Just about anyone who has ever put off a troublesome task is familiar with one of my Secrets of Adulthood: Working is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination.
When there's some chore you just don't want to tackle, every other chore seems alluring. As a friend told me, "My apartment is never cleaner than when I have a writing assignment due."
In Roy Baumeister and John Tierney's fascinating book, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, they suggest the "Nothing Alternative" to this problem. That is, if you want to get yourself to do something, make the alternative to that task to do nothing.
This rule was inspired by the habits of writer Raymond Chandler. Chandler set aside at least four hours each day for writing; he didn't force himself to write, but he didn't let himself do anything else. He wouldn't let himself read, write letters, write checks-nothing. He summed up: "Two very simple rules, a. you don't have to write. b. you can't do anythingRead More »from Problem with Procrastination? Try This: Do Nothing