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By Tim Urban

!"# %" &'(% )*"+*(,%-.(%-".


This is Part 2. You wont get Part 2 if you havent read Part 1 yet. For Part 1, click here.
___________
/*"0+*(,0%-0.(0%-". |pr!"krast!#n$SH!n, pr%-|
noun
the action of ruining your own life for no apparent reason

Let me start by saying that Ive had |ust about enough of the irony of battling through crippling
procrastination while trying to write posts on procrastination and how to beat it. Ive spent the last two
weeks being this guy, who shoots himself in the foot while talking about gun safety, and I look forward
to getting back to irony-free procrastination following this post.
A few notes before we begin:
Im not a professional at any of this, |ust a lifelong procrastinator who thinks about this topic all
the time. Im still in a total battle with my own habits, but I have made some progress in the last
few years, and Im drawing my thoughts from whats worked for me.
In this post, Im referring to both ADD and non-ADD procrastinators (and the line is often pretty
hazy between the two), but not those with severe ADD]ADHD, who need something different than
anything in this post can provide.
This post was posted late, not only because it took me 2,000 years to do, but also because I
decided that Monday night was an urgent time to open Coogle Earth, hover a few hundred feet
above the southern tip of India, and scroll all the way up India to the top of the country, to "get a
better feel for India. I have problems.
All right, so last week we dove into the everyday inner struggle of the procrastinator to examine the
underlying psychology going on. But this week, when were actually trying to do something about it, we
need to dig even deeper. Lets begin by trying to unwrap the procrastinators psychology and see
whats really at the core of things:
We know about the Instant Cratification Monkey (the part of your brain that makes you procrastinate)
and his dominion over the Rational Decision Maker, but whats really happening there?
The procrastinator is in the bad habit, bordering on addiction, of letting the monkey win. He continues
to have the intention to control the monkey, but he puts forth a hapless effort, using the same proven-
not-to-work methods hes used for years, and deep down, he knows the monkey will win. He vows to
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change, but the patterns |ust stay the same. So why would an otherwise capable person put forth such
a lame and futile effort again and again?
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N-G,'MV %" T'+"G' '.,M(H'Y TO ( ,'MV0Y'V'(%-.Q7 ,'MV0VLMV-MM-.Q /*"/N'+OI Lets call this self-fulfilling
prophecy his Storyline. The procrastinators Storyline goes something like this:
For the Have-To-Dos in my life, Ill end up waiting until the last minute, panicking, and then either doing
less than my best work or shutting down and not doing anything at all. For the Want-To-Dos in my life,
lets be honest-Ill either start one and quit or more likely, I |ust wont ever get around to it.
The procrastinators problems run deep, and it takes something more than "being more self-
disciplined or "changing his bad habits for him to change his ways-%N' *""% "V %N' /*"TM'G -,
'GT'YY'Y -. N-, =%"*OM-.'7 (.Y N-, =%"*OM-.' -, #N(% GL,% +N(.Q'I
* * *
Before we talk about how Storylines change, lets examine, concretely, what the procrastinator even
wants to change into. What do the right habits even look like, and where exactly will the procrastinator
run into trouble?
There are two components of being able to achieve things in a healthy and effective manner-planning
and doing. Lets start with the easy one:
)M(..-.Q

Procrastinators love planning, quite simply because planning does not involve doing, and doing is the
procrastinators Kryptonite.
But when procrastinators plan, they like to do it in a vague way that doesnt consider details or reality
too closely, and their planning leaves them perfectly set up to not actually accomplish anything. A
procrastinators planning session leaves him with a doers nightmare:
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A big list of vague and daunting things makes the Instant Cratification Monkey laugh. When you make a
list like that, the monkey says, "Oh perfect, this is easy. Even if your gullible conscious mind believes it
intends to accomplish the items on that list in an efficient manner, the monkey knows that in your
subconscious, you have no intention of doing so.
Effective planning, on the other hand, sets you up for success. Its purpose is to do the exact opposite of
everything in that sentence:
;VV'+%-H' /M(..-.Q %(X', ( T-Q M-,% (.Y ,'M'+%, ( #-..'*^

A big list is perhaps an early phase of planning, but planning must end with rigorous prioritizing and
one item that emerges as the winner-the item youre going to make your first priority. And the item
that wins should be the one that means the most to you-the item thats most important for your
happiness. If urgent items are involved, those will have to come first and should be knocked out as
quickly as possible in order to make way for the important items (procrastinators love to use
unimportant but urgent items as an excuse to forever put off the important ones).
;VV'+%-H' /M(..-.Q G(X', (. -+XO -%'G L.0-+XO^

We all know what an icky item is. An icky item is vague and murky, and youre not really sure where
youd start, how youd go about doing it, or where youd get answers to your questions about it.
So lets say your dream is to make your own app, and you know that if you build a successful app you
could quit your |ob and become a full-time developer. You also think that programming ability is the
literacy of the 21st century, and you dont have money to spend outsourcing development anyway, so
you decide to anoint "Learn how to code the winning item on your list-the number one priority.
Exciting, right?
Well, no, because "Learn how to code is an intensely icky item-and every time you decide its time to
get started, you will coincidentally also decide your inbox needs to be cleaned out and your kitchen
floor needs to be mopped, ASAP. Itll never end up happening.
To un-icky the item, you need to read, research, and ask questions to find out exactly how one learns
how to code, the specific means necessary for each step along the way, and how long each one should
take. Un-ickying a list item turns it from this:

Into this:

;VV'+%-H' /M(..-.Q %L*., ( Y(L.%-.Q -%'G -.%" ( ,'*-', "V ,G(MM7 +M'(*7
G(.(Q'(TM' %(,X,^

Icky combines with Daunting into an Instant Cratification Monkey steroid potion. And |ust because you
un-icky an item, it doesnt mean its still not horribly big and daunting. The key to de-dauntifying an
item is to absorb this fact:
A remarkable, glorious achievement is |ust what a long series of unremarkable, unglorious tasks looks
like from far away.
No one "builds a house. They lay one brick again and
again and again and the end result is a house.
Procrastinators are great visionaries-they love to
fantasize about the beautiful mansion they will one day
have built-but what they need to be are gritty
construction workers, who methodically lay one brick after
the other, day after day, without giving up, until a house is
built.
Nearly every big undertaking can be boiled down to a core
unit of progress-its brick. A 45-minute gym visit is the brick of getting in great shape. A 30-minute
practice session is the brick of becoming a great guitarist.
The average day in a wannabe authors week and a real authors week looks almost the same. The real
author writes a couple pages, laying a brick, and the wannabe author writes nothing. 98% of their day is
otherwise identical. But a year later, the real author has a completed first draft of a book and the
wannabe author hasnothing.
Its all about the bricks.
And the good news is, laying one brick isnt daunting. But bricks do require scheduling. So the final step
in planning is to make a Brick Timeline, which slots bricks into the calendar. The slots are non-
negotiable and non-cancellable-after all, its your first priority and the thing that matters most to you,
isnt it? The most important date is the first one. You cant start learning to code "in November. But
you can start learning to code on November 21st from 6:00 - 7:00pm.
Now youre effectively planned-|ust follow the schedule and youll be a programmer. Only thing left is
to do
?"-.Q

Its not that procrastinators dont like the concept of doing. They look at the bricks on their calendar
and they think, "Creat, this will be fun. And thats because when they picture the moment in the future
when they sit down and knock out a work session, they picture things without the presence of the
Instant Cratification Monkey. Procrastinators visions of future scenarios never seem to include the
monkey.
But when the actual moment arrives to begin that scheduled brick-laying, the procrastinator does what
the procrastinator does best-he lets the monkey take over and ruin everything.
And since we |ust stressed above that all achievement boils down to the ability to lay that one brick
during that slot when its on your schedule, we seem to have isolated the core struggle here. Lets
examine this specific challenge of laying a single brick:
So this diagram represents the challenge at hand anytime you take on a task, whether its making a
PowerPoint for work, going on a |og, working on a script, or anything else you do in your life. The
Critical Entrance is where you go to officially start work on the task, the Dark Woods are the process of
actually doing the work, and once you finish, youre rewarded by ending up in The Happy Playground-
a place where you feel satisfaction and where leisure time is pleasant and rewarding because you got
something hard done. You occasionally even end up super-engaged with what youre working on and
enter a state of Flow, where youre so blissfully immersed in the task that you lose track of time.
Those paths look something like this:
Sounds pretty simple, right?
Well unfortunately for procrastinators, they tend to miss out on both The Happy Playground and Flow.
For example, heres a procrastinator that never even gets started on the task hes supposed to do,
because he never makes it through the Critical Entrance. Instead, he spends hours wallowing in The
Dark Playground, hating himself:
Heres a procrastinator who gets started on the task, but she cant stay focused, and she keeps taking
long breaks to play on the internet and make food. She doesnt end up finishing the task:
Heres a procrastinator who couldnt bring himself to get started, even though a work deadline was
approaching, and he spent hours in The Dark Playground, knowing the looming deadline was drawing
near and he was only making his life harder by not starting. Eventually, the deadline got so close, the
Panic Monster suddenly came roaring into the room, freaking him out and causing him to fly through
the task to hit the deadline.
After he finishes, he feels decent because he accomplished something, but hes also not that pleased
because he knows he did an underwhelming |ob on the pro|ect because he had to rush so much, and
he feels like he wasted most of his day procrastinating for no reason. This lands him in Mixed Feelings
Park.
So if youre a procrastinator, lets look at what you need to do to get on the right path, one that will
leave you much happier.
The first thing you must do is make it through the Critical Entrance. This means stopping whatever
youre doing when its time to begin the task, putting away all distractions, and getting started. It
sounds simple, but this is the hardest part. This is where the Instant Cratification Monkey puts up his
fiercest resistance:
The monkey absolutely hates stopping something fun to start something hard, and this is where you
need to be the strongest. If you can get started and force the monkey into the Dark Woods, youve
broken a bit of his will.
Of course, hes not going to give up anytime soon.
The Dark Woods is where you are when youre working. Its not a fun place to be, and the Instant
Cratification Monkey wants nothing to do with it. To make things harder, the Dark Woods is surrounded
by the Dark Playground, one of the monkeys favorite places, and since he can see how close it is, hell
try as hard as he can to leave the Dark Woods.
There will also be times when you bump into a tree-maybe the |og is taking you on an uphill street,
maybe you need to use an Excel formula you dont know, maybe that song youre writing |ust isnt
coming together the way you thought it would-and this is when the monkey will make his boldest
attempt at an escape.
It makes no sense to leave the Dark Woods in favor of the Dark Playground-theyre both dark. They
both suck to be in, but the big difference is the Dark Woods leads to happiness and the Dark
Playground leads only to more misery. But the Instant Cratification Monkey isnt logical and to him, the
Dark Playground seems like much more fun.
The good news is, if you can power through a bit of the Dark Woods, something funny happens. Making
progress on a task produces positive feelings of accomplishment and raises your self-esteem. The
monkey gains his strength off of low self-esteem, and when you feel a |olt of self-satisfaction, the
monkey finds a High Self-Esteem Banana in his path. It doesnt quell his resistance entirely, but it goes
a long way to distracting him for a while, and youll find that the urge to procrastinate has diminished.
Then, if you continue along, something magical happens. Once you get 2]3 or 3]4 of the way through a
task, especially if its going well, you start to feel great about things and suddenly, the end is in sight.
This is a key tipping point-


The Tipping Point is important because its not |ust you who can smell the Happy Playground up ahead
-the monkey can smell it too. The monkey doesnt care if his instant gratification comes alongside you
or at your expense, he |ust loves things that are easy and fun. Once you hit the Tipping Point, the
monkey becomes more interested in getting to the Happy Playground than the Dark Playground. When
this happens, you lose all impulse to procrastinate and now both you and the monkey are speeding
toward the finish.
Before you know it, youre done, and youre in the Happy Playground. Now, for the first time in a while,
you and the monkey are a team. You both want to have fun, and it feels great because its earned.
When you and the monkey are on a team, youre almost always happy.
The other thing that might happen when you pass the Tipping Point, depending on the type of task and
how well its going, is that you might start feeling fantastic about what youre working on, so fantastic
that continuing to work sounds like much more fun than stopping to do leisure activities. Youve
become obsessed with the task and you lose interest in basically everything else, including food and
time-this is called Flow. Flow is not only a blissful feeling, its usually when you do great things.
The monkey is |ust as addicted to the bliss as you are, and you two are again a team.

Fighting through to the Tipping Point is hard, but what makes procrastination so hard to beat is that
the Instant Cratification Monkey has a terribly short-term memory-even if you wildly succeed on
Monday, when you begin a task on Tuesday, the monkey has forgotten everything and will again resist
entering the Dark Woods or working through them.
And thats why persistence is such a critical component of success. Laying each brick yields an inner
struggle-and in the end, your ability to win this very specific struggle and lay brick after brick, day after
day, is what lies at the core of a procrastinators struggle to gain control over his world.
So thats what needs to happen-but if procrastination could be solved by reading a blog entry, it
wouldnt be such a large problem in so many peoples lives. Theres only one way to truly beat
procrastination:
C"L .''Y %" /*"H' %" O"L*,'MV %N(% O"L +(. Y" -%I

You need to show yourself you can do it, not tell yourself. Things will change when you show yourself
that they can. Until then, you wont believe it, and nothing will change. Think of yourself like a
basketball player on a cold streak. For basketball players, its all about confidence, and an ice cold
shooter can tell himself 1000 times, "Im a great shooter, Im going to hit this next one, but its not
until he physically hits a shot that his confidence goes up and his touch comes back.
So how do you start hitting shots?
\K :*O %" -.%'*.(M-_' %N' V(+% %N(% 'H'*O%N-.Q O"L Y" -, ( +N"-+'I
Start by thinking about the terms weve used in these posts, and if they resonated with you, write them
down. Part of the reason I assigned terms to so many of these feelings or phenomena-the Instant
Cratification Monkey, the Rational Decision-Maker, the Panic Monster, the Dark Playground, Ickiness,
Bricks, the Critical Entrance, the Dark Woods, the Tipping Point, the Happy Playground, Flow, your
Storyline-is that terms help you clarify the reality of the choices youre making. It helps expose bad
choices and highlights when its most critical to make good ones.
`K a*'(%' G'%N"Y, %" N'M/ O"L Y'V'(% %N' G".X'OI
Some possible methods:
Solicit external support by telling one or more friends or family members about a goal youre
trying to accomplish and asking them to hold you to it. If thats hard for whatever reason, email it
to me-Im a stranger (contactwaitbutwhy.com)-and |ust typing out a goal and sending it to a
real person can help make it more real.
Create a Panic Monster if theres not already one in place-if youre trying to finish an album,
schedule a performance for a few months from now, book a space, and send out an invitation to a
group of people.
If you really want to start a business, quitting your |ob makes the Panic Monster your new
roommate.
If youre trying to write a consistent blog, put "new post every Tuesday at the top of the page
Leave post-it notes for yourself, reminding you to make good choices.
Set an alarm to remind yourself to start a task, or to remind you of the stakes.
Minimize distractions by all means necessary. If Tvs a huge problem, sell your Tv. If the internets
a huge problem, get a second computer for work that has Wifi disabled, and turn your phone on
Airplane Mode during work sessions.
Lock yourself into something-put down a non-refundable deposit for lessons or a membership.
And if the methods you set up arent working, change them. Set a reminder for a month from now that
says, "Have things improved? If not, change my methods.
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In the same way a great achievement happens unglorious brick by unglorious brick, a deeply-engrained
habit like procrastination doesnt change all at once, it changes one modest improvement at a time.
Remember, this is all about showing yourself you can do it, so the key isnt to be perfect, but to simply
improve. The author who writes one page a day has written a book after a year. The procrastinator who
gets slightly better every week is a totally changed person a year later.
So dont think about going from A to Z-|ust start with A to B. Change the Storyline from "I
procrastinate on every hard task I do to "Once a week, I do a hard task without procrastinating. If you
can do that, youve started a trend. Im still a wretched procrastinator, but Im definitely better than I
was last year, so I feel hopeful about the future.
Why do I think about this topic so much, and why did I |ust write a 19,000 page blog post on it?
Because defeating procrastination is the same thing as gaining control over your own life. So much of
what makes people happy or unhappy-their level of fulfillment and satisfaction, their self-esteem, the
regrets they carry with them, the amount of free time they have to dedicate to their relationships-is
severely affected by procrastination. So its worthy of being taken dead seriously, and the time to start
improving is now.

