Writer's Block, Geek-Block, and Procrastination
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Writer's Block, Geek-Block, and Procrastination

A master procrastinator presents the solution.

Draw up a little piece of paper like the one shown below. Start taking notes.

On the left you write in your current tasks (the tasks you're blocked with)

In the right column you etch in anything you're worried about, any fears you have, and anything that's gonna stuff up when you try to do the things in the Action list.

Start anywhere.

You'll find that writing one action will lead to related anxieties. And writing down an anxiety will lead to actions that overcome this.

Action

Anxiety

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

In the action column you can write big goals or tiny little tasks. Your aim is to end up with at least one task small enough that you can get on with it.

In the anxiety column you can write big over-riding fears, or small concerns, problems, worries. Your aim is to get down to at least one problem that is small enough to be solved.

Both Actions and Anxieties are fractal in nature, recursively-composed of smaller and smaller versions of themselves. Identifying the components is the true battle for the mind-locked geek.

Some notes about the list.

  • Don't restrict yourself to any given topic. Sometimes the trouble is outside the expected scope. Nothing is off-topic.
  • It's not for other people to read, it's just for you.
  • It's not for keeping, so don't worry about what you write. The process of writing it down is what's important. Burn it later, if you want.
  • Just start writing the list. No need for prior thought.
  • Unfortunately, The real difficulty lies in recognizing that you are procrastinating/stopped in the first place.

What if the list doesn't work?

There are causes of geek-block/writer's block/procrastination that won't be helped by the ActionAnxiety list. If you can identify one of these causes, then address it directly (rather than addressing the symptomatic mental-blockage)

  • Depression
  • Hunger/Thirst
  • Tiredness/Exhaustion/Insomnia
  • Sexual Frustration
  • Low blood-sugar
  • Substance abuse (e.g. cravings or hangovers)
  • Illness
  • Meetings
  • Other. That damned other.

You might want to consider this mantra:

"I choose to start on one small imperfect step, knowing that I have plenty of time to enjoy life."

from here


secretGeek recommends:Feeling Good, by Dr David Burns Feeling Good

Related links





'ecomkid' on Wed, 14 Jul 2004 06:12:09 GMT, sez:

yes, this stuff works



'secretGeek' on Wed, 14 Jul 2004 20:27:57 GMT, sez:

thanks Ecomkid! glad it helps!

the tricky bit is recognising that you're procrastinating in the first place... but if you do realise - then this list trick should help.

best of luck
leon



'procrastinating tim' on Wed, 29 Jun 2005 15:43:35 GMT, sez:

very nice. thanks!



'Rob Smith' on Wed, 29 Jun 2005 19:35:25 GMT, sez:

Those interested in this might be interested in a roundtuit I blogged awhile ago:
http://roundtuit.blogsome.com/2005/04/05/payoff-pressure-pareto-planner/



'Nelson Rodríguez-Peña' on Thu, 30 Jun 2005 00:08:37 GMT, sez:

Great! Of course this is great for making a web app with a dynamic interface, maybe with Ajax... lets see... I'm already procrastinating!



'snow scorpion' on Fri, 01 Jul 2005 21:07:10 GMT, sez:

I've been using that form for years.

It's a standard technique in cognitive therapy.

For more info, look for books by a Dr. David Burns. Feeling Good, I think is the name of one of his books.



'tanya' on Tue, 05 Jul 2005 19:40:49 GMT, sez:

Isn't this just another way to avoid doing what you really should be doing? I don't think anything can help me - short of locking me in a windowless room with not even a pen - since that will lead to doodles, which will lead me to think I can make a book, which will lead me to start said book ... and avoiding what I should be doing :0)



'dj' on Mon, 11 Dec 2006 09:01:01 GMT, sez:

ive experienced it a lot of times ..and the only antidote for me is to feel so bad about myself ..or sorry for myself ..then i flush myself with these and t gets better ..i strat to write again



'are there casinos in italy' on Fri, 27 Aug 2010 07:33:01 GMT, sez:

I am definitely tired of struggling to find relevant and intelligent commentary on this subject. Everyone nowadays goes to the very far extremes to either drive home their viewpoint of that everybody else in the globe is wrong.




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