to share jokes with our friends, bringing a smile on their faces, even when we are physically thousands of miles apart.



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Comments to «Crush at work quizzes»

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