>.Y D".X'O (.Y )(.-+ D".,%'* ,%LVV'Y (.-G(M, +"G-.Q ,"".I Click here if you want us to email you
when theyre available.
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November 6, 2013 at 10:33 am - Reply
Been procrastinating all night waiting for this. Let the reading begin! Oh, and first!
November 6, 2013 at 10:54 am - Reply
Finally!
November 6, 2013 at 11:07 am - Reply
Your Life in Weeks
The Death Toll Comparison Breakdown
Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think
7 Credit Cards You Can't Ignore If You Have Excellent Credit
Next Advisor Daily
Morning Drive: Discussing Players Irons
Golf Digest
Seasonal Wedding Centerpiece Ideas
WeddingClan.com
fLG/ %" +"GG'.% V-'MY g
f(-MO
February 13, 2014 at 3:02 am - Reply
The description of the "dark playground is spot on. I have found one of the best ways to
fight progractination habits especially with a long pro|ect (PhD Dissertation) is to schedule guilt-free
pleasure time. Friday-night-Saturday -morning (or whatever slot you choose) is play time, no matter
what else is going on. You NEED some time out of the darkness. Somehow having that pre-planned
space brings strcutre to the work periods. It makes life worth living again.
>.".OG"L,
<(M/N &""%N
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
%*(H'MM'*
Thank you very much! Amazing article about my feelings right now! Lets start with the first brick!
November 6, 2013 at 11:09 am - Reply
Ill start beating the monkey once Ive figured out why that guy is trying to saw a piece out of
the corner of that house. And what practical use a nail on the exterior of the house could be used for.
November 6, 2013 at 11:13 am - Reply
Dude this was fantastic.and I can imagine how dreadful it was to start writing this
particular post. I even had goosebumps when I reached the part with the happy playground. Your
words kind of opened my eyes today! I never looked at this problem like this before. Thanks a lot man!
Respectful and earnest greeting from far away Switzerland!
November 6, 2013 at 11:17 am - Reply
TL;DR
November 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm - Reply
Thank You.
November 6, 2013 at 12:41 pm - Reply
Thanks for your work from Ukraine!
J(-% &L% JNO
=".O(
November 26, 2013 at 1:49 am - Reply
Its an advanced technique.
December 5, 2013 at 7:57 pm - Reply
I have a question why actually that guy trying to saw a piece out of the corner of the house?
>.".OG"L,
|une 6, 2014 at 3:43 am - Reply
The house shown is not the one hes building. The one hes building has a chunk
missing out of its corner
?(H-Y
|anuary 8, 2014 at 4:03 pm - Reply
I can |ust agree.
Now lets start it!
DO &(Y ='MV
November 11, 2013 at 8:35 am - Reply
Cool! I know what that means! A 140 IQ and two Ph.D.s dont help a poor boy integrate
much when he doesnt even speak the language. However, thanks to Coogle, once upon a time I
looked up those very letters-TLDR-and so now as I read your brilliant reply to this blog, I already
know what they mean! And I didnt even have to re-google them to be certain. Yea, for me!
You there, Mr.]Ms. TLDR, have given me wonderful feelers of great knowledgeability; you further
causeth these feelers to overfloweth with overflowing overflowingness, and proveth upon more
and increasing provingnation that 20 years of alcoholism havent totally destroyed my ability to
learn and remember. Most importantly of all, you have reminded me that sometimes a little
goodness can EvEN come from people being insensitive and ignorant. Thank you!
>.".OG"L,
|anuary 3, 2014 at 6:14 am - Reply
Amen
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
BLQ"B-(.
>.".OG"L,
?(.%'
November 6, 2013 at 1:41 pm - Reply
Ive been in the procrastination pits of hell for a long time now. The way you describe it all is
amazing, and I think your advice is spot on. Unfortunately for me, Im not strong enough to follow it, so
Im stuck here crying in the dark playground for life now.
(Wish Adderall was an option, but Im in the UK and its not used here. Its also pretty much impossible
to import.)
November 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm - Reply
I think its very important to try integrate long tasks or pro|ects in to your daily life. Basically
faking your mind thats |ust a regular chore you |ust do like going to work, vacuum your place or eating
lunch. |ust something you do every day without having the big overarching goal in mind.
This is really something that helped me on my diet. It allowed me to do sports on almost every day for
over 2 years now and I HATED sports before all that. But because it |ust became part of my daily life I
|ust did it - still with minor procrastinating of course, but in the end I never quit and with 50 kilos less
on my ribs it really paid off.
November 6, 2013 at 2:39 pm - Reply
Im definitely a Mixed Feelings Park person. If anythings got a deadline and isnt one of my
own goals, thats where Ill end up. If its something I want, Ill |ust stay in the Dark Playground. How
crazy is it that I always put my own desires after things like university, work, etc?
November 6, 2013 at 2:46 pm - Reply
|esus, the way you write, the analogies, the depictions and stuff is genius. I feel so
interpreted.
Thank you very much for sharing this.
November 6, 2013 at 2:48 pm - Reply
First public online comment ever and have |ust one word: Awesome blog-even more
awesome post!
November 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm - Reply
What to do if your monkey is a fucking nihilist?
?-.(*'.(
November 7, 2013 at 10:52 am - Reply
If you think you may have ADD]ADHD (procrastination was the main symptom that led to
my diagnosis of ADD) then get your CP to refer you to the Adult ADHD service in your area (they
should have one, NICE guidelines say there should be one and if your CP tries to fob you off or says
adult ADHD doesnt exist, show them the guidelines and insist on the referral, or change CP) -
although you wont get Adderall, the NHS does allow prescribing of Ritalin, Concerta and Dexedrine
which all have similar effects. Cood luck!
>M-,%(-*
|anuary 5, 2014 at 1:18 pm - Reply
NICE guidelines are |ust that. There is no requirement for individual trusts or CCCs to
follow them if they dont feel it is a priority versus balancing their budget with other critical
areas.
;S&
November 6, 2013 at 3:37 pm - Reply
Welcome to the interwebs!
>.".OG"L,
4(%' &L.Q'*
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
November 6, 2013 at 3:51 pm - Reply
Another great post. I imagine if you did it all once, or a part each day, like brick layering.
Congratulations, from Brazil.
November 6, 2013 at 4:27 pm - Reply
I waited all week for this blog post. The first time in my life Ive ever looked forward to a blog
post actually. I checked last night at around midnight (it was actually now Wednesday on the East coast)
and it still wasnt live, realizing what a huge problem procrastination is even for the guy who is writing
about the cure. Amazing article, your the king of the Internet right now and people are going to see it
soon.
November 6, 2013 at 5:03 pm - Reply
This is hilarious and spot-on. Cood luck with your brick-laying.
November 6, 2013 at 5:16 pm - Reply
Thanks. Your advice is great. So is your blog.
November 6, 2013 at 5:18 pm - Reply
I guess I still dont get what youre talking about. As I said in part 1, I consider myself to be a
chronic procrastinator. On most things, I wait until the last minute. But I also think, "So what? Coing to
your house analogy, when I compare the house I made at the eleventh hour to the ones I make when I
take the time to lay one brick at a time, the two arent significantly different, and honestly a lot of times
the houses I make in a rush look better to me.
Not only that, but it only took me one day to build the hurried house, whereas it took me 10 days for the
other one. Why would I take 10 days to do something I can do in one?
Also, I still have to say that procrastination (IMO) is when you wait to the last minute to do something,
but you still do it. If it never gets done, you didnt procrastinate, you |ust didnt do it. Thats the
difference between "procrastination and "being irresponsible.
Finally, I wonder if some of what youre dealing with relates to your Ceneration Y post, where you seem
to set some incredibly lofty goals for yourself. Look at what you wrote in the post.be a great guitarist,
get in great shape, be an independently wealthy app developer. OF COURSE those things are hard to do
and frustrating, because in most cases, unless youre truly special, they are beyond your abilities.
Remember your Cen Y post? "You can be anything! Youre special! Well, the reality is youre probably
not.
So maybe one factor at play here is by setting such lofty goals for yourself, some of which are likely out
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
November 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm - Reply
oh mine is a HUCE nihilist. i cant ever get anything done because my monkey tells me i may as well
skip it since nothing matters anyway and were all going to die. still, AMAZINC post.
November 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm - Reply
A nihilist monkey is right. Nothing matters anyway. Question is whether YOU prefer to have
this conversation with the nihilist monkey in a happy playground or a dark playground.
>.".OG"L,
|anuary 2, 2014 at 5:48 pm - Reply
nice !
of your reach, you doom yourself to failure and disappointment. "I wanna be a great guitar player ->
years of frustrated practice because youre not talented enough. Try setting more achievable goals for
yourself, e.g., "I wanna learn to play the guitar, and if you end up being great, itll happen because you
have a natural love for it and will never want to stop playing (it becomes your dark playground). If not,
you have to learn to be satisfied with |ust knowing how to play guitar a little.
1-G
>.".OG"L,
November 6, 2013 at 10:27 pm - Reply
Its about how you feel in those other 9 days, and while youre doing the work on the 10th.
If procrastinating doesnt make you feel bad, and rushing]cramming doesnt make you feel bad
you dont have a problem, I guess. Procrastination isnt something that negatively affects you.
However, most people who procrastinate feel like crap while theyre procrastinating and feel |ust as
bad after finishing something they procrastinated on. The looming nature of a task put off can
provoke anxiety. In this case, procrastination has a significant negative impact on the emotional
state of the person procrastinating.
November 7, 2013 at 2:06 pm - Reply
"when I compare the house I made at the eleventh hour to the ones I make when I take the
time to lay one brick at a time, the two arent significantly different, and honestly a lot of times the
houses I make in a rush look better to me.
I agree with this statement. Maybe this is the irony. In art the Monkey probably plays a pretty
important role in beauty and meaning.
I really love this analogy of the monkey and agree it gives clarity to the sub|ect of procrastination. I
|ust wonder The building is made of neatly laid 'bricks, small tasks like 'write 100 words in 5
minutes or 'go to a 30 minute class. I agree, it is. Could the whole reason youre building, youre
purpose, could be thought of as its foundation. Ironically, in art, the monkey may be the key to
building the foundation.
Can a monkey be a muse, I wonder? In Betty Edwards book "drawing with the right side of the
brain she mentions that our rational brain has a lot of preconceived notions about what things
look like. It distorts, not in a good way, but in a rather predictable and boring way. So we have to
frustrate our rational brain until it shuts down and shares the power. Turning your picture upside
down usually pisses it off. This switch then calls in the spatial side to make decisions. Cetting away
from the verbal side to the spatial side can be a step toward our intuition or, at least, our
unconscious side. Maybe this transition to the right brain is a step toward our monkey. A key to
creativity. (there is definitely a feeling of struggle as it happens, same as you describe. She is also a
genius for suggesting we fight this fight. very helpful)
Artistic considerations-unconscious choices of color, line, direction and imagery, guided by
emotions, could be the domain of the monkey. They feel like a whim. 'I |ust Felt Like It-type
decisions. These are the things that give life, beauty and personal meaning to your building. They
separate your building from every other brick building on your street. They give you a reason to
build it.
I would never give my Monkey the steering wheel to the car. It is a trickster, after all. But, a good
switching system, knowing when to defer to your monkey, when to take the reigns, seems key. If
you value a meaningful life.
=G'G"*(%"
April 29, 2014 at 9:50 am - Reply
No, it doesnt semm likely. The analogy beetween the monkey and the "creative part of
the brain doesnt fit well because the monkey is as verbal and submissive to preconcepts as
the rational guy is.
Meaningful life concept: is |ust wishfull thinking about your past, your future and life of others,
bI believe is one of the most subtle dark playgrounds.
|ust en|oy, please, and dont feel frustrated if youre not part of 2% supergeniuses which
armonize beetween the subconscious-logic and creativity. Many of them could be having a
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
B-_ (% !LG(. 4(%L*'
November 6, 2013 at 5:33 pm - Reply
I feel so inspired! Ha
And I loved the dark forest tree. Im going to make my monkey my B*tch!
November 6, 2013 at 5:47 pm - Reply
WOW! These last two articles |ust saved me $700 in cognitive behavioral therapy sessions.
Talk about timely - THANK-YOU!
November 6, 2013 at 5:53 pm - Reply
This is CREAT. Spot-on. I think my monkeys in hiding now.
November 6, 2013 at 5:57 pm - Reply
This was amazing. I think you even inspired my monkey. Thank you.
November 6, 2013 at 5:58 pm - Reply
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
DO &(Y ='MV
November 8, 2013 at 12:35 am - Reply
|im,
I used to feel the way you describe when I procrastinated. But now I dont, because Ive learned to
look at it differently. Rather than being upset that I waited until the last minute, I think its pretty
cool that I can work one-tenth as hard as most everyone else around me, and still usually out-
perform them. IOW, my last-minute-house is usually as good as, or better than, their one-brick-at-a-
time-house.
I think the "feeling bad came from my mom. She would see me in my room, cramming for a test or
writing a paper the night before its due, and yell "Why do you do this? You should have started a
month ago! Whats wrong with you??!! As a kid, you get the message: when you procrastinate,
you should feel bad and guilty.
It took a while, but with some deep introspection I got past that. Now I love the fact that I can have
both a rational person pilot AND an instant gratification monkey and still be successful. I cant
imagine going through life without that monkey. Must be boring as hell.
November 8, 2013 at 12:37 am - Reply
As far as the monkey being a muse, yeah I can see that. Im not terribly artistic, even
though I am creative (more of a problem solver), and now that I think about it, I think youre right.
That monkey and the places he takes me are a big source of my creative ideas.
November 11, 2013 at 9:07 am - Reply
Anonymous: "Remember your Cen Y post? 'You can be anything! Youre special! Well,
the reality is youre probably not.
If happiness is fulfilling ones potential, then hell is being a tested, proven, and certified genius that
cant help but amount to nothing. Sadly, nobody has much sympathy for tortured, underachieving
geniuses-except other tortured and underachieving geniuses. Like the Beautiful Prom Queen
crying in a bathroom stall during the dance about how lonely it is to be pretty, because nobody sees
you as a real person: those to whom much has been given must mostly cry alone. Nonetheless, its
the worst kind of nightmare, if suicide statistics are any measure of pain, and any person who
works to mitigate human suffering of ANY kind deserves our praise and great respect.
shitfull life in some war-ripped-off country, or being assholes.
S(f'%(.
>#',"G'MO2h
>.".OG"L,
)(G a"MM-.,
S-GT'*MO ?(H-,
This. Is. Brilliant. Please turn it into a book. |ust a short one. An ebook. If you dont (or cant get around
to it) can I do it for you? I liked Mixed Feelings Park especially. And the Panic Monster. Absolutely
genius. Thank you.
November 6, 2013 at 5:59 pm - Reply
Creat post, and very entertaining!
We actually developed web app called "Alive (https:]]www.alive.do) that helps you use the exact same
methods you recommended in your post - breaking goals into small steps, getting external support
from friends, creating reminders etc. (and I dont usually advertise this in comments, but here it |ust fits
perfectly).
Keep up the great work!
November 6, 2013 at 6:12 pm - Reply
I think this was written for me! I am in the process of learning SharePoint and one of my
goals is to learn coding.. itll take me some time but I am guilty of massive procrastination! Ive
definitely learned to take smaller chunks and lay one brick at a time otherwise the overwhelming factor
kicks in and things seem impossible. Its all about perception; we handle things better in smaller doses!
Have a great one -Iva
November 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm - Reply
"No one wants to be on Adderall. Speak for yourself.
November 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm - Reply
Excellent post! |ust excellent! Co spend some time in your well deserved happy playground
November 6, 2013 at 7:11 pm - Reply
There is also something to be said for **allowing** your instant gratification monkey to
have free reign for a little while. It helps me to actually schedule some dark playground time. If I give
my monkey 15 minutes over my lunch break and fifteen minutes before I leave work I find that Im less
likely to run home and get on my laptop and procrastinate the dishes, tape off that room that needs
painted and watering my plants. I guess what Im trying to say is that Im a procrastinator, I accept this.
But, I dont feel the **guilt** that comes with this affliction as often if along with scheduling time for
the brick laying i schedule time for my monkey too. Maybe it wont make sense to some that I actually
schedule time throughout my day to procrastinate but it works for me. I give myself some time to check
this blog on Wednesdays even though I should be working and i dont feel guilty about it all because it
is part of my Wednesday schedule. Now, back to work.
