After twenty one years of struggling, I have crafted a system for beating procrastination that works for me. Perhaps it could work for you too. I find the concept simple: I have trouble taking actions that feel unjustified to me. So I need to connect every action I take to a reason. I find love a very powerful reason and motivator. Thus I have created the mantra, Do it Now, Out of Love.
The mantra reminds me of two important facts. First, anything I want to do has a higher probability of reaching fruition if I start it now, rather than later. In the gap between now and later a million catastrophes could strike. I could fall into a rift between universes, get struck by lighting, or change my mind and decide I don’t want to do it. So if I really want it done, I do it now.
Second, anything I will enjoy doing, I do out of love. It seems to me that only love can motivate me to get shit done. I have always procrastinated and slacked off on my own homework, but should a group assignment occur I rise to the occasion. I always felt more willing to help someone else with their homework than do my own.
To connect to the second point, I have crafted a template for the todo items I create on this wiki. The template goes like this:
- () I will do something I want to do because I love someone I love
This template fills out for me whenever I hit ctrl-z and I find it super convenient and useful. For example, some of my Sailthru todos look like this:
- (♥) I will fix Horizon Interest function 9985 because I love my team.
- (♥) I will finish 10826: (Support) Java Snapshot: “Viewed Page” criteria returns 0 results because I love Johnson.
And some of my personal todos look like:
- (♥) I will buy Broadway tickets because I love Daria.
- (♥) I will write about Do it Now, Out of Love because I love my friends and family.
You can also read about why I chose the word will.