Procrastination has always affected me as a tech professional. You can probably tell by the fact that this is my first blog post for a few months. Ideas have been brewing, but I never got around to writing them up. Not spending your time on side projects, blogs, learning new things etc. can be harmful both to your career and your mental health, so it’s a topic worth exploring. I’ve spent a lot of time over the years reading about it and wanted to share some of what I’ve read.
This post is a short reading list for those interested in the topic of procrastination, and it follows on from a talk I gave at the excellent MK Geek Night. Here is the audio and the accompanying slides.
If you’re reading this while you should be doing something else, I hope you appreciate the irony.
If you only read one thing from this list, it should be this. It’s the daddy of all procrastination literature, and chiefly where the idea of procrastination linked to monkeys came from. The whole blog is fantastic, sadly also a great source of things to read when procrastinating…
A post from Raptitude, one of my favourite blogs. Reading this particular post was a real eye-opener, and it’s what started me on my journey of trying to understand procrastination. It gave me a lot of insight into the procrastinating behaviour and really hit home.
The Now Habit – Neil Fiore
A classic book in the procrastination literature. David Cain mentions it in his Raptitude post, and I can only echo that a lot of it resonated with me too. Fiore’s idea of an “Unschedule” is a particularly good thing to try. Disclaimer: no monkeys in this one.
The Chimp Paradox – Prof Steve Peters
While not chiefly about procrastination, the whole book is centred on the “inner chimp” and what to do about it. The insights are definitely applicable to procrastinators.
War of Art – Steven Pressfield
A book with short, sharp chapters dealing with Resistance, Pressfield’s personification of procrastination. Again, no monkeys, just some real home truths.
Hacker News Threads
- “The cure for procrastination? Forgive yourself”
- “To Stop Procrastinating, Start by Understanding the Emotions Involved”
Finally, I’ve bookmarked a couple of threads from Hacker News. Procrastination comes up quite often, as it’s a topic that affects a lot of us in the tech industry, and I found it immensely helpful to see other people’s perspectives. The underlying articles are good too, but it’s the discussion that I think makes these particularly worthwhile reading. It’s great to read a well-written article or book on the subject, but sometimes it helps to hear it directly from those affected by it, in a less edited, ‘raw’ form.
This is just a small slice of what’s out there on the subject of procrastination, and I’d welcome some of your suggestions on resources that I haven’t included but you feel are worth sharing.