=".O(
=(GL'M h(G"*(
November 7, 2013 at 11:37 am - Reply
Thank you I will try!
November 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm - Reply
Looks neat! Congrats. Hope youll help lots of people
>.".OG"L,
|anuary 2, 2014 at 6:04 pm - Reply
Looks great Sonya
DO &(Y ='MV
November 11, 2013 at 8:45 am - Reply
Bravo! Yes, please lets do speak for ourselves. Which reminds me-time for my meds!
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
'MiG".%O
>.YO
November 6, 2013 at 7:20 pm - Reply
thank you.. the post is really amazing and insightful .. it has given me clarity which i was
looking for
November 6, 2013 at 7:28 pm - Reply
thank you <3
November 6, 2013 at 7:44 pm - Reply
I absolutely LOvE the writing on this site.
November 6, 2013 at 7:46 pm - Reply
Dude. The fact that a tried-and-true procrastinator, as you must be (since you know the
feelings so well), and as I am, can still end up creating this magnificent blog, is already an inspiration.
November 6, 2013 at 7:51 pm - Reply
There are two more characters we could add to this:
1. The "Cive Me Attention Puppy Dog
The Cive Me Attention Puppy Dog hangs out all day in the dark playground waiting to be played with.
Sometimes, its the IC Monkeys good friend, and hell beg you to be nice to the CMA Puppy Dog by
replying to his]her constant texts, phonecalls, emails and social media stuff.
Other times, the IC Monkey doesnt really like the CMA Puppy Dog, but he sure as heck likes it more
than the Dark Woods. So either way hell try to pull you out of the Dark Woods to |oin his friend. No
matter the IC monkeys true feelings for CMA Puppy Dog, he]she wont care. So the more time the two
of them spent together, the louder the CMA Puppy Dogs whine becomes.
If the CMA Puppy Dog is your roommate, this is BAD news.
2. "You Shall Not Pass Troll
The You Shall Not Pass Troll is a formidable enemy who lives in the Dark Woods. Depending on your
task, he can appear regularly, tormenting and wasting your precious time. Some YSNP Trolls appear
when you encounter mentally challenging roadblocks in your work. They can also appear when you
have to wait on hold for half an hour to solve a problem with your Internet connection, or you get stuck
in line at the post office when a bunch of old ladies (who are permanently in the Happy Playground)
dont understand basic instructions. Defeating the trolls (sometimes many a day) is necessary, and they
>.".OG"L,
1".
1".
December 12, 2013 at 5:52 am - Reply
You are not a procrastinator.
|anuary 2, 2014 at 6:11 pm - Reply
This is a procrastinators dream mate! We schedule tasks & breaks, but always make the
wrong choice. Its seriously awful - you should feel blessed that you dont understand the problem
Planning to take 15 mins on the net DURINC YOUR LUNCH is not procrastination
|anuary 2, 2014 at 6:13 pm - Reply
Congratulations Kimberley! We hope to |oin you in the Happy Playground Sometime in 2014
Q-"..-
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
:N' ;H(.,%". ?(%'T""X'*
reveal everything that the IC Monkey hates about the Dark Woods.
The longer you spend engaging with the YSNP Trolls, the louder the IC Monkeys begging to go to the
Dark Playground becomes. Youll need the cunning wit of Bilbo Baggins to proceed with spirits high.
November 6, 2013 at 7:54 pm - Reply
Than you! Although it made me feel very guilty.
Regards from an Italian reader.
November 6, 2013 at 8:09 pm - Reply
Thank you
November 6, 2013 at 8:43 pm - Reply
Excuse me, but is that a tiny pygmy marmoset lurking in the dark playgroud in the
illustration of the instant gratification monkeys boldest attempt at an escape? (The first time I saw a
picture of a marmoset was after reading about it here. It cost me two hours of work time, but it was
worth it). Oh, and thank you for a post full of innsight and useful advice and thank you even more for
the best blog on internet. Keep on fighting that monkey. -Karen from Norway-
November 6, 2013 at 9:18 pm - Reply
I love that little reddit alien you got there in the dark playground. haha. but thank you so
much, this gives me hope.
November 6, 2013 at 9:27 pm - Reply
"Adderall Sergeant, a salty character hah! hilarious stuff! fantastic blog.
November 6, 2013 at 10:50 pm - Reply
"Nobody wants to be on Adderall
Really? I strongly beg to differ. Adderrall basically teleports me to Flow and I fucking love it.
November 6, 2013 at 10:51 pm - Reply
If you ever get tired of blogging once a week, consider expanding this into a book (it
=(GL'M h(G"*(
November 7, 2013 at 2:38 pm - Reply
Yeap, I know those two. U dont have to be a compulsive procrastinator to deal with them
constantly. Moments like those wouldnt be bad to have a magic wand, or a magic Ak47, bazooka, or
anything else that clears the path nice and easy. (Dont F*ck with my concentration B*tches!)
Kill the Instant Cratification Monkey!
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
November 6, 2013 at 9:30 pm - Reply
cmon!!! its http:]]www.reddit.com!
November 6, 2013 at 9:42 pm - Reply
Thats actually Snoo, the mascot of Reddit.
November 7, 2013 at 10:36 am - Reply
Oh. Sorry. I wasnt familiar with that website. I am now, though. Thanks!
D(-
2DWP3:=<2!3:
wouldnt take too much time in the "Dark Woods and hit the lecture circuit. This is brilliant! My Instant
Cratification Monkey took a lot of spins on the tiller this week because it knew its days were numbered!
Now with the second half of your missive, Im outfitting that monkey with a harness, and we are going
to MOvE FORWARD to The Happy Playground, brick by brick.
November 6, 2013 at 11:03 pm - Reply
I am going to lure the Instant Cratification Monkey and myself to the Critical Entrance.
Tomorrow. Yes, definitely. No, really!
(Thank you, WBW Person! I love your blog and this post is one of my favorites. Love from France <3)
November 6, 2013 at 11:10 pm - Reply
This is hands down your most informative, and helpful, yet.
Btw, you had said in your earlier post (Putting Time in Perspective) that "The most important skill of a
species intelligent enough to understand both their insignificance and their mortality is the capability
for distraction. If I put this statement and the above post together, it seems that the instant
gratification monkey is of some use after all, whether in the dark or happy playground. Without the
instant gratification monkey, wed do nothing. Wed |ust waste away, knowing we dont matter and
never will. The instant gratification monkey is responsible for fantasizing about the beautiful mansion,
while the rational decision maker is responsible for laying the bricks while preventing the monkey from
getting ahead of himself. By the time they cross the tipping point and enter the happy playground
together, theyd have finally begun to co-exist. Hence, it appears that it is necessary for them both to
co-exist. This is why I think even the non-procrastinators brain would have an instant gratification
monkey, except, itd be on a leash. "I think long-term sounds like the non-procrastinator is
romanticizing about the future. Any plan of action is acted upon only after romanticizing about it,
which, I assume, is the |ob of the instant gratification monkey.
Irrespectively, this is a great post and those terms have been burned into my brain for life. My instant
gratification monkey is already romanticizing about my eventual state of flow.
>.".OG"L,
November 9, 2013 at 1:46 pm - Reply
You make a good point: "Maybe the instant gratification monkey is of some use but, what
if you take this a step further. What if the 'Rational Mind is of some useto the Monkey. Maybe the
Monkey should be needs to be consulted before ordering the bricks to be laid.
Does the monkey always want to derail us? Or does it know who we really are and what we really
want and need at some basic level. Should we pay attention to some of its diversions? An example:
someone working as an accountant who obsessively wants to play guitar instead. Maybe the
monkey is saying, "Putting numbers into columns is not who you are Maybe listening to ones
inner monkey can get you to re-think a practical but unfulfilling career choice. Couldnt your
monkey be the one who makes you decide to stay up late playing guitar only to miss work the next
day, gives you a stomach ache at every meeting, spills coffee on your boss, makes you forget to set
the alarm clock? Would it help to 'kill the monkey or should you look at these things as a sign that,
deep inside, you may not be cut out to be an accountant?
Maybe the 'Standard Procedure-Rational Brained Bricklayer, the one who figures out time
schedules and divvies out bite sized tasks, is the b*tch. In service of the inner Monkey. Who holds
the leash and who wears the collar?
What is 'higher intelligence, could it be a matter of figuring out when to be guided by our monkey
and when he is derailing us. He does both. But maybe hes got an 'in to our subconscious and we
can learn from him. Our decision making brain needs his services because the rational mind deals
only with the outer world.
'Romanticizing , I agree, is important. I like that term, it implies that tasks and practical concerns
havent been taken into consideration. But, more importantly I think, 'romanticizing is a good term
because its like a daydream that feels good. Daydreaming about something that feels good is the
PL.G'%(M P'-,N(
1L,%'.
>.".OG"L,
+N'MM,/'+X'*
November 6, 2013 at 11:21 pm - Reply
Ive refused to read blog posts over 2000 words, but with this, I was riveted - I didnt think
anyone could come up with a single effective suggestion that could be employed against my personal
procrastination. However, "create a Panic Monster |ust might be a stroke of genius. Ive only ever
gotten anything done under the gun.
Your panel - the tug of war with the monkey at the border of The Dark Woods and The Dark
Playground: Coing to make it my desktop picture until I start and finish the six or so tasks that have
been tormenting me for weeks.
November 7, 2013 at 1:32 am - Reply
|ust today I started telling people that "I am going to take the patent bar on December 2nd
after Ive been telling people Ill take it when Im ready for the last three months. So I guess I better
start studying for it
But first I have to take a bar tending course I bought from Croupon. Damn monkey.
November 7, 2013 at 1:44 am - Reply
This is one of the smartest, funniest, most helpful blogs on the internet. Creat work.
November 7, 2013 at 2:55 am - Reply
Somebody recently shared an insight with me about her procrastination, that made me think
about it slightly differently. (I also suffer a lot from it) She recounted that when she was a student, she
would do her assignments at the last minute and usually not end up getting a very good mark. Okay,
but not great. BUT she could blame not getting a good mark on having done it at the last minute. It was
an excuse that was always available. She realized that she had a terrible fear of failure. Which seems
contradictory but actually makes sense. The worst possibility was that she would do HER vERY BEST on
start of knowing who you are and obsessing on what we daydream about tells us if we can stick to it
or are good at it-Only then should you order all those bricks. Call in the rational mind.
These labels, monkey and dark playground, etc, are a wonderful start to discuss this sub|ect. WBW
person, youre amazing. But some of the comments about 'kill the monkey are on the wrong track.
I wish we could understand the good and bad sides of both the rational and irrational decisions.
And not choose sides.
1".
|anuary 2, 2014 at 6:22 pm - Reply
Hmmmm, my monkey wants to play Fifa & bass
PL.G'%(M P'-,N(
J(-% &L% JNO
1".
November 16, 2013 at 8:37 pm - Reply
Is it weird to reply to yourself? I feel an obligation to report that right after I posted the
above comment, I did indeed make that image my desktop. I chuckle every time I open my laptop,
because that monkeys funny. And um, I havent once thought about the admonishment the entry
sign is supposed to represent. Sigh. My procrastination goes deep and might require
electroshock I mean, who tracks their own comment among hundreds?!
November 26, 2013 at 1:57 am - Reply
Maybe it didnt work, but Im amused at picturing that picture on a desktop.
|anuary 2, 2014 at 6:24 pm - Reply
tug of war the woods entrance is now my wallpaper lets hope it helps! please please
please
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
X'MMO T
>.".OG"L,
%N-,M-V'(.Y%-G',I+"G
:N"G(, !'+X'*
>.".OG"L,
=".O(
something and STILL FAIL. That was her fear. So by sabotaging her own efforts, she always had
something she could blame her poor performance on. It made a lot of sense to me, and I realize I do
the same thing. Im trying to get more comfortable with the idea of failure. Some people I know have
even suggested as an exercise trying to do something BADLY as a way of defusing perfectionism.
Theres something about the excitement of starting something with a beginners mind, not really
knowing how it will turn out out, without a huge burden of expectations, thats so much more fun than
forcing myself to do something I have to do a very good |ob of. But Im not very good at it myself and
all of this is theoretical as I continue to self-sabotage and play with the monkey. |ust thought Id share. I
love your blog.
November 7, 2013 at 4:02 am - Reply
Not sure if it was mentioned above but David Allens "Cetting Things Done has a lot of
useful tools and techniques that are well applicable to this challenge (esp. breaking stuff up into
manageable steps).
November 7, 2013 at 4:03 am - Reply
The Tipping point is absolutely true. Thats why its so SO SO important to break your goals
and tasks into smaller chunks. If instead of saying "Im gonna write 100 pages today you say "Im
gonna write 20 pages today, it becomes that much more manageable.
For me, Im a writer, so I keep track of 1000 word increments. I use pomodoro timers to keep myself on
task, and the first 2000 words of a day are the absolute hardest. If I can push past 2300 words, I can
always get to 5000-6000 words super easily.
At 2300 words, I can say "Well, I really want to stop, but Im only 700 words from 3000. then "Im
only 1000 from 4k, and that last 700 wasnt very hard then "Well Im so close and it |ust gets
easier and easier.
I also put my phone in the corner of the room so I cant pick it up mindlessly. That helps a ton too.
Make habits and structure for yourself to combat your desire to screw around in the dark playground. It
wont cure it, but it will help.
November 7, 2013 at 4:33 am - Reply
Oh no, Ive already started saying "Its not my fault, its my monkey!
November 7, 2013 at 5:17 am - Reply
So true and enlightening xxx
November 7, 2013 at 7:45 am - Reply
Pure genius. I love this blog.
http:]]www.thislifeandtimes.com
November 7, 2013 at 9:37 am - Reply
Thank you very much!
November 7, 2013 at 11:18 am - Reply
I procrastinated to read this post later .
All hail to my monkey
November 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm - Reply
>.".OG"L,
:"G
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
=".O(
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
>TT'O
Hi Dark Woods!
See you later.
November 7, 2013 at 12:55 pm - Reply
Thank you very much.
November 7, 2013 at 2:26 pm - Reply
Hah wow, its like you peer deep inside the inner workings of my brain! Thanks so much for
this post! The brick analogy sounds a lot like Kaizen
November 7, 2013 at 2:52 pm - Reply
Thank you so much for this post - Ive never, ever, seen the topic of procrastination
explained so lucidly, so accurately. Ive read bits and pieces like this before, but youve put it together in
a way that is so accurate, and accurately explains how to beat it. Thank you so much. I think this will be
a life-changer for many readers.
November 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm - Reply
Admittedly, I did en|oy the fact that you went on Coogle Earth to get a better feel of India
(pretty cool) I realized I would do something like that too. What a great article, now that my coffee
internet time is done, I should get back to my essay writing. Thank you
November 7, 2013 at 5:15 pm - Reply
I read A LOT, and whilst I have admittedly read this amazing piece on bad-monkey time, it
wasnt guilt-inducing in the slightest because it has shown me the way! Off to lay some bricks
November 7, 2013 at 6:01 pm - Reply
Today it was the Flow! Wow)
November 7, 2013 at 6:23 pm - Reply
Are you a mind-reader or something? That was 2,000 percent accurate.
November 8, 2013 at 5:00 pm - Reply
Melhor texto que | li na vida, obrigado.
November 8, 2013 at 5:09 pm - Reply
I procrastinated READINC this post until now, |ust because I knew it would be motivational
and good for me.
DO &(Y ='MV
November 11, 2013 at 9:59 am - Reply
Ditto. My cousin gave me the links to parts 1&2 three days ago. I only read part one last
night because I needed a reason to put off doing this other pro|ect Im supposed to be doing. I read
part two |ust now for the same reason. Was it good for me? Its not unpleasant to know my
struggle is not unique, but on the other hand, if I could wave a magic wand and become the only
person in the world with this problem, I would gladly do it.
The difference between pleasure and pain while reading this article is a persons capacity for hope.
As I read, I couldnt help thinking, "This guy]girl has good intentions, and maybe Im about to find
the magic bullet to happiness, but when I reach the end of this blog, and have read all the
Y".f"'
:-GGG--
>.".OG"L,
a(G-MM'
1"N. PL-%%(*
November 8, 2013 at 6:08 pm - Reply
What about the haunting uncertainty about whether there isnt some other grand pro|ect
(with completely different bricks) that youd be better off working on? Crand visionaries can have
multiple incompatible grand visions, you know.
