WRITING: ON HABITS, 5

Procrastination has haunted me for years. Late payment penalties are my default; mails can sit for months¬†before I clear up; the laundry won’t start till I run out last pants; grocery shopping won’t happen till I empty everything in the refrigerator.

This chronic evil has a long history. In my childhood, my parents put excessive emphasis on sports and academic attainment; they never ask us to do any housework. We got a wrong message: as long as we excel in study or work, life would be just fine.

This single-minded mentality is further exacerbated by my work. In my field, the promotion takes seven long years of hard work, without clear sign in sight: it is a make-or-break-it deal. Under such pressure, people tunnel: they completely devote to work, keeping everything else to bare minimum.

Procrastination would be fine, if it only inflicts financial loss or daily inconvenience. But tragically, it hurts my credibility, ruins my self-esteem, and makes me unhappy.

Procrastination must go. Here is the simple rule I must engrain:
1) work on two todo (i.e., hated but necessary)  items, for at least 10 minutes each day;
2) post my plan and its outcome online daily.

This blog will record my shot on procrastination.

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[Niagara Falls, Canada, 6/10/2006]

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