It’s easy to procrastinate without a structure. If there is too much ambiguity over what needs to happen next, then we pick the path of least resistance to pleasure. I have four tasks I still need to do this morning, but because it wasn’t clear how to proceed with any of them, I noticed I was about to set off several procrastinative traps. With a structure like this, it’s easier working on projects than procrastinating.
Here’s context for the screenshot above.
In November 2018, I used Trello as my daily calendar to manage my project workflows, organize my next tasks for Better Zombie publications, and plan out tasks to [eventually] do. Astute readers will notice the constant changes within my Trello boards. Rather than merely list tasks in random order, I just realized it would be more efficient to break down each task [within Trello, a card: “write about procrastination…”] into a list [“500”] of tasks, add in every task required to complete the initial task, then begin!
Some tasks are so easy they could take seconds.
Between making the “500” list and taking the screenshot, I already completed the first task. During this writing, I removed the “500” list because although it’s still in progress, it’s nearly done, freeing up space to focus on the next two important tasks: IGDA and SIGJ.
Indulge me as I write about the details:
- Finish up essay: I attended a talk given to game developers and wrote 1,200 words of notes. I’m boiling that into 750 words and am about halfway done. I’ve been overthinking this one, so I just need to wrap it up.
- Submit for review: Once complete, I’ll email the two customers about it.
- Import to WordPress: Trivial enough to exclude from editing the screenshot above.
- Import to Google Doc: This will allow for easier publication.
- Add suggestions of team clarification: I’ve had many readers and editors go through this 6,000 article, but I need to go back through and apply a suggestion to make things clearer by adding the team members each time the game is featured.
- Final read through for clarity: I haven’t read the document in a few weeks, so this will be a good time to read it with a fresh perspective.
- Pick pictures based on reading: I have enough photographs to pick through that could add context or give the reader something to digest the information by viewing.
- Import to WordPress: This will take a while at 6,000+ words and 10-15 photos.
- Import to Google Doc: Same.
Once I’m done, I’ll focus on moving four boxes of CDs [ZACA1-4] and four boxes of action figures [ZT001-4]. I’m not moving my bass yet, but it’s there because if I have any music related stuff, I can move those into my storage unit, too.
I know that seemed somewhat trivial.
After briefly playing Habitica again, I realized I don’t need to trick myself into doing work.
The motivation’s already there.
I just need the tasks to be clear enough to seem easier than procrastination.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: The IGDA talk was nearly a week ago. The official due date isn’t for another week, but I was so confident I would have completed it by now that I was a little disappointed in myself. Now I know that with a structure like the one shown above, I would have had it done. It wasn’t laziness. It was that the next step was too ambiguous for me, so I would do something easier.|
|Related: Other Moving Zeal essays.|
|Written On: November 25th [1 hour]|
|Last Edited: First draft; final draft.|