November 9, 2013 at 12:29 am - Reply
Thank you for this. it truly resonates. i try so hard and fail time and time and time again.
ill give it another go right now.
November 9, 2013 at 3:29 pm - Reply
I I laughed a little bit TOO hysterical at the Reddit alien up there Thank you vERY MUCH
for these blog posts, theyre arriving at |ust the right moment for me.
I think Ill take you up on your offer of email-reminding me about my task. First, I need to decide whats
most important right now.
November 9, 2013 at 4:06 pm - Reply
Excellent essay! You are an inspiration! Also, your Tuesday posts inspired me to post every
Saturday. At first I worried that on Saturday morning I wouldnt be able to come up with anything. But
my friend B| told me, "You dont have to wait until Saturday to write.
Whoa! So now I write whenever I want and publish on Saturday. Which works great as long as I stay
ahead of the game. Thanks for the inspiration. Your blog is my new favorite blog!
November 9, 2013 at 6:16 pm - Reply
omg scrolling through india what a great idea
comments, and look up at my physical surroundings, the vast silent emptiness will be waiting.
Then again, thats why I have Adderall, two dogs, and three computers. The Dark Playground wont
seem so bad, if one arrives at the Happy Playground and discovers its |ust a vacant lot.
Dont listen to me. Like the blog author wrote, "I have problems.
DO &(Y ='MV
November 11, 2013 at 3:33 pm - Reply
don|oe: youve nailed the essence of my personal tendency for procrastination. Although I
dont claim to be a "grand visionary |at least not without proper encouragement, such as financial
remuneration, flattery I can't see through, or the chance to give every dog on Earth a safe and
loving home], and without making claims to greatness, I nonetheless register my assured status as
a person who unceasingly strives for virtue. The extent to which I succeed is under debate,
naturally, until I find a satisfactory definition of "virtue.
Meanwhile, the voice in my head continues to defend my every action against imaginary parental
disapproval (a.k.a. "the superego, for the Freudians among us). Even now, don|oe, your post begs
the question: would my parents not condemn my contributions here? Is this what I "should be
doing? Do I give a rip? If not-where did the question come from? Crowing up, honestly, I never
much cared (consciously) whether my parents approved. I learned early on they would always
criticize my independent choices. Isnt that what parents do?
Cosh, how insensitive of me. To any parents reading this, I intend no offense. |That part, at least, I
mean sincerely.] Please dont think Im pre|udiced against parents. |I detect a |oke approaching.]
No, really, some of my best friends are parents. |Is this going where I think?] Actually, Im cool with
anything parents do in private. |Careful-ironys a crime in some states.] Ive heard parents even
teach in public schools nowadays. |Dude, don't say it...] Who am I to |udge? |Doh!! He said it. I wash
my hands. I don't know this guy.]
D
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>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
November 10, 2013 at 12:11 am - Reply
I think I was not procrastinating while reading your two posts on that topic.
You conducted such an in-depth analysis! You made me laugh but also think seriously. I love the idea of
creating a Panic Monster.
Questions: when you are a true procrastinator, do you procrastinate in everything: |ob, sports,
relationships, pro|ects.? Or can we be "specialized procrastinators? (For example you can succeed in
completing your |ob tasks on time but always failing in doing sports..).
Thank you from a new French reader.
November 10, 2013 at 9:37 am - Reply
Omg I love you ahaha
November 10, 2013 at 9:48 am - Reply
Thanks, Im procrastinating now reading the great stuff you have on your blog!
November 10, 2013 at 4:27 pm - Reply
Hi man,
I |ust wanted to thank you for your great blogs. They are well written and spot on (at least for me).
Thank you for writing them!
November 10, 2013 at 6:24 pm - Reply
Thanks man, it was helpful.
November 11, 2013 at 5:12 am - Reply
Thank you. Your apt description of Procrastination and how to overcome it has set me free.
Characterising the key parts involved in procrastination within the human psyche and describing how
they all interact with one another was the missing piece of the puzzle for me.
I, like you, am trying to cure myself. Ive made a tonne of notes which I revisit every so often, but you
have brought them all together with this series of posts.
One image that helped bring it together for me is the Rational Decision Maker and The Instant
Cratification Monkey watching Tv together on the couch and flying together in the FLOW rainbow.
They are not enemies or parties who have had to grudgingly form an alliance working to put fires out
J(-% &L% JNO
=(G(.%N( JI
November 26, 2013 at 2:06 am - Reply
A true procrastinator procrastinates on everything thats hard that no one is making
him]her do and that doesnt involve panic. And usually the important things are the biggest victims.
December 6, 2013 at 5:42 am - Reply
I think you can be a bit specialized. I am a full blown procrastinator with everything but I
started a |ob in |une and am doing pretty well keeping up. It is only part time but the environment
is so conducive to getting your stuff done. There are not too many distractions. I would say that,
some dark playgrounds are less enticing than others. I mean, if you are blowing off schoolwork and
can leave the house, the dark playground has tons of great play equipment. There are monkey bars
and games and room to run and play and tire swings and slides and so on. But, if you are stuck in
an office that blocks all the social networking sites and does not have many distractions, well, the
dark playground is more like a playground you would find in an underfunded ghetto. There is some
patchy grass and maybe a crooked swing, but the monkey is not going to fight as hard to stay.
DO &(Y ='MV
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
afterall (as I once positioned them to be in my mind (think vegeta vs Coku ] Kakarot)), theyre two
members of the same family who did not understand one another.
Now that I understand this, I can make them communicate and work together on common goals. Im
guessing my next research piece is going to be on schizophrenia *twisted grin* - quite seriously
though - a very genuine "thank you; you have made a difference in my life.
Thank you again.
November 11, 2013 at 10:39 am - Reply
On NPR recently, "This American Life, I believe, a man told the story of his recovery from
mental illness. His symptoms included debilitating over-analysis and self-doubt, which caused him to
check and recheck and plan and re-plan, ad infinitum. After more than a dozen sessions (20+, I think) of
electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), he was doing well enough that the doctors allowed him to leave the
hospital grounds for a day of unsupervised freedom. When he was out and about, at a gas-station, I
think, with a convenience store, he found himself conversing with a mechanic on duty who said
something that completely changed his life for the better.
According to the patients story, what the mechanic said that day seemed to cure him in an instant. It
took a while to convince the doctors, and even longer to assemble a decent life for himself, but
according to the mans story, after hearing what the mechanic said, no more psychiatric therapy was
needed. During the conversation, responding to the mechanics questions, the man had explained what
had happened, all the symptoms he had been having, how it had ruined his life, and how much
progress he had made.
The mechanic was unimpressed. "Youre not sick, the mechanic said. "You dont need doctors. You |ust
need to say, 'Fuck it. |ust keep saying 'Fuck it. Youll be better in no time.
Maybe it happened that way. Maybe its |ust a story. Food for thought.
November 11, 2013 at 4:18 pm - Reply
Its hard to put into words how much this article and its first part have meant to a serial
procrastinator like me. Ive gone through the gamut of articles on this to get to the bottom of the
problem, since without that I knew I couldnt permanently solve it. Some came very close, but you
completely nailed it!
As a procrastinator I finally feel understood and see light at the end of the endless tunnel because:
1-You know what its like personally, so you dont use frustrating platitudes and oversimplifications
2-You give concrete images and names to abstract, hazy things we feel but have trouble
disambiguating
3-You keep it funny and light, |ust the opposite of all those dark, depressing feelings of the Dark
Playground and the Dark Woods
4-You give a sense of hope because of your clear reasoning and steps for the way out!
Even though Id already known some of what you mentioned, such as the clear and measurable goals,
it was your sympathetic presentation that got it through to me in a meaningful way. Its been a while
since I laughed so hard, gasping for air at your descriptions of your tangent off to India on Coogle
Earth, at the Instant Cratification Monkeys resistance to make the Critical Entrance|ust everything.
What eye openers. It all rings so true. And the truth sets us free.
Thank you, more than I can say, for your honesty in writing this and for the time invested in putting this
together!
November 12, 2013 at 10:48 am - Reply
Hi, I want to talk to you regarding publishing a paid tech article in
huffingtonpost.com]waitbuywhy
Please contact me at madhaseogmail.com
>.".OG"L,
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>..( )(MG'*
S'H-.
@-%(
2DWP3:=<2!3:
November 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm - Reply
Why Procrastination Doesnt Need A Cure-And Might Even Make You More Productive
http:]]www.fastcompany.com]3021253]work-smart]why-procrastination-doesnt-need-a-cure-and-
might-even-make-you-more-productive
November 13, 2013 at 4:14 pm - Reply
|ust read this in four hours.
November 14, 2013 at 2:54 pm - Reply
I wonder a lot about the link between procrastination and perfectionism. I tried to use the
mantra "done is good and it helped |ust about as much as it sounds. Not really at all. I think I have
crafted my entire adult life into one huge procrastination station. It isnt so much a playground
anymore because it is a bit outside of my head, but I volunteer for shit, deal with other peoples
problems, support them at events. This could all take on the label of good friendship. Instead I think I
have checked into procrastination station. If I fill all my available hours of the day with "helping then
how can I possibly create or WORSE maintain something by and for myself. Impossible really. That little
monkey has gotten much smarter than he was when I earned a- s instead of as on my college papers.
As I explore Zen Buddhism I begin to wonder if this is the ultimate answer, or the ultimate avoidance,
staying mindful and present, unattached and without ego, is like the fun mirror version of
procrastination.
November 16, 2013 at 12:37 am - Reply
Amazingly great; its all about the bricks
Thanks so much for all your posts.
November 18, 2013 at 3:33 pm - Reply
Hi Tim! Terribly liked your text. Would you mind if I post the Russian translation of it on my
facebook? |ust as an excercise in translation, which I procrastinated for a month by the way!))
November 26, 2013 at 6:37 pm - Reply
Toiling in the dark playground externalizes my locus of control and leaves me feeling
emasculated. Since I read this piece, Ive been better able to keep myself off the dark playground by
effectively finding way to sustain my ICM on self-esteem bananas. But at one point, I manage to stop
and realize that self-esteem bananas are only a way to distract myself from the reality of my
insignificance. That I cannot handle this reality and that I need to feed my ICM with self-esteem
J(-% &L% JNO
=".O(
November 22, 2013 at 9:25 pm - Reply
Yup! That should be fine-email us at contactwaitbutwhy.com for our guidelines about
this kind of thing.
December 5, 2013 at 8:16 pm - Reply
Ive also tried to do good translation of this amazing articles and realized that this is so
difficult to create valid Russian versions of all the names of that specific creatures, because it
sounds so weird if simply translate it. In Russian even Procrastination is not very spread term and
definitely not clear for all the readers.
Can you share link with Russian translation with me? Im really curious how you dealed with it!
sonya.shmatenkogmail.com
>.".OG"L,
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B-.Y( P(H-.
>.".OG"L,
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bananas to 'feel in control (when I actually am not) is also emasculating on another level. However, this
sense of emasculation is not as strongly and deeply felt as the one felt from the former scenario i.e.
toiling in the dark playground.
November 28, 2013 at 10:13 pm - Reply
Thank you for all the effort, it feels like you care!
BTW: I kinda read these 2 posts as work, and not as playing in the dark playground (both because its in
English, and because I was recommended to read it, as "something that actually helps!).
Cenie
December 1, 2013 at 12:15 am - Reply
This is flipping amazing. Ive read loads of 'professional advice articles about getting things
done, but this is unique. You bring character and humour to the problem. My ICM is ALWAYS dragging
me off somewhere else. Im gonna tame that b*tch.
December 2, 2013 at 9:16 am - Reply
|ust gonna pin this and read it later
December 2, 2013 at 9:36 pm - Reply
This comment has been removed by the author.
December 3, 2013 at 1:37 am - Reply
Loved your article. Ive been dealing with procrastination]ADHD for years and have done a
lot of the same self-interpretation of it as you have (although I have different names like the Dark void
and the 4-year-old).
To expand on the monkeys repulsion of the Dark Woods, Ive found that hes not only motivated by
fun, but also repelled from the woods by several monsters. (failure, re|ection, and negative |udgement)
The key to getting the monkey into the forest is re-assuring him hell have lots of fun on the other side
of the woods, AND convincing him that the monsters he fears wont hurt him.
In the case of ADHD, the monkey is so high-anxiety and nervous that it can be extremely difficult to
coax it into the woods. Adderall does an amazing |ob of calming the monkey down and creating a sense
of confidence that allows him to walk into the woods without fear.
December 3, 2013 at 9:38 pm - Reply
for me the only way to calm down the monkey has been pills. I tried for years to play it nice
with this tricks but it was becoming a god damn gorilla. For person with anxiety disorders I would also
suggest in your list go to a Psychiatrist :p
December 3, 2013 at 11:14 pm - Reply
This is great. Loved part one also, especially the lead. Im glad I discovered your blog today,
|ust subscribed. More on this along with all the other fun things, please!
December 4, 2013 at 3:33 am - Reply
As I was reading these articles, I remembered that Eric Berne talked about procrastination
somewhere in Cames People Play (possibly one of his other books). It seems a lot of procrastination
has to do with perfectionism - as long as I dont produce, I wont be shown up for the failure I am. The
commenter who said he decided he could produce |ust as well in a day as in 10 seems to be blessedly
free of this.
>.".OG"L,
(+"LG'*-MN
aN*-,
December 4, 2013 at 6:55 am - Reply
Funny, |ust this morning, I found out that I am scheduled for a "come-to-|esus meeting with the Dean
over my department. The sub|ect? My performance, deeply rooted in procrastination.
December 4, 2013 at 2:11 pm - Reply
I ABSOLUTELY LOvE these two posts about procrastination, because they articulate and
clarify exactly the madness I have struggled with everyday of my life. However, there is a couple more
dimensions of it for me. They have to do with indecision]second-guessing decisions, perfectionism, and
getting stuck in flow.
So, the "Instant Cratification Monkey is |ust one of the reasons I have a hard time getting to "The
Critical Entrance and through "The Dark Woods of the task to the "Tipping Point. Another
contributing factor is that as I am on my way to start a task, or as I am doing it. I am haunted by the
"Chost of Doubt. This ghost is comes around and brings up questions like. "Should you even be doing
this? Maybe you picked the wrong thing to make a priority, or chose it for the wrong reasons. Maybe
you have forgotten something really important while trying to focus on this that you will regret later
once you realize it. You know that urgent thing, or other also important thing, you decided to put off,
because this was more important, maybe that really was more important to deal with now. If you dont
check into XYorZ you will forget about it till its to late..etc. All sorts of reasons to stop the task and go
elsewhere.
ALSO, guilt of doing something I want, or think is important is something I struggle will too.
Then, there is the "Crowing Power Pill of Perfectionism. It sometimes appears within the "Dark
Woods and sometimes within "Flow. Either way, it lengthens the task, expands the brick. The result is
that I dont ever get to the tipping point, or if it is in the flow portion, it expands "what needs to be
done more and more until the panic monster shows up for another reason, |arring me out of the
happy flow state.
Even if perfectionism is not a contributing factor, I can get stuck in the flow state and this takes up a lot
of time needed to accomplish other necessary bricks in my life.
In these cases I end up landing back in "Mixed Feelings Park, because even though I accomplished the
task, and maybe even very well, it was at the expense of something else important. Add, that I tend to
take longer to do things than "typical anyway and people tend to be unhappy with what I do no matter
how well done, or brilliant it is, because it took too long.
So, I could go into more nuances of the whys and results of my predicament and]or I could spend more
time perfecting the points I have already made. However, in an attempt to not let the "Crowing Power
Pill of Perfectionism kick in, I will stop now.
Any suggestions for these topics?
December 4, 2013 at 11:22 pm - Reply
Creat piece. What I find difficult:
- When you under-perform with Mixed Feelings but everyone around you is still impressed. What is the
1".
|anuary 2, 2014 at 6:57 pm - Reply
Hey Acoumerilh, I hated feeling exactly the same as you. I would start the task positively
and 10 minutes in think of new possibilities and BOOM!!!!! worry ive made the wrong choice. fill
up with anxiety and feel like smashing the computer up]crying]smoking etc
I have been en|oying CBT for 9 months. A huge problem was the rumination. Cet all your
possibilities on paper, make the best choice you can and stick with it. STAND by your decision. I use
"Edward Debonos 6 hats to make my decisions - once the decision is made I write it on a
whiteboard and follow through. Hope this helps
!(..(N
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point of doing even better?
- Also, and unfortunately, when Im in the flow. I have to have some dinner, do other priority stuff
firstand the flow is gone. Sometimes hard to get back to it.
