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Structured Procrastination

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Roy Harmon, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. #1
    Has anyone heard of Structured Procrastination? A Stanford philosophy professor named John Perry developed the idea. It seems like it started as a joke, but I think there's something to it.



    If you pick the right sort of task for the top of the list (one that won't get you in trouble if it takes a while to finish), this might be just the ticket to a more productive life for all you procrastinators out there.
     
    Roy Harmon, Jun 22, 2013 IP
    VukasinI likes this.
  2. qwikad.com

    qwikad.com Illustrious Member Affiliate Manager

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    #2
    It seems like it will be more applicable to either personal life or business leadership rather than to anyone in the workforce. There you do what you're told to do. And nobody likes procrastinators in the workforce and usually procrastinating gets them fired. But, yeah, I like the concept.
     
    qwikad.com, Jun 25, 2013 IP
  3. Roy Harmon

    Roy Harmon Member

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    #3
    It depends on your work environment. If you're working on an assembly line producing widgets or working as a receptionist (you can't put off answering the phones), then probably not. But I think there are a lot of jobs that allow employees enough leeway to implement a strategy like this.
     
    Roy Harmon, Jun 25, 2013 IP
  4. qwikad.com

    qwikad.com Illustrious Member Affiliate Manager

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    #4
    That's probably true. I have hard time understanding this line then: Doing these tasks becomes a way of not doing the things higher up on the list.

    Isn't it like saying: I am not going to do some things?
     
    qwikad.com, Jun 25, 2013 IP
  5. Roy Harmon

    Roy Harmon Member

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    #5
    It sounds that way, but no. According to the author:


    He gives an example from academia:

    What do you do for a living (if you don't mind my asking)? Are there any tasks like that on your desk?
     
    Roy Harmon, Jun 25, 2013 IP
  6. qwikad.com

    qwikad.com Illustrious Member Affiliate Manager

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    #6
    I work for myself. That's why I am not getting the author's perspective. If in the near future I decide to hire someone, I definitely do not want anyone with that type of attitude when it comes to their work ethics. And I think that's what it boils down to: it seems like the author has a different ethical background (or a different set of ethics) that is contrary to what I've been brought up with and learned through the years.
     
    qwikad.com, Jun 25, 2013 IP
  7. Roy Harmon

    Roy Harmon Member

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    #7
    If your next employee utilized this system properly, he would get all of his assignments done on time because he would have prioritized other more "important" (but less time sensitive) tasks "above" them. There's nothing unethical about it. The system is based on the idea that some things need to get done (like the work you assign to your employee). If your employee is a procrastinator, this system would help him get work done for you on time.

    See what I mean?
     
    Roy Harmon, Jun 25, 2013 IP
  8. qwikad.com

    qwikad.com Illustrious Member Affiliate Manager

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    #8
    I am not trying to contradict you for the sake of just contradicting, but something in his "philosophy" doesn't make sense to me. And as judge Judy says: "If something doesn't make sense it's probably not true." Well, may be in his case it is true and I can argue again saying that it may work for personal life or for those who are in leadership positions, but it's utterly impractical for the rest of the people. Again, this is just my opinion. The author himself admits that he failed to submit the essay for 11 months. 11 months! How does his own theory justify something like that? Two-three weeks... OK, I can handle that. 11 months? It borderlines with being ridiculous. I think he's just trying to justify his immaturity and laziness with a bunch of hogwash.

    By the way, don't take my arguments personally, I just see big holes in his theory, but I may be I am barking up the wrong tree.

    Have you practiced his approach in your place of work? Has it been working for you?
     
    qwikad.com, Jun 25, 2013 IP
  9. Roy Harmon

    Roy Harmon Member

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    #9
    I see what you mean about that particular example, but the author determined that the essay wasn't as important as it seemed and that the deadline wasn't as rigid as it seemed (apparently he was right about that part). I'll admit, I'd be a little disappointed to know he felt that way if I were the editor of the book the essay was to be published in.

    Anyway, I think the idea of structured procrastination was made mostly in jest -it won an Ig Noble Prize (a parody of the Nobel Peace Prize)- but I wondered if it might not have some practical application.

    Of course it would be nice if people would just do what they were supposed to do when they were supposed to do it, but I've known a lot of people who just can't seem to get started on big projects. They sit around playing solitaire or reading celebrity gossip. At least structured procrastination would have them doing something productive.

    But I don't consider myself a procrastinator so I haven't had the opportunity to test his method for myself. It might not be very effective at all. I just think it sounds like an interesting approach.

    (And don't worry about me taking it personally, I've enjoyed the conversation.)
     
    Roy Harmon, Jun 26, 2013 IP
  10. rbates

    rbates Greenhorn

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    #10
    Procrastination is procrastination - period. Even procrastinators manage to get things done. The term "Procrastinator" is just a label. There are reasons that people put things off such as fear, confusion, and the big one - just plain old lazy, to name a few. Usually, a sense of urgency will spark some form of activity. Yet, there are those who will still put off paying their electric bill. Lights out.

    Men, in general, are actually worse procrastinators than are women. I think that is why men have wives. The husbands complain about how their wives "Nag" at them. Why do wives nag? You guessed it - the husbands keep putting things off!
     
    rbates, Jul 1, 2013 IP
  11. Goggins Orion

    Goggins Orion Peon

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    #11
    It such insightful article highlighting on very relevant and educating topic to cover in the realm of modern academic lifestyle, especially I would like to highlight the invaluable comment you have made on procrastination, because even as an instructor in doctorate programs I have always encountered challenge to deal with procrastination especially when the tasks are repetitive therefore in order to keep myself hyperactive and intact with disciplined and rigorous work ethic, I have made myself responsible to participate with the student community in their research projects, and expand my presence as an expert to aid and provide assignment help for law students, elevating my interest by imparting array of valuable insights and dismiss procrastination.
     
    Goggins Orion, Jul 10, 2024 at 6:41 AM IP