Procrastination gets Slashdotted

Slashdot, the tech news site with the tagline “News for Nerds. Stuff that matters”, generally reports on Cool New Stuff with a predictable editorial bent along the lines of Linux Rules! and Microsoft Sucks! When I read the comments, I get the feeling that the typical reader is a cranky Libertarian open source hacker that thinks most everybody else in the world is at least 25 watts dimmer than he is. But every now and then I see an item that surprises. For instance, look at this one, entitled How Do You Get Work Done? In it, a self-described procrastinator confesses his problem and asks for help. From the loud and prolonged response to this question, it’s clear that this is a common problem. Evolution may have equipped us with the ability to fight off a sabre-toothed tiger, but not a PlayStation and 150 channels of bad TV. Endless and immediately available amusement is one of the great troubles of our age. Here’s the original message.

I am currently a university student and have a major problem: being able to simply sit down and get work done. I can set aside a day to work, whether it is homework or contract work, and I will be lucky to have an hour done before dinner time. The only time I can actually get solid work done seems to be after midnight under a lot of pressure (ie. a deadline the next day) … I know many of you will have had the same problem. Can anyone please give advice on how to overcome this problem, be it a little trick, medication, or anything else?

I found it almost touching to read through the advice. It’s a rare enough thing to hear a young man in a public forum say “please help me.” But when it’s a voice amid the cacophony of cranky Libertarian coders, and when a hundred people swoop in with sincere advice, well, I think that’s encouraging. Heartwarming, even.

Now I happen to know that you, dear reader, sometimes have a problem with procrastination. How do you fight it off?

So much time to squander, and so little time to squander it in!

One thought on “Procrastination gets Slashdotted”

  1. Hey now, don’t go knocking a bunch of cranky Libertarian coders! I only admit to one of those designations, and Slashdot is my homepage, because they usually have interesting slants on things. And Microsoft DOES suck!

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