December 4, 2013 at 11:34 pm - Reply
Please, please do not stop writing things like this. It so so so so applies to me. I have ADD
and Im a ma|or procrastinator (yet also strangely a perfectionist). Also, maybe you could write an
article discussing how to get over procrastination, specifically as a writer. Im in college and an aspiring
|ournalist]writer and this would be so helpful.
December 5, 2013 at 12:59 pm - Reply
My monkey loved the first post. It didnt like the second. Skipped to the end. Eating cake now
and scolling through the comments.
Can you perhaps make a summary version please. I really want to read the long one, but the monkey
December 5, 2013 at 5:58 pm - Reply
I really want to read all of this but I have 2 finals tomorrow, plus I |ust saw a link to TWENTY
COW PHOTOBOMBS!
December 5, 2013 at 8:32 pm - Reply
Creat work you describe my habits perfectly, I wanna get over this definitively
December 7, 2013 at 8:31 am - Reply
Wow, I read this 2 or 3 days ago and commented and farted around and didnt do my
schoolwork while thinking about how great this article is. But tonight I was on facebook and I |ust
thought, "Im in the dark playground. and I realized I didnt want to be there and I got to work! I
finished my 5 1]2 pg spanish essay and submitted it to officially finish up one of my 3 classes this term.
2 to go but I feel more confident even |ust having the vocabulary to pinpoint what I am doing and why.
Thank you!
December 12, 2013 at 4:45 pm - Reply
As a writer who also struggles with procrastination, the paragraph about getting back to
irony-free procrastination may be my favorite thing written this year.
December 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm - Reply
What is your advise for the people who get to the happy playground, remember how many
things were on the first list, and try to |ump back to the critical point for another run making the
happy playground morph into a new dark playground?
December 18, 2013 at 5:53 pm - Reply
Hello,
An advanced procrastinator here. First, thank you for the most accurate depiction of a procrastinators
mind so far. Its all there. Creat work!
Second - a question -
I cant convince myself that a fake deadline that I put for myself, for a want-to-pro|ect (not need-to) is
not fake.
J(-% &L% JNO
December 8, 2013 at 6:25 am - Reply
YES.
1'.. J-MM
>.".OG"L,
>.".OG"L,
B''
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For example, I tell myself - "This pro|ect must be done by the end of this month! - but the monkey tells
me "Bullshit, nothing will happen if it wont be done. Youll finish it later.
Same goes with anything thats not a true external deadline with high visible stakes.
Everything else that is relying on my willpower to do - is considered a fake goal that has no real
deadline for it and therefore can be avoided for now. (BTW, Its the same with an exact hour on a
schedule - the monkey understands that its there randomly and therefore - not real).
How can I defy this feeling?
December 24, 2013 at 1:04 am - Reply
This is brilliant. Thank you for holding your Instant Cratification Monkey at bay while you
wrote and drew this. My ICM is fat and proud and stubborn as hell, but she quieted down a little as we
read your posts (this and Part 1), because we both recognized our reality so clearly in your words and
pictures. I think ICMs run partly on shame, and being able to identify so strongly with what someone
else has depicted lessens that supply of shame |ust a bit. Thanks much.
December 28, 2013 at 3:14 pm - Reply
What about aworried enough to work wallaby instead of the bloody monkey boy? Tried to
give my son an I C M for Christmas but a small "|ackawawa by the name Archie done for it! There was
fur "aw waes "
December 28, 2013 at 3:21 pm - Reply
Is it possible to get aworried enough to work wallaby "instead of a monkey
|anuary 3, 2014 at 4:48 pm - Reply
Creat posts, thanks. Theres a childrens book called 'So Say the Little Monkeys by Nancy
van Laan that ties very nicely into your theory, you should check it out!
|anuary 3, 2014 at 6:19 pm - Reply
Again, this is awesome and so completely the way my brain works its like you got inside. You
have earned a new fan]follower]reader here. Im even going all-in and e-mailing my little concrete goal
because youre right - concrete end dates and accountability make all the difference. Heck, I even
committed to an exercise and weight loss buddy plan yesterday. OMC, is my rational brain trying to
take control of the monkey? A frightening thought because, well, its familiar and comfortable here.
Change is hard and scary but Ive |ust spent an entire year in the land of "Id like to but I dont know
where to begin, sooh look a bunny!
I am so glad my friend sent the link to part one of this post and thanks to you for having written it.
|anuary 3, 2014 at 6:22 pm - Reply
A P.S. commentI saw the reference to So Say the Little Monkeys in the post above mine
and I agree. My daughter has it and we |ust love it. But it really does fit the bill here. Check it out.
J(-% &L% JNO
December 22, 2013 at 3:52 am - Reply
This is a huge problem for every procrastinator. Thats why there have to be other
methods. Book a rehearsal space and invite friends, email your boss and promise her a draft by a
certain day, give a friend $100 and tell him he can only give it back to you if you do something by a
deadline you set. Whatever works for you-set up some method that will get the panic monster
involved at interim steps.
Of course, in the long run, the goal is to learn to change your Storyline and actually do stuff without
the panic monster-but set up some monsters in the meantime.
)(LM <"%N*"+X
W'(*3%,'MV
|anuary 3, 2014 at 7:23 pm - Reply
Ive found a good motivator for my Instant Cratification Monkey is to schedule time in the Dark
Playground. For instance, Ill write down very small tasks Ive got to do, less than an hour each, and Ill
pepper in things like playing Kerbal Space Program or reading Reddit. Sometimes |ust knowing Ive got
time to do those things keeps the monkey satiated and Ill skip them entirely.
Another tip is to make daily plans of things I have to do. This is especially useful for things I hate, like
making phone calls. If I have it on my list, I have to do it. And I keep my lists in a small spiral-bound
notebook by my computer so I can check off things I do and keep it to one page per day.
|anuary 3, 2014 at 8:37 pm - Reply
Thanks for writing this. As a college writing teacher, Im a professional enemy of
procrastination. Im also a horrible procrastinator myself. From both those perspectives, your posts
seem insightful and valuable. Id like to emphasize the importance of thinking carefully about defining
your individual "bricks, because I think this is where some of your readers may still bog down.
(Apologies if this post repeats ideas from earlier in comments; I read both your posts, but I havent
read all the comments.)
Heres how I talk about this with my students:
1) Writing an essay seems hard because it is; few people can sit down, say, "Ill write an essay, and
then do it successfully. The task is too big and complicated. To compare: if were standing on the
sidewalk and I point to a three-story building and say, "get up onto that roof, you know you cant do it
in one |ump. But that doesnt mean its impossible to get to the roof; |ust take the stairway. Each ten-
inch step is easy, and if you simply take one step after the next, sooner or later you get there. (Steps,
bricks, whatever.)
2) So instead of saying "Im going to write an essay, |ust say "Im going to write down some ideas that
I might want to put in my essay. Some (even many) of the ideas you write down might be silly, or
repetitive, or off-topic, or |ust plain dumb. It doesnt matter. They |ust have to be written down. Thats
the first step]brick.
3) Once Ive done that, I can look at the ideas Ive written down, decide which ones I actually want to
use, and make a list of them. Thats easier to do because Ive already written them down; Im already
standing on the first step, so Im close to the top of the next one. Each successful step brings me closer
to the next, and therefore to the final destination.
Im only going into this in such detail (and using an example from my own are of expertise) because I
want to stress how important it is to ]properly define] each step (or brick). Some people may struggle
with the process youve described because even after they focus on a single brick, they still get trapped
in the same pattern. Often this is because the brick is still to big. They may need to break their task
down into even smaller parts to succeed. The more specific and more manageable the task is, the
bigger (and harder to miss) the entrance to the Dark Woods becomes.
It can help a lot to talk to someone else who both 1) really understands the task youre trying to
achieve, and 2) knows what its like to struggle with procrastination. That kind of person can serve as a
mentor to suggest exactly what size and shape the bricks you divide your task into should be as you
begin this process. We often dont want admit to people we respect that we procrastinate. That means
there are lots of secret procrastinators out there! Some of them may be your tutors, teachers, co-
workers, and bosses! If youre having trouble with individual bricks, reaching out to someone else can
help a lot. The trick is to find someone who not only can help, will do so without being too |udgmental.
Anyway, thats my two cents, and I wanted to let you know Ill be sending some of my students to read
these two posts in the future.
Best wishes.
J(-% &L% JNO
|anuary 11, 2014 at 5:59 pm - Reply
Love this.
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|anuary 4, 2014 at 2:27 am - Reply
So glad a friend shared the first of these two posts on Facebook (aka the super-cool monkey bars in my
Dark Playground). As a life-long procrastinating perfectionist who also en|oys the special torture that is
being self-employed, I had to laugh at the funny names and images you attached to my demons. I also
had to cry a little for feeling understood-without |udgment or condemnation-for the first time in my
life. Then-especially as I read the second post-crying a little more at how overwhelming taming the
monkey still seems. (seriously, sometimes |ust breaking the big task down into smaller bricks is an
overwhelming task in itself)
But, there is a glimmer of hope that I might somehow throw off the frustration and futility of a Storyline
that dead ends directly at the cesspool of learned helplessness (total desensitization to the Panic
Monster). This is the first thing Ive read that doesnt |ust feel like some super-productive and
successful person telling me to |ust put in the effort to get more organized and |ust try harder. Thanks
for that glimmer.
I hope to reread these a few times over the next few days to internalize things, make some notes, and
start training that monkey. Hopefully the monkey doesnt have other plans.
|anuary 4, 2014 at 4:45 am - Reply
This and why procrastinators procrastinate resonated so well with me. I could never figure
out why, even when I try so hard to not procrastinate and I hate the feelings associated with it I
procrastinate any way. Having such a visual representation of procrastination helps me so much. Thank
you!
|anuary 4, 2014 at 5:43 am - Reply
Wow. Thank you for writing! I must forward this to my counselor, as I have been unable to
verbalize what the hell is wrong with me.
The new college semester is about to begin. Praying that I will recognize The Dark Playground when I
see it. Thanks again.
|anuary 4, 2014 at 2:58 pm - Reply
Absolutely brilliant! I may actually get something done after reading this!
Pingback: Coogle
|anuary 4, 2014 at 6:37 pm - Reply
Candy Crush the ultimate procrastination tool
|anuary 5, 2014 at 10:02 am - Reply
bookmarked!!, I really like your blog!
|anuary 5, 2014 at 12:42 pm - Reply
Best ever analogy and the pics are awesome.
I only wish that youd mixed up a few pronouns. He, he, he sounds so 1950s. If you had a couple of
sentences with "he and another couple with "she, thatd be |ust that bit more inclusive.
|anuary 5, 2014 at 5:00 pm - Reply
OMC a friend |ust put the link to your first post on my FB wall as a bit of |oke as we are both
G-X'
>.".OG"L,
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procrastinators (as are many of my codependent friends!) and I swear, I could have written them both
about myself if I could be arced! You are an amazing writer, so witty, so astute. This post in particular
has spoken to me on a profound level. You will probably find an email from me once I work out what
my big goal is so I can be sure of completing it Thank you so much for writing this. It has made my
day and is perfect for this period post-New Year, when I am desperately battling down the road of self
improvement, when Im not on FaceBook or taking extended breaks to look what food is in the fridge
THANK YOU!
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|anuary 6, 2014 at 3:06 am - Reply
This is an awesome article. It actually took me 2 hours to read it though. I have a pro|ect for
work due at 9am so I am reading this to procrastinate, but between every paragraph I had to check
reddit to keep my interest going. I |ust need constant input.
|anuary 6, 2014 at 8:08 am - Reply
Thank you for writing this article, it feels as though I could have written it myself.
Read on if you want the a glimpse into the twisted mind and experiences of one of the many kings of
procrastination.
I consider myself among the top echelon of procrastinators both in terms of severity of procrastination
as well as the ability to live a successful life due to the brilliance of myself and my panic monster. I
almost failed my chemical engineering degree because I could not force myself to study (it certainly
wasnt because I didnt have the brains, I know Im a genius :P), but I passed and now have my dream
|ob. When I received my diploma I was the happiest person alive because I knew I did not deserve it.
I think procrastinators represent the smartest subset of people on the planet. They want to do the
smallest amount of work possible to achieve the same result as another who may have put in 10 times
the work (In engineering, it is know as the 80:20 rule: 80% of the result with 20% of the effort. The
thought is you dont want to waste time doing something that doesnt truly need to be done). My
chemical engineering degree is no different than that of my classmates, so who says I didnt approach
school with the perfect level of effort? I am the perfect engineer by definition!
Secretly, I am proud of my ability to be "good at procrastinating. I had thoughts like "I am smarter
than my classmate because I beat him on a test, despite the fact I studied 1 hour and he studied 30&,
even though my grade was 29th best out of 30 people. I would be almost excited going into a test
knowing I was hardly prepared. Id be like, "Here goes nothing!. Waking up at 4 in the morning, hitting
snooze til 6, then cranking out homework due at 8 was exhilarating. It is thrilling to be a procrastinator,
it makes life so exciting in some weird and twisted way, and I think actually builds some good self
esteem because you set yourself up for a feeling of over-achievement and surpassing expectations of
yourself. The thought pattern of, "Sweet, I got a C on the paper I wrote in half an hour during the class
in which it was due! Im a beast! is something I have felt many times.
But in all seriousness, this is how bad procrastination can get. I struggle to fight it everyday (I dont eat
breakfast, have stopped eating dinners I |ust eat chips or something, have trouble going to sleep (It is
3am in the morning as Im writing this), dont exercise, show up to work late by an hour almost
everyday, have started sleeping at my desk sometimes, dump my clean laundry on the floor instead of
hanging my shirts and whatnot, never empty the clean dishes from the dish washer, and the list goes
on and on). I literally do the bare minimum, nothing more.
The funny thing is I am mostly happy with my life, and on paper am successful, but it hurts me to think
about how much happier I could be if I didnt procrastinate.
I will be placing bricks soon, hopefully along with the rest of you.
|anuary 6, 2014 at 12:18 pm - Reply
:*(+O 3I )*(%N'*
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Excellent write-up that deeply resonates with the tormented psyche of millions of
procrastinators out there. |ust wanted to expose a few thoughts on the
sub|ect:
It is a popular theory - also talked about in some comments above - that
procrastination has a lot to do with perfectionism and fear of failure,that is,
people delay everything to the very last minute thereby giving themselves the
perfect excuse if they underperform .
While I cant statistically prove it, I suspect that this affects only a small
minority of "heavy procrastinators. I think the #1 reason for procrastinating
is "simply lack of will-power which directly translates into an inability to control
the damned IC monkey. A lot of interesting research has been done in recent years and I
recommend the books by Roy Baumeister and Kelly McConnigal on the sub|ect.
A second reason is what I like to call the "linux-dependency-hell-effect:
Essentially it is the inability to correctly assess how long a complex task is
going to take: Assume that you try to follow the advice and break down the
complex task into many little "bricks as analysed in the article: It happens
very often - especially if you work in science]engineering- that in order to "lay
each brick there are certain prerequisites in terms of knowledge you must
acquire. Unfortunately these prerequisites often have their own prerequisites
and this *appears* to branch out ad infinitum, scaring the heck out of the poor
procrastinator and giving the impression that it *doesnt matter* how early
he]she will start because the god-damned prerequisites are |ust going expand and
consume all the available time. The "smart thing to do - much to the proverbial
Monkeys great |oy- is to artificially reduce the available time by putting off
everything until the last minute.
Unfortunately, the only way to overcome this is through years of experience
that will give you the ability of "knowing when to stop the branching and also
that you simply cannot understand *everything* you read. Some stuff you |ust have
to take for granted.
|anuary 6, 2014 at 12:44 pm - Reply
It is appropriate time to make a few plans for the
future and it is time to be happy. I have learn this submit and
if I could I wish to recommend you some fascinating issues
or advice. Perhaps you could write subsequent articles relating to this article.
