Wednesday, December 11, 2002

My Faustian bargain (not literally, fortunately)
So, my past three years in grad school seem to have followed a very consistent pattern: I delay doing my work during the semester as long as possible, and then at the end I frantically attempt to make it up (or at least as much of it as possible). This provides me with the benefit of being slightly happier during the semester, at the cost of a couple of weeks of pure misery at the end. As you might have guessed from the two facts that (a) it's the end of the semester and (b) I haven't posted here in a week (thus undoubtedly disappointing my legions of loyal readers), I'm currently enjoying the less-appealing end of the bargain.

This has provided with an opportunity to meta-procrastinate by looking at my procrastination habits, at least. When I first feel like I have work to do, I'll try to decrease the number of activities which explicitly feel like not-work, like, say, leaving the apartment, or playing games which will obviously take up a large amount of time, or writing blog posts. This doesn't stop me from engaging in activities which are kind of like work, although they're not the work that needs doing; when I'm in heavy work periods, suddenly I feel the need to do the dishes, or clean up my room, or organize the contents of my hard drive. Then, as time goes on and there's not any fake work left, I'll lower the threshold for what constitutes "doing something productive", so that writing blog posts or emails or reading news now counts as "work" for the purposes of avoiding real work. Thus, the post you see before me. Eventually, I'll reach the point where not even my procrastination abilities can save me from actually getting work done, but as you can see, I haven't actually reached that point yet.

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