18 September 2010

Letter from Lhasa, number 179. (Basco 2010): The procrastinator’s guide to getting things done

Letter from Lhasa, number 179. (Basco 2010): The procrastinator’s guide to getting things done

by Roberto Abraham Scaruffi

Basco, M. R., The procrastinator’s guide to getting things done, The Guilford Press, 2010.

(Basco 2010).

Monica Ramirez Basco

Procrastination is when someone assigns oneself tasks do not accomplish or not really accomplish in the defined times. The real procrastinator infinitely procrastinates everything.

The solution might be to do nothing, even avoiding whatever dream of doing anything. Another solution might be to everything immediately. However it is not so easy.

This book approaches procrastination from a perspective called cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT. It is a type of psychotherapy that has been proven effective in the treatment of a variety of disorders such as depression and anxiety, as well as stress, chronic pain, and relationship problems.

(Basco 2010, p. xii)

A procrastinator, actually, would buy or borrow or download this book without ever reading it.

Procrastination is our comfort zone. It is where we feel the most at ease. It is familiar. We know how to do it. It doesn’t challenge us or scare us. Procrastination gives us temporary comfort in a world full of demands and uncertainties. It is our rest stop on the long road of life and responsibilities.

“Procrastination is also an altered state of reality. It is our happy place. It allows us to believe temporarily that we have nothing to do. It pushes our to-do list so far out of our minds that for a short while we can almost believe the list does not exist. It makes us believe we deserve to rest, relax, and take it easy. It makes us feel bold in justifying our inaction, inactivity, hesitation, and avoidance.

(Basco 2010, p. 2)

If procrastination is not, in some way, socially sanctioned, the procrastinator has no reason for changing one’s behaviour and “society” has no reason for putting efficient people at the place of procrastinators. If procrastination is socially sanctioned, procrastinators will find their natural positions, where their attitude cannot harm anything and anybody.

This book contains about 200 pages of analysis and advices.

If one does not substitute the pleasure of doing and achieving immediately to the pleasure of non-doing while dreaming with the inevitable failures and catastrophes, there are not tricks could cure a procrastination attitude.

Define goals and steps higher than you could reasonably achieve and achieve them. Define what is the most pleasant but practically unpleasant task you have defined, what you would certainly procrastinate, be it a great and big task!, and begin it immediately working on it more that you might have previously imagined and planned. Do it every day, and more than every day. Pleasure is contagious and pervasive of all your being. More you train yourself, more it’ll become easier, with the pleasure of seeing greater quantities of “work” done. Choose great tasks and something you really like and adore.

Know yourself! Working on the principle of pleasure, you’ll pleasantly reach what would have seemed desirable but practically impossible. The same organisation and self-organisation is something you have to build in your head. Each difficult and impossibly solvable task becomes easy is fragmented in a lot of easy solvable elementary tasks. Do always more than you should. More today, easier (and even more) tomorrow. You cannot know the time you have in the future. Do immediately more than you can. The depression of not having done is contagious. Also the happiness of having done and achieved. More you are doing, more you are enjoying yourself. Do you not have the pleasure of doing anything?! Do nothing! It is not a dogma, to do, to make, to achieve.

Basco, M. R., The procrastinator’s guide to getting things done, The Guilford Press, 2010.