I wish to read even more things approximately it!
|anuary 6, 2014 at 10:16 pm - Reply
Thanks a lot! I have read so many thinks about life organization, doing things, etc, but what
was]is my worst problem was]is procrastination. You have written the best thing I have ever read about
my problem. For the first time I feel the seriousness of the problem and how huge are its
consequences. Simultaneously I feel full of hope and, to not leave it sealed only with words, but with
actions, in this very moment I start my first page of copy portfolio (postponed from 2 months) and once
done it, Ill do the hand washing (postponed from 1 month or moremooore for sure The list
contains lots of postponed things, but now I knowonly fewnot everything at 1 time. Were not
supermen, were not supermen
|anuary 6, 2014 at 11:23 pm - Reply
Superb post. Ive shown it to my 17 year old daughter who recognises everything youve
described. I hope she pulls herself together in this last year of school to achieve her goals, but that
bloody monkey is getting more active. I have now borrowed some of your pics to produce a couple of
motivational posters for her wall telling her: "Dont Let The Monkey Drive and "Overcome Your Idiot
Monkey. Fingers crossed!
W>&
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D(*L
/O*("NG,
D'Q(.
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|anuary 7, 2014 at 7:06 pm - Reply
|ust some extra help for achieving your goals:
* Use a website like 43 things to list your goals. Total strangers will cheer you and you can send yourself
reminders. After using it for five years, my monkey is less and less in control. The brickwork is still
boring, but it gives you back the perspective on the house you want to build
* Use the creative whack pack card game or app. We procrastinators have a wonderful brain for
expanding our thoughts and ideas. But the creative whack pack teaches you that this is only the start of
creativity. You will also need a |udge and warrior to start realizing stuff; pick the right idea and be brave
enough to execute it. My favorite card is: slay a dragon!
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|anuary 8, 2014 at 10:55 am - Reply
All my years of procrastinating have finally met their match. It actually feels like a guilty,
secret addiction. In my life I can present a facade of being organised, disciplined and productive. In
reality its mostly terror and self-loathing.
At this point, writing too long a reply will only see me slip back into the deep forest rather than getting
on with my work day. (1 hour and 50 minutes into that so far and I have sent one work-related email.)
So I am going to write two things only.
1. Your analysis of what happens when monkey and I work together is the key. Im never happier than
when Im working properly. Everything else is a good description of what makes it so hard to be man
and monkey in perfect harmony.
2. Im going to try an experiment. Im going to read this post every morning for a week and then on
every Monday morning until the end of the year. Im going to do it to remind myself of how easy it is to
procrastinate, how good it feels not to and how important it is to remember that there is nothing
unusual in my failings.
So as I sign off Im going to take a risk and read through the comments. Im on a timer. 10 minutes
only.
Finally.
Most importantly.
Thank you.
|anuary 8, 2014 at 6:46 pm - Reply
Thanks
|anuary 8, 2014 at 7:01 pm - Reply
Fantastic reading! Thank you!
|anuary 8, 2014 at 7:44 pm - Reply
So Creat - from naming]labeling these conflicting emotions to the process from start to
finish, and the bad feeling hangover after. Thankfully, Im really, really good at creating panic monsters
to prevent me from doom and gloom, but really I |ust want to dominate the dark forest and win with
the monkey. Ive confirmed time and again that when I make it to the happy playground, it feels
amazing, and I feel amazing. I think I need to get some sort of monkey for my desk to remind me of this
post, and how to beat procrastination - THANK YOU!
|anuary 8, 2014 at 11:54 pm - Reply
<",' D(%%N'#,
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Thank you for writing this article. Im pretty sure Ill be showing it to my son when I have
one.
|anuary 9, 2014 at 12:03 am - Reply
That monkey is such a sneaky little bugger!
Having spent the morning making an A3 poster out of your spot-in article and hanging it by my desk, I
took a deep breath and decided absolutely to launch through the Critical Entrance. I opened my pro|ect
document and picked up my paper notes
Next thing I knew, I was feeding peach pieces to a lizard. I have no memory of the transition!
|anuary 9, 2014 at 1:18 am - Reply
Spot on article and helps to explain a lot for me personally. It may also help to explain these
things to those with no Instant Cratification Monkey of their own. And the timing of seeing this article
was pretty serendipitous also.
Thanks!
-AC
|anuary 9, 2014 at 1:43 am - Reply
Thank you! nailed it.
|anuary 9, 2014 at 5:57 am - Reply
I read this article a few days ago. |ust coming back to say Ive been figuratively punching the
shit out of monkeys all week and has really helped my productivity.
Ironically, Im writing this comment at work while avoiding a ma|or report I need to do. *sigh*
|anuary 9, 2014 at 6:11 am - Reply
My Cod.
I have actually spent hours at work googling "how to stop procrastinating and THIS is what I needed.
Thanks.
|anuary 9, 2014 at 6:59 pm - Reply
A million dollar solution for procrastination.. Thanks for writing this post buddy i owe u
|anuary 9, 2014 at 9:30 pm - Reply
I think that the fear of failure is pretty big up there and the perfect excuse for this failure of
procrastinating is a compelling one. BUT I also seem to suffer from a fear of success. When I do start to
write ( and it seems to happen specifically with writing) and things start to move forwards, I panic, feel
slightly dizzy and then stop. Not sure if this is connected to my dyslexia? I would be really interested to
hear about anyone elses similar experiences.
BTW Thank you sooo much for the fab post :0)
|anuary 10, 2014 at 12:39 am - Reply
These two posts are dead on. My wife read this earlier today and had me read it because she
said it sounded like I could have written it myself. She was right. Im intelligent enough that Im usually
able to get away with waiting until the last minute on deadlines, but this has left me a regular patron of
mixed feelings park, even after a graduate degree. I kept hoping that my habits would change as I
moved into the work force, but that hasnt happened, and Ive |ust found myself torn between feeling
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"Its okay, I still accomplish what I need to, and "Im a horrible person because I cant get anything
done. Its helpful knowing that there are others who have the same issue with that freaking monkey.
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|anuary 10, 2014 at 9:42 pm - Reply
Its a much nicer idea to be fighting against a monkey than against yourself, and being able
to create panic monsters before the actual time to panic. Thanks
|anuary 10, 2014 at 10:29 pm - Reply
I have been trying for hours to start doing my last homework for this semester, but instead
my monkey took me here Well written, a lot of people seem to have same problems. A few personal
notes on topic: My monkey usually goes to sleep at midnight. Its easy to do things until 3 or 4:00 AM. A
long list of urgent things keeps monkey under control. I perform really well at work when there is a lot
of things going on. And vice versa, I might forget or finish too late a single task for the entire day. Ive
tried to give me fake deadlines and daily task lists, but that doesnt work. Monkey knows when the
Panic Monster is not real. He is not stupid. Thats why procrastinators actually perform so well. You and
monkey together and panic monster behind you - that is one hell of a team.
|anuary 11, 2014 at 9:00 pm - Reply
This is wonderful, and I know I will re-read this and keep thinking about it as I battle with
procrastination and anxiety. Your descriptions resonated deeply with me, and you have a real talent for
illustrating these experiences and feelings.
For those of us dealing with anxiety-driven procrastination, I would only add that the entrance to the
Dark Forest is even more terrifying than the Dark Forest itself. The entrance sometimes feels like a light
thats too bright to look at, or a fire that will burn me if I cross it to get into the forest. The entrance
yells so loudly I have to cover my ears to walk even close enough to consider whether I can go in.
Sometimes I make it in anyway, but its not easy.
Thank you.
|anuary 11, 2014 at 11:49 pm - Reply
Ive read a few books on procrastination written by experts, academics researching the issue,
but none of these publications ever filled me with this kind of real sensation that, following their advice,
things may truly change. - And your article actually does that. Both of your posts on procrastination
are absolutely brilliant - spot-on, creative, insightful, genuine. I really admire your talent With the
experts books on procrastination, it seems as though they were all the same and I sometimes have a
feeling I could actually write one myself (extremely big-headed of me, I know ;-)) Your articles, however,
are pure genius - the writing, the drawings, the ideas] explanations] line of thought - how are you able
to produce such brilliant work on a regular, weekly basis?
Kind regards
|anuary 12, 2014 at 12:01 am - Reply
Oh, and another fantastic idea (feeding procrastination, not helping to beat it ;-)) - "you
clicked the turtle
(The true author of this comment is not Pola, but her Instant Cratification Monkey )
|anuary 12, 2014 at 3:04 am - Reply
This is a remarkable post. I have been a procrastinator with ADD for my entire life and I |ust
turned in my masters thesis a year late. I did exactly what you describe in part 2, enlisted the help of
friends who understood what was going on in my head and they helped me focus on laying brick by
brick. I honestly never thought I would finish and when I did I curled up like a baby and wept with relief.
D".X'O :(G'*
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Im now a nascent therapist trying to help other people deal with their own mental health problems.
The thing you did with labeling and personifying thoughts and emotions is actually a cognitive-
behavioral therapy technique that I use all the time! Another technique I would add is mentally taking
care of your cast of characters to improve your self-esteem and reduce your guilt and self-loathing. I
think the self loathing comes from dissing yourself and hating on the monkey throughout the whole
process, and even though the monkey is trying to ruin our lives, it is still a part of you. Ive found that
many peoples monkeys were born out of something scary]terrible]bad from the past, and sometimes
we have to hold the monkeys hand and pet its fur and spoon with him before giving him a bushel of
self-esteem bananas. Thats actually something my own therapist has been encouraging me to do more
of, as another way to try and change my storyline. Forgiving the monkey (he knows not what he does)
has helped a lot with reducing the pervasive self-loathing.
Anyways, thank you so much for this thoughtful and helpful post. I am so impressed by it I would like to
print it out and give it to some of my clients if its all right with you
|anuary 12, 2014 at 4:24 pm - Reply
I think this is one of my first comments on a blog ] websiteCreat article! I didnt read quite
all the comments (although my monkey pushed me..) but I see a lot of people vibrating on the sub|ect -
so I am not the only one that feels you wrote about him Thank you!
|anuary 13, 2014 at 9:07 pm - Reply
Hang on if so many ppl can relate to the plight of the procrastinator maybe there is
something wrong with the system that makes us feel guilty. Im a procrastinator. I read the first post,
and skimmed the pictures in the second post |ust like the rest of you. why doesnt anyone see anything
wrong with the system that forces us to feel like underachievers?
Fug that. I have better things to do than let the system make me feel guilty for doing ONLY what I feel
like. If more people were happy to procrastinate the world would be a happier place. Monkeys are a
part of human nature-a fundamental part that would be unhealthy to deny! If ppl wanted less, and
en|oyed their time more, and werent coerced into feeling guilt over en|oying that time because they
werent being socially responsible citizens (ie. werent producing, conforming, consuming and
repeating) I humbly assert that the earth would be better off.
Lets get out of here monkey brother and daydream about building a tree house. Or maybe take a nap
first
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|anuary 14, 2014 at 1:12 pm - Reply
Thanks so much for this!!! *crying thankful tears* going to work on some monkey training
now
|anuary 14, 2014 at 6:16 pm - Reply
To be honest, I couldnt read through the entire post. kept skipping for bullet points. But
then Im and actual ADHD type. But I like and appreciate the stuff i did manage to read.
='+*'%i%*'(%-',
March 23, 2014 at 1:15 pm - Reply
While I see your point, however, it appears you have never really experienced the Panic
monster in its full unadulterated form.
Therefore, what you describe is time in the happy playground.
When you fully experience the "oh $h1t, if I dont get this done Ill be fired, but, those shinny
ob|ects are so beautiful moment, you have never experienced true procrastination.
>.".OG"L,
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|anuary 15, 2014 at 6:34 pm - Reply
Creat article. My only recommendation to every one is to complement it by reading
"Willpower Instinct, it actually goes into the science of why we procrastinate and how the
"instant gratification monkey actually works.
|anuary 15, 2014 at 10:49 pm - Reply
Thank you.
|anuary 16, 2014 at 2:28 am - Reply
Thank you. Leaving this comment is my final act of procrastination for tonight. now on to
curing diabetes.
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|anuary 16, 2014 at 9:17 am - Reply
Well that worked great finished analyzing data and got the greater part of an experiment
done. Now home for some well deserved sleep. Thank you so much. I think Ill make this article my
home page.
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|anuary 16, 2014 at 3:51 pm - Reply
Into the woods monkey
|anuary 16, 2014 at 7:46 pm - Reply
I loved your post. Thank you! But I have a question-my particular brand of procrastination
revolves around smaller tasks and chores, like folding clothes, paying bills, making necessary phone
calls. Its hard to break these chores up into "bricks, so the planning stage doesnt help. Then what?
|anuary 17, 2014 at 7:02 pm - Reply
came by to refresh my Rational Navigators ability to control the distraction monkey Into
the dark woods of ELISA
|anuary 17, 2014 at 9:41 pm - Reply
I never feel the need to comment on anything, but this article truly hit home for me. Thank
you for writing it and making it so easy to understand why I act the way I do. And ultimately, it is all
about an intense fear of to fail. I know Im smart and I know Im talented, but I never finish any pro|ect
that proves it. Always going back to the Dark Woods. Also, its nice to see how many others out there
(based on the amount of comments) that have the same problem as I do. This article has seriously
changed my life for the better. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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|anuary 18, 2014 at 11:58 am - Reply
Amazing article. Thank you so-ooo-o much for this. Awareness has been raised, literally.
Naming the inner-gollums, all the situations and mental "places is working for me so well.
Now every time Im murdering my time by internet or whatever, I suddenly become aware that this is
the Dark Playground and that nothing good will come out of it.
Even though my Monkey cries "noo! you need to read everything thats written about Flow in
psychology on Wikipedia! it cant fool me cause I know, it is still the Dark Playground. And Im not
en|oying myself.
:*'' *""%
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My problem is that (omg this reply is turning into an article on its own) ..I play until the panic monster
appears at the end of the day, and if I have a tiny bit of strength, I push myself to do the one-day work
in an hour, which then stretches to a few hours, then I end up working till 3:30, which I kind of en|oy
cause of all the darkness and silence and creepiness. Anyway..
A woman asked me once, all excited, us both being artists, "why do you think that is??? after I told her
that I always worked (better) at night. And now I know the true answer.
One thing I dont agree with the article, or maybe havent understood well, is the part about
confidence. Instead of not having enough confidence, I think I have too much of it.
I find myself thinking "I dont need to start working now, Ill do an amazing |ob and finish it all up in
one hour anyway. Maybe what Tim meant is not working hard to out-do ourselves, and settling with;
what we normally do, or the rushed work outcome? Yeah, that must be it..
Last thing: I get super motivated from negative challenges. I was discussing how procrastinatey we are
with my friend last week, and she told me something that really resonated with me, "we will never
manage to 'be anything a great artist, etc. And the moment I hear something like that, a new
character |umps out: a humongous Knight, pushing my Monkey and Rational Decision Captain all aside.
He is super proud and is |ust appalled from hearing such insult. "NO, OF COURSE I WILL. I shall be the
CREATEST
All in all, thank you very much for this wake-up-post. Becoming aware where we are mentally, and why
we do these things is a HUCE thing, even though it ends with the individual and his]her effort to
actually do something. (internet addicts anonymous) I will do my best! Cood luck to everybody else on
their quest for defeating your Collum!
|anuary 18, 2014 at 7:21 pm - Reply
Started reading the comments, realized i was |ust using them as further procrastination,
apply motivation i have received through reading this article to better myself, now to start cleaning my
kitchen Its a start.
And thank you, this is a beautifully written article, witty and understandable. You are a wonderful
person, good luck with defeating the Instant gratification monkey (which I was considering stealing for
a track title)
Peace.
|anuary 19, 2014 at 1:02 am - Reply
The monkey has been distracting me from finishing this article. I think it knows its doom is
in it.
|anuary 19, 2014 at 12:20 pm - Reply
thank you for writing this.
|anuary 20, 2014 at 3:07 pm - Reply
Thank for for writing this article, for some reason the visualisation of that forest gave me a
mental image to focus on as I worked through one of the hardest assignments in my life.
Life-long procrastinator here, but am hoping this marks a turning point!
|anuary 20, 2014 at 4:13 pm - Reply
Thankyou so much for your two articles - I laughed so much at part 1, and the monkey
analogy is so spot on. Im glad you managed to stop procrastinating long enough to write this!
|anuary 21, 2014 at 12:59 am - Reply
&(%,N'H(
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I cannot thank you enough for writing this. It really hit home while reading it. I relate to all of
it- the monkey has been causing serious emotional distress and self-loathe for years.
Always a procrastinator, in school I still had it somewhat in control - getting good grades by writing
essays in the lunch hour due later that day, to progressively getting worse throughout university every
year.
The monkey kept pushing the Panic Monster closer and closer to the deadline each time I made it the
previous time. Till the moment came when I never gave anything on time at all, ever.
Im trying to cure this, and this article has really helped me understand my problem.
