Procrastination may be about anticipating emotional optimums, not time management


I was gonna comment on this thread but… I’ll do it later.


The Procrastination Doom Loop

Entered into my database of great roller coaster names.


People get on and then sit there, while the ride attendant keeps telling them it’s about to start.


People say they’re going to take the ride but then put it off until their next visit to the amusement park.

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Commenting on web articles is a big procrastination technique for me. Probably for others too. If procrastination is about waiting for a better mood, it’s not surprising that many internet commentators seem to be in bad moods.


Well I do have this problem, but the solution is obvious. Give in to the hopeless meaninglessness of existence. Acknowledge that we toil all our lives and gain nothing. Then, make that toilet sparkle! Because tomorrow is never a better time, it’s usually even worse.


The kicker for me is the note that casting Tetris as an evaluation induces stalling. That suggests to me what I’ve always felt about my own procrastination- that it’s a low grade rebellion at being put into a temporal box. An unscheduled day for me ends up being filled with 5x the activity of one with anything penciled in, and I would fail classes for late work that I put off to go read textbooks in the library. I wonder if the current understanding of the malfunctions of human temporal discounting are simply overlooking the extent to which (some) people are allergic to schedules.

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Why does it feel like they studied this topic instead of what they were supposed to be studying?


I think the word “may” in the title seems out of place, but I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks this way.

But for me the solution was to learn to recognize when emotional optimums do come, because they do. If you put off taking out the recycling because you aren’t in the mood to be active, then you have to recognize the next time you are in the mood to be active and remember that you have to take the recycling out.

This doesn’t work for dieting because your moods will continue to go up and down and if you are trying to diet then overeating when you are in a bad mood is possible the entire root of your problem to begin with. But for tasks you have to complete, I think putting things off until they don’t seem to depressing is great.

Sure, I’d like to just not be in a bad mood, but as the article says, you can’t just tell a depressed person to cheer up.

It is my “little reward” for getting something done… I tend to use BB as a palate cleanser between tasks, hence the little trifling posts.

(unless I am using BB as a distraction from some background task – still results in one-liner silly posts rather than well-thought out commentary)

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