Thank you so much.
|anuary 21, 2014 at 2:26 am - Reply
Amazing. I have read so much on procrastination. This is the first thing Ive found that might
be helpful. |ust brilliant. If there were a Nobel Prize for blogs, youd deserve it.
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|anuary 22, 2014 at 11:46 am - Reply
excellent post. It has spread like wild fire and I personally have found it helpful. I dislike my
PhD and so never before has the monkey been so reluctant to cooperate. I have tried everything and
have to constantly change methods to power through. And this helps, particularly because it is really
clear and memorableand fun, more than other self-help online courses on procrastination. My
friends, family and I now even speak in terms of the monkey and the panic monster!
|anuary 22, 2014 at 8:57 pm - Reply
I have been smelling a gas leak off and on for a few months coming from a shut off line in
my fireplace. Yesterday was overwhelming do today I remember I got the kids to school ON TIME,
drank a cup of coffee,went to the bank to get momey to pay bills, got a large dipped ice cream cone at
DQ for todays meal so far, sat on the car listening music in my driveway with the money to avoid
potential productivity till my husband came out to go to work, noticed, told Mr it was unsafe to sit in the
car like that with cash laying in the front seat. My bladder told the money we had to go in the house and
pee. So took care of that grabbed a DP took it up to bed and slept till 2. Woke up came downstairs saw
fireplace, oh yeah, I have an hour to fix this before the kids need to be picked up. Cot the fake wood
and had log set up out of the fireplace covered in dust. Plugged in shopvac. Remembered concerned
husband and checked phone to see if he called while I was upstairs. Saw this blog sent by my highly-
productive daughter to me. Read it. Wondered about the saw hammer building thing. Wrote this
comment and its 2:55, fine to leave to get kids, fire place dusty stuff scattered, nothing but a big mess
accomplished!
|anuary 23, 2014 at 8:18 am - Reply
Instant Cratification Monkey, "Cahd this article is going on longer than expected, Ill go take
a nap now
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|anuary 27, 2014 at 10:32 pm - Reply
Darn Monkey won today. Whats that?
PANIK MONSTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
|anuary 28, 2014 at 12:27 am - Reply
Hats off to you sir! Best post Ive ever read!
You revealed the mystery of life. Your terms aptly describe my inner feelings that hurt me mentally and
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subconsciously guide me to choose unhelpful mind-pleasing treats like sweets, movies, Tv, or dreaming
perfect scenarios.
I wish I read this in my High School. Ive finished my Masters last year and thought the guilt of
underwhelming work I did during my education is going to haunt me for a long time. But from your
post, Ive gained useful knowledge and a pathway to beat the mysterious voice(gratitude monkey) in
my head. Ill get better now.
Cant thank you enough!
Cheers from an Indian in Australia!
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|anuary 30, 2014 at 5:09 pm - Reply
Confession of a procrastinator Excellent article
I dont know if people like these can be called procrastinators. i would like to call them the tipping point
procrastinators.. in this case whenever a procrastinator does a work and he is |ust about to finish it, he
realizes that he is before schedule, which is quite odd for him and so he takes break and again starts to
work when the deadline panic monster comes in
out of all the bad things a procrastinator does to him the only good thing he is at is finding the most
optimized ways to complete a work, it is not his best but thats the best that could happen in that much
amount of time.
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|anuary 31, 2014 at 8:27 pm - Reply
I have some pretty ma|or unresolved childhood emotional stress, which (like compound
interest) lead me to more situations of emotional stress as an adult, and eventually I had a pretty
serious mental break with permanent consequences. In my mid-20s, my mari|uana habit became a
daily mechanism for coping with my years (i.e., my life) of continually increasing emotional distress. In
my view, mari|uana has exacerbated my serial procrastination (I fit the mold of this article perfectly)
and ICM has grown strong enough to put RDM in chains. Mindfulness and CBT have helped, but I think
its time for a low dose Adderall.
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February 2, 2014 at 6:47 pm - Reply
Read more than 20 comments - Instant Cratification Monkey wins.
Cets up to plan life well see.
BTW - to the Krusty above:
Cannabis is the Instant Cratification Monkeys drug of choice and it makes him immune to the fear of
the panic monster. Drop the dope my friend because without the panic monster a procrastinator can
get lost in the dark playground and never find the entrance to the dark woods.
Note that by writing my aside to Krusty I once again got lost in the dark playground!
February 3, 2014 at 6:08 pm - Reply
Fantastic couple of posts, you have |ust written and illustrated all the thoughts about
procrastination that Ive been wondering about for years, as my procrastination has got worse over
time! Reading this might have |ust come at the right time while I really want to do things to the best of
)*"+*(,%-....
February 4, 2014 at 5:36 pm - Reply
I couldnt even stimulate myself enough to reach the end of the article. Three sentences in,
I scrolled the length of the post and thought, "Another time perhaps. Ill probably never see this
site again.
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my ability instead of doing a half arsed |ob that i know I could have done better! Right Im starting with
a brick- gonna go mark 5 books over the next hour. I WILL get all my frigging classes marked!
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February 11, 2014 at 10:59 pm - Reply
Loved the articles. When I reach the "happy playground I often feel smug, self righteous ,
and ticked off. I feel as though "they finally won - I have given in to "them. I want to get there
because I want to be there not because "they said I SHOULD! Sounds like I need a bit more help,
doesnt it!!!
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February 12, 2014 at 2:17 pm - Reply
Did anyone else get the World of Warcraft "Play Free Now Ad on the side of the page while
reading this and think, oh Ive always wanted to play WoW. This is probably a good time to start.
February 13, 2014 at 9:08 pm - Reply
Not sure if someone has already commented on this because Im currently procrastinating
by even reading this post (so Im not going to make it worse by reading the entire comments section),
but |ust wanted to add that procrastination can also be driven by a paralyzing fear of doing something
imperfectly. I suppose avoiding that discomfort by avoiding the task is a relative form of instant
gratificationso perhaps this is |ust another layer of what motivates procrastination.
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February 14, 2014 at 12:35 pm - Reply
You are really something Dude!! Thanks!
February 15, 2014 at 9:40 pm - Reply
I may be the oldest person to have ever read your posts in re procrastination. I am 85 and
was never a procrastinator until maybe 30 years or so ago. Now I can put off even something I want to
do ( like watching the Olympics, which I can hear from the Tv in the other room) in order to check FB,
where I found you. And you can see what happened. and who-or what-won. I thought both articles and
the illustrations were wonderful. Whether I will be able to apply them remains to be seen. But at least,
now I am going to watch the Olympics!
February 17, 2014 at 1:26 am - Reply
im |ust off to spank my monkey
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February 27, 2014 at 5:04 am - Reply
Thanks so much! I am a classic procrastinator and though Ive come up with the occassional
tool to help (like, giving myself a limited time to clean my room and whatever i dont get done in 15
minutes, I let myself off the hook for but not let myself do anything else in that time) Ive begged
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people to help me understand this horrid habit and this inability to be disciplined. This article makes
loads of sense!!
February 27, 2014 at 8:30 am - Reply
I read part 1, and it made a lot of sense. Things feel daunting, and its easier to read
Buzzfeed, play a game, follow link after link, watch something on the DvR, find a new app for the tablet,
etc., etc., etc., and in the process I dont make the phone calls I need to make, or fill out the form I need
to send in, or go to the post office and mail the bills, or change the cat pan, or vacuum the carpet. And
at the end of the night, after obsessively following a string of IMDB threads or watching cat videos on
YouTube, I still have to play a game of Phase 10 on the tablet in bed, even though its 5 a.m. And its not
that I dont get anything done. I have a ridiculous load of responsibilities right now, living with my
elderly parents, having |ust moved them into a new house, making real estate deals that involve
cleaning and hauling and sorting, doing their shopping, doing their finances, cleaning, cooking, getting
the furnace fixed on the unoccupied house, dealing with the frozen sewer lines on said house, etc., etc.,
etc. Its that I do the important things, for them (except the ones that involve phone calls; I
procrastinate on those more than anything), but its all so complicated and chaotic that I crash and
dont do the important things for me, or the things that dont absolutely have to be done. So it was
really interesting to read part 1 and see myself reflected.
Part 2, though, depresses me. Besides being a procrastinator, I *hate* to be told what to do, even by
myself. Ive never been able to diet effectively (although Im currently trying to!), keep good sleep
patterns, avoid compulsively eating anything sweet and free, etc. Part 2 feels like *losing*, in a way,
which is weird.
And its not like I cant envision a life without procrastination. I dont like to have things hanging over
my head. The more simple everything is, the easier it is for me to accomplish things, the more
*pleasant* it is to cross them off my list (and of *course* have a lists. Many lists.) when I stay in a
motel for a few days, life is completely organized. Im the master of that domain.
But the more complicated, the more chaotic, the more nebulous the choices become and the more
distanced I feel from the responsibilities. And the less important, in the greater scheme of things, those
responsibilities are, the less likely I will tackle them, *because I dont have to*.
I like the Post-It note tip a lot. Reminders are good. I will use that one, and think about the others
soon I did make a phone call today that I have literally been putting off for months, so theres
some progress.
Thank you for putting this into relatively simple and non-daunting language.
February 27, 2014 at 9:24 am - Reply
I love this article. I shared particularly hilariously, relatable paragraphs with my housemate,
and felt it was aimed directly at me.
I read part of it and felt I understood the gist of it. Then, realising what that meant I sat and made
myself read it all.
A brilliantly written article. Thank you for making change look less daunting, and more achievable.
Now excuse me while I dust off the old Spanish language lesson tapes.
February 27, 2014 at 11:39 am - Reply
Love love loveeeee your blog!
Especially this article (part 1 & 2). Its extremely helpful ( Im a huge procrastinator). I especially like
your metaphorical examples, really puts a lot into perspective.
Thanks
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February 27, 2014 at 11:34 pm - Reply
Thank you
February 27, 2014 at 11:34 pm - Reply
Analogies are effective
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March 1, 2014 at 5:34 pm - Reply
LOvED the article, esp the visuals-they were awesome in explaining the dark playground
(where i, personally, spend a lot of en|oyable but unsatisfying time), the dark woods, etc.
here is a quote a boy with aspergers wrote (i find it helpful):
"perfectionism and procrastination are the enemy
March 2, 2014 at 11:08 pm - Reply
Fantastic! I couldnt stop laughing! You got it! I officially took early retirement this past year,
but am soon to be teaching part-time at a university. I have had two months to do "x tasks, but have
not done any of them as theres still eight days left! Yes, a class A procrastinator! But, I have found the
last micro-second when I can start a given pro|ect and come up with a very good "product, whatever
that might be. I will, nevertheless, try to grab |ust one brick, one damn brick, and see if I can ward off
the pleasure monkey with it, and then gently put it into place and move forward as I build my upcoming
pro|ect. It would be quite the accomplishment for all of us to get "stuff done without the big struggle.
Thanks for your beautiful insight!
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March 8, 2014 at 7:10 am - Reply
when, in the beginning you mentioned India, I took a break to search for Nepal.
:))))
March 10, 2014 at 9:57 am - Reply
Your insight on my problem was so accurate i wanted to cry at all the wasted time and your
solution so simple to follow that I smiled at the future I can shape. Thank you.
March 10, 2014 at 1:19 pm - Reply
Thank you so much, I now know everything there is to know about Clock handguns and
some of their safety issues. In fact I know so much that Im reluctant to use the term 'safety issues as
theres quite a debate out there as to whether the claim that Clocks have inherent safety issues it valid
or not. So anyways, what did your post end up being about?
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March 14, 2014 at 4:47 am - Reply
Man , I have seen the light , your article is my new religion ! ;p
March 14, 2014 at 6:22 am - Reply
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It is so invigorating to have your daily routine described for what it really is and followed up with a
solution. Ive never read such a great analogy for procrastination. Thank you for being so honest and
for taking the time to write about the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel like I have more tools for
taking on the instant gratification monkey now.
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March 23, 2014 at 1:17 am - Reply
Wasnt supposed to be on Facebook. I was supposed to be downloading stuff for a pro|ect I
am working on. But here I was, putting it all off, and this looked like fun, so I started in. And it was fun.
It totally gratified the monkey, made me honestly acknowledge that all the horrible things that I
pretend arent true about me are in fact true. They were all so clear and obvious to me, every word
tingled with the realization *someone gets me*. But this gave me hope about doing something about it
someday.
Or waitthat was me missing the point again, wasnt it?
*self-loathing*
March 23, 2014 at 10:54 am - Reply
Hi there Dear, are you truly visiting this web site regularly, if so after that you will without
doubt obtain fastidious experience.
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March 27, 2014 at 3:32 am - Reply
Brilliant and insightful. I succumbed to the Instant Cratification Monkey to read this article
and it paid off. Thank you for articulating the perils of procrastination so neatly. My two cents: I think
people that work from home are far more vulnerable to the depredations of the ICM than those that
work in an office. At least in an office theres a chance that someone will notice that youre
procrastinating and set off the panic monster prematurely. At home, when no-one is watching, the Tv]
Internet] Nintendo tell no tales
March 27, 2014 at 6:15 pm - Reply
Fabulously helpful, thank you! I DO have ADHD, but that |ust means my instant gratification
monkey is the size of a gorilla. Framing it this way helps me a lot, and I actually used the image of the
monkey trying to push me off track to keep me on track yesterday. It worked quite well, despite having
forgotten to refill my ADHD meds. So, many thanks again!
March 28, 2014 at 9:44 pm - Reply
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
My only regret is that I couldnt read this two years ago, when the Panic Monster ceased having any
effect on my and my PhD. I have never, ever, experienced anything so debilitating.
Civing names to these emotions is incredibly powerful - Im going to make them work for me.
Massively grateful,
100 year phd student.
March 30, 2014 at 1:08 am - Reply
Ive never noticed yellow cauliflower, but it surely looks divine like a bucket of buttered
popcorn!
pappy
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March 30, 2014 at 9:56 pm - Reply
Wow. Thank you so much for this wonderful post. I like how you explained this horrible
phenomenon so easy and understandable and I felt like it was written for me all the way through the
first and second post. I am a hopeless procrastinator, actuallly right now its 11:53pm and I need to turn
in a paper answerring 15 questions about a sub|ect I havent read a thing about in Spanish (and thats
not my mother tongue ). So instead of enterring the Dark Woods Im still in the Dark Playground,
reading about procrastination. So maybe I should feel guilty about reading this and writing this
comment but thanks anyway I really loved it, and maybe it will help me figure out how to end these
bad habits I have putting off schoolwork, exercising, etc. "Tomorrow everything will change I always
think. But Ive known for a long time Im only lying to myself when I believe that ..
March 31, 2014 at 1:31 pm - Reply
Ive been meaning to talk to you about my procrastination.
March 31, 2014 at 5:54 pm - Reply
|ust tnx a lot.
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April 4, 2014 at 8:48 am - Reply
Im a life long procrastinator Ive changed three |obs in the past 10 years because of it I
start off great, but then as tasks get more and more monotonous, I |ust loose interest and spend all day
doing nothing Even the Panic Monster doesnt help anymore, its as if I want to get punished I |ust
got a new |ob and I need to shake this habit ASAP I specifically chose a smaller firm (more difficult to
hide your inactivity) and a line of career where results are everything (sales). I hope this will be a
constant Panic Monster until I change my MO
Creat post BTW, it was as if you were describing my life
April 4, 2014 at 9:21 pm - Reply
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April 8, 2014 at 3:04 am - Reply
Thank you!! Creat, helpful article!
April 8, 2014 at 11:51 am - Reply
Thats pretty cool, man. Now, lets go bowlin. ]s
April 8, 2014 at 6:09 pm - Reply
This is amazing - this is literally my life, and although its not good, it makes me feel better to
know there are others out there like me. Im the worst kind of procrastinator, because Im the secret
one that covers up their tracks later, so those around me have no idea how bad things really are.
I dont mean to offend anyone, but I almost wish I had a condition that caused or determined my
actions, because Id at least know that there was an aspect of my conscientious, self-destructive
decisions that I couldnt control. Unfortunately, I am perfectly aware of what Im doing, the inevitable
repercussions, and I could stop myself if I really wanted to.
Im going to try out the advice in this article - at this stage, Ive tried so much, Ill try anything new to
overcome this cycle.
:N"G(,
1
Cood luck to everyone trying to defeat their Instant Cratification Monster.
April 8, 2014 at 6:35 pm - Reply
Youre in my head, reading my thoughts. I really connected with Part 1 where you describe
the helplessness of the Rational Decision Maker to control the Instant Cratification Monkey. That is so
frustrating, and I used to get so frustrated and angry with myself for being unable to control that
monkey. I think trying to control the monkey is doomed to fail; it feels like Im trying to beat the
monkey on his own turf and with the same weapons he uses.
Another insight Ive had is that the rational decision maker is not action oriented - and the monkey is.
While my brain is busy making decisions and planning, my hands are idle, and boom! the monkey takes
over and there goes an hour or five or the whole damn day.
So a couple of my key techniques for handling the monkey are to bring him to my turf, and beat him at
the action game. Here are two things Ive learned in relation to that: (1) as soon as I start to take action
I have a good chance of completing the task; and (2) if I can give the monkey some instant gratification
by fooling him into being happy about some part of what Im doing, I have a great chance of
completing the task.
Putting that into practice, lets take vacuuming (my most hated chore). Heres how I get it done:
1) Break it down into smaller chunks. Ive adopted a mentality of "I can do *anything* for five
minutes. So I find a task that can be done in five minutes: vacuuming one room. Usually that five
minutes creates enough momentum for me to keep going and Ill end up vacuuming at least one floor.
The key though is to break the bigger task down into smaller pieces. And those tasks need to be specific
and concrete with a precise definition of done. "Start vacuuming the house isnt concrete. "vacuum
the living room is because you know youre done when the living room is clean. "Take care of the bills
is too big and non-specific. "Open mail and sort into recycling]file]actionable is small and concrete.
2) Cive the monkey the instant gratification he craves by congratulating myself for every
accomplishment along the way, no matter how small. I got out of my chair to go get the vacuum
cleaner? Yes, way to go! I got out the vacuum and plugged it in? Awesome, go me! Yes, it has the feel of
treating yourself like a three year old. Cuess what - the monkey *is* a three year old. And so what if it
takes something stupidly tiny to make the monkey happy: it works, so do it. Also, when I complete the
task, I take a moment to glory in its completeness. Im happy, the monkeys happy.
Regarding that critical, critical, Critical Entry Point, I use several techniques to get through that: (1)
remove distractions and temptations, (2) lower the barrier of entry for the task, (3) schedule it, (4) write
it down on a To Do list, (5) create accountability with someone. I use different techniques depending on
the task, and sometimes multiple techniques. For example with running, I will get my
shoes]shorts]shirt out the night before, and I pretty much need a running partner to help keep me
accountable.
Also, I absolutely hate the Panic Monster. If Ive delayed so long that the Panic Monster takes over and
urges me to action, Ive lost the battle. When I finish Im going to mostly be emotionally frazzled and
mentally drained.
Along the way Ive also gotten rid of some bad mental programming. Perfectionism and the need to do
things 'right is probably the worst. Im still a perfectionist, and I indulge in perfectionism from time to
time, but Ive learned to prioritize "done over "perfect.
Well, this turned out to be a lot longer than I planned. Thanks for these two posts, and putting words
and names to some of my inner thoughts and feelings, and for some fresh encouragement. Ive fought
my war against procrastination for a long time, and have had some degree of success. Like an addiction
though, its a never-ending, sometimes daily struggle, and I bitterly hate the monkey inside me and |ust
want him to go away. He wont, though - which is why posts like yours are so important and valuable.
April 10, 2014 at 12:11 pm - Reply
What an amazing piece of writing it is! I am indebted to you
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April 10, 2014 at 11:28 pm - Reply
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! This explains so much of the frustration, guilt, and difficulty that
Ive struggled with for years and years. I hope your battle with procrastination is still going wellthank
you for giving me a place to start with my own battle.
April 14, 2014 at 11:12 am - Reply
Thank you for this! A great summary of how Im living my life (and hating it) and it feels nice
to have it put into words]pictures that make sense.
April 14, 2014 at 12:27 pm - Reply
Excellent! very clear and easy to follow.
I have been a terrible procrastinator. I try to aim for perfection but in the end get nothing done!
Thanks for the time and effort in writing these 2 posts, theyve given me solid information to take away
and finally get my business moving.
April 14, 2014 at 2:39 pm - Reply
Hey guys, |ust want to thank you for writing this massive article, it is definitely going to be
the highlight of my day!
Sergio
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April 22, 2014 at 6:12 pm - Reply
THANK YOU.
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April 30, 2014 at 6:15 pm - Reply
This is spot on.
So very much of what you have written rings true with my own problems that have had a massive
negative impact on my life.
Even to the last of the article about ruining relationships. I have been 'studying for many many years to
gain a degree. The panic monster arrives too late and I quit. Later without picturing the IC Monkey I try
again and fail. Likewise with Karate. I train for months and then quit and dont succeed. The frustration
and lack of self esteem affect myself and my family and the time spent away from my family while
spending 4 hours to do what should take 2 happens often.
Thank you again with great sincerity.
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May 10, 2014 at 8:54 am - Reply
Creat article, amazing insights, too many words. Please can you make do a diagram like the
TED Triangle?
May 11, 2014 at 9:23 pm - Reply
But what if ALL items are important AND urgent?
May 12, 2014 at 7:10 am - Reply
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Thank you for sharing this. My procrastination has started to become worse over the years,
and I really didnt understand why. It has started to affect my life and relationships, to the
point where I feel ashamed to admit to others the tasks I never complete. I hate myself for it.
I think it is the storyline and self confidence thing I recognise what youre saying is probably true and
Im telling myself I will follow your advice, but somehow deep down, I still feel that I cant do it.
Would you happen to know an online community of chronic procrastinators? I think it would really help
people like us to keep each other in check, maybe with less shame.
May 16, 2014 at 4:00 am - Reply
Creat couple of posts. Others have said it, but they really hit home for me and helped me to
visualize what goes on in my head every time I avoid getting something productive done. Thanks!
May 24, 2014 at 4:53 am - Reply
Unfortunately, I stopped reading this post at "Planning and planned to read it later by
sharing the post. I think this was a poor plan!
May 27, 2014 at 2:12 pm - Reply
Youre dark playground was exactly how I spent yesterday evening! Amazing post.
May 28, 2014 at 10:14 pm - Reply
Wow! Thats really very helpful. Thanks a lot mate.
May 29, 2014 at 8:57 pm - Reply
Thanks dude, great article
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|une 2, 2014 at 12:50 am - Reply
Loved the first post. Read the first 2 paragraphs here. Sorry, couldnt finish too long and
Ive got other shiny things calling my name.
|une 5, 2014 at 8:21 pm - Reply
I kinda think this post |ust saved my life. Been feeling like my PhD was gonna eat me alive.
After four years it is a deep dark pit with no light anywhere. Now I realise I |ust gotta train the monkey
and this thing might actually be possible.
I cannot describe how hopeful this post makes me - and how much I needed to read it.
Thank you.
|une 8, 2014 at 9:41 pm - Reply
I self-diagnosed myself w]ADHD about 4 yrs ago at age 39. Such an eye-opener. Explains the
lateness, procrastination, etc. Cet a coach, gets on meds, share info with family and friends, see a
therapist, meditate, exercise. These things all help me or on my to-do list (some I procrastinate on,
some I cannot afford yet)!
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|une 5, 2014 at 8:46 am - Reply
Yes, come |oin us at procrastinators anonymous. |ust google it and it will be the first link.
The site is undergoing some repair now so you might have trouble signing up for a while.
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|une 14, 2014 at 4:49 pm - Reply
Thank you very much. You identified my problem literally step by step. I was about to laugh
because it was like you wrote a book about me. I see myself from another view now. I can recognize
now, when the hardest time for decision-making is. I imagine monkey who wants to play and
everything what happened if monkey wins. This article really opened my eyes and saved my soul,
because my whole life was a misery and I was starting to get hopeless. I have not anything completed.
My life goals persisted week or two and then gone like "maybe sometimes. Thank you so much that
you helped me to understand myself. Luke, 24, Czech Republic.
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|une 15, 2014 at 1:28 pm - Reply
A LOT of the time I spend in my Dark Playground is spent on reading articles directly or
remotely related to procrastination, motivation, and productivity. I |ust read this article again, (or
rather, I finally read all of it - I didnt quite manage to get to the end last time, probably due to some
other DP distraction), and Im so happy I did. Definitely worth the time it took to read - this is one of the
best articles Ive ever read on procrastination, not |ust in terms of 'How do I stop procrastinating?, but
definitely also in terms of 'What is procrastination and why do I keep finding myself wandering around
this terrible place called the Dark Playground?
So often, its frustratingly clear that the person writing the article on procrastination has no real issue
with it themselves, or has no issue putting things off at all. All they really seem to say is, '|ust stop! :D
Doesnt seem like theyve ever heard of the Instant Cratification Monkey at all, lucky bastards. Anyway,
this is |ust a very roundabout way of saying I thoroughly en|oyed reading this and will surely refer back
to it in the future while I lay down my bricks and spend as little time as I can manage in the Dark
Playground
|une 15, 2014 at 1:51 pm - Reply
I loved this article. It was like you were peering into my mind and poring out my mix of
emotions. I have been held back by procrastination throughout my life, |ust doing enough to fool those
around me.
The only thing this article misses is the fear that fuels the instant gratification monkey. The fear is
palpable, and I do not know why it is always there. I know what I need to do but it scares me to think
that I may fail or I may get negative feedback regarding my efforts. If I do get criticism it creates a panic
monster that makes me do what needs to be done, at least for that day.
Ironically, if I get praised for my work it has the opposite effect of making me again become complacent
and feel free to head into the dark playground until a new deadline looms.
|une 16, 2014 at 12:05 pm - Reply
I feel this is among the such a lot important information for me. And im glad studying your
article. But should observation on few basic issues, The site taste is ideal, the articles is in point of fact
great : D. Cood activity, cheers
|une 16, 2014 at 2:41 pm - Reply
Hi, this article duo really speaks to me, and its the first time that I read such a complete
description of how procrastination work and substantially FEELS. But I want to add something to the
story and that is about the panik monster. Through the first 25 years of my life the panik monster was
my best friend and it help me achieve a lot, i felt bad about my self but at least I achived a lot of things
that I wanted to do. But then I got depressed due to an burnout. Now a few years later and a sick leave
for about 1,5 year I am "well again. But due to the depression and the overuse of the panik monster I
am not able to use the panik monster anymore. When I try to, instead of getting power to achieve the
task I have procrastinated I fell hopelessness and passivity, and in the end a lot of self hate and anxiety.
So now my big problem is to find another way (instead of the panik monster) to get motivates and stop
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procrastinate a task. Is there any one else that feels this way and have come up with some solution?
|une 23, 2014 at 7:28 pm - Reply
I have a King Kong. Cood evening.
|une 25, 2014 at 8:43 am - Reply
Youre my hero!
|uly 2, 2014 at 7:22 pm - Reply
Ive been procrastinating for about a month to get to reading this
|uly 3, 2014 at 2:54 pm - Reply
My name is Simon and I am a terrible procrastinator. This post post has been bookmarked
for me to read for about 6 weeks and only today did I read it. I hate being like this and will, today, start
to learn how to stop. Thank you
|uly 7, 2014 at 4:53 am - Reply
How did you get in my head?
|uly 7, 2014 at 8:14 pm - Reply
I |ust procrastinated on studying for my exam in order to read your post. Brilliant stuff.
In fact it is was so good I want to procrastinate more!
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screenwriting from screenwriter |ohn August
|uly 28, 2014 at 10:01 am - Reply
Phenomenally well-written and so, so intuitive for anyone who knows what Procrastination
looks like. It captured every thought and emotion that I experience when I procrastinate. Thanks a ton -
I hope to keep reminding myself of how to change this horrible tendency.
|uly 29, 2014 at 4:00 pm - Reply
You should translate this into spanish - I spend a lot of my time working in Spanish speaking
countries and this is a ma|or problem here as it is everywhere in the world. HAHA as if writing it in
english was not a sufficiently daunting task..
|uly 31, 2014 at 7:38 am - Reply
Thank You So much for sharing this.
I didnt realize that i was deeply trapped in the dark of procrastinating until recently and i really hate
it when i lie before my computer and search for all those dazzling but useless things.
Its so good to look deep inside and see what 's going on with my own mind.
Thanks a lot for this , really, now on my way to start.
(But why cant see the images? Is it the problem of my computer or ? )
?(.
August 26, 2014 at 10:20 am - Reply
See my post below, maybe it will help you
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August 7, 2014 at 8:06 pm - Reply
Amazing post! Motivates me so much, should work for few days at least! But I have spotted another
problem with me and my monkey: whenever we finish a hard task and we happily en|oy a bit into the
Happy Playground, we do it so long, that it soon turns into a Dark Playground again. And the problem
is, since the monkey already was patient enough to go with me trough the dark woods, I feel like
rewarding him to en|oy in the Dark Playground as much as he wants. And this can last for weeks after
some task is completed. What would you suggest in such a situation?
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August 23, 2014 at 2:13 am - Reply
I really love this article! It is exactly what I go through all the time, as my Instant Cratification
Monkey always wants to play on the Internet and read for fun instead of study and work outmonkey
needs more high-self-esteem bananas.
I will definitely take the advice in this articleI hope it helps me. Usually I |ust wait till the Panic Monster
shows up, then feel miserable.
August 26, 2014 at 10:15 am - Reply
As a master procrastinator myself I have to agree with everything that you have written here.
My feeling is that what you have described in the two articles are the effects procrastination have on
peoples mind. What you have not described though is the real reason people undertake this "activity.
In a nutshell, people engage in this "activity because deep down they do not want to succeed at
whatever they procrastinate. The reasons for this might be that their subconscious mind says that they
should not do it, they are in their comfort zone and not want to get out or whatever other inner reason.
It has also to do, to a lesser extent, with the emotional maturity (or lack of it actually). Until you sort out
the real reason, no amount of techniques will work because your subconscious mind will always find a
way to detail your nice planning and techniques, in order to keep you as you are. As strangely as it
seems, a procrastinator is actually in state of balance, regardless of the negative feelings they might
have about it. Until the frame of reference changes, that is determining what you really want from life,
no durable changes to the behavior can take hold. Then, and only then the techniques will help break
the habits, although my personal experience tell me that the techniques are not needed when the root
(inner) cause for the behavior has been eliminated. If people really, but really want to succeed at
something, they will need no technique to stop procrastinating. What I mean by "really want is that
their conscious and subconscious minds are aligned on the matter and that the "goal is not |ust an
idea picked up mindlessly from parents, relatives or the media and transformed in a goal meant
primarily to validate oneself in the eyes of the others.
Back to work now
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September 2, 2014 at 3:19 am - Reply
By reading this, I am procrastinating. And yet I am too lazy to read this |ust yet so Im going
to look at funny pictures until I feel like reading :)
September 4, 2014 at 7:56 pm - Reply
You are a beautiful human. Thank you for writing this. I struggle with procrastination every.
single. day.
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What works best for me is a simple checklist. I spend a few minutes at the beginning of my day or work
session writing down every small chunk I can think of for a task I want to get done, with a little check-
box next to each one. Every time I finish one, I check it off. I start with the quick]easy ones. Checking off
boxes feels really good and it keeps my monkey interested long enough to get focused on tackling the
harder stuff.
September 6, 2014 at 10:49 pm - Reply
This is an awesome article. I feel exactly this way many times. Maybe add some more about
wanting things to be perfect so you dont even begin working on them since theres no time to make it
perfect. Lol! Your tips for avoiding procrastination are good!!!
September 7, 2014 at 4:09 am - Reply
Im amazed and grateful. Thanks for expressing in such a brilliant way what Ive been living
for quite a while. Somehow (through experience, of course) I knew it all; I recognized all the things
described, |ust didnt know how to transform the phenomenon into words. Now everything is so clear -
what has been my painful reality and how to change it! You are one of the best writers I have ever
had the pleasure to read. Keep on doing whatever you do because youre great!
September 7, 2014 at 3:20 pm - Reply
Brilliance. I am impressed, WBW.
You have my continued interests.
September 10, 2014 at 12:30 am - Reply
wow, |ust wow!
September 15, 2014 at 8:17 am - Reply
excellent post which exactly describes procrastination in simple terms with correct examples
when compared to other research material by distinguished psychologists where it takes more effort in
understanding the help material .
Will bookmark this and also save the content.
September 16, 2014 at 9:06 am - Reply
Inspiring quest there. What occurred after? Take care!
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September 16, 2014 at 11:20 am - Reply
wow !
It s a eye opener !
B'(H' ( <'/MO
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