Posted in My World View, Random thots..

Idea #4: Procrastination is good for you!


Fine. I’ll admit it.

Since the last two days, I was struggling with the Idea for this week. There were a few possibilities knocking in my head, but they somehow didn’t fit in. Desperate in need for a bright shiny idea, I made fanciful preparations to lure and ensnare it.

You know the regular routine… Turn off the TV. Adjust the lighting. Fix the cushions. Fill the coffee cup. Buckle down to write.

But pushing hard seemed to have the opposite effect. Nothing worked!.

So realizing the futility of it all, I let it go. Picked up a book from my to-read shelf and began reading… It’s surprising that in these moments, Idea #4 struck me.  And ironic as it may sound, it said – Procrastination is good for you!

Well… how many times have you hated yourself for procrastinating? Fussed over details and feared that the sky will fall off if you don’t act soon enough. Lamented on a time atrophied in utter lack of effort.

But then, have you noticed how you get sudden bursts of fertile inspiration after long fallow stretches of inactivity? Or have discovered surprising answers to questions that had simmered in your subconscious, in periods of idleness and solitude.

We consider procrastination to be something evil. The thief of time. The killer of productivity. The scourge of creativity.

But is it really so awful?

Maybe not. It could be a time spent thinking over, sharpening the axe, strategizing! A time getting prepared for all the wonderful things that have been locked in some precious corner of your brain, and required some catalyst to bubble out. A time to witness epiphanies, and assimilate the Eureka moments. A time to realize who you really are, apart from the needy pushy ambitious self that you keep pumping up eternally. A time to wallow in the sweetness of solitude, and the shy answers it brings to your overbearing questions.

If you think of it the other way round, “Procrastination is not the problem. It is the solution. It is the universe’s way of saying stop, slow down, you move too fast”. It is nature’s way of revealing things that you would never have unearthed yourself.

“It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top”!

So the next time you procrastinate, don’t kill yourself with guilt. Look out for those subtle clues that might have evaded your conscious mind.

Did it ignite a spark in you, the seed of the idea which had eluded you all this while? Or a key element in a new path which had always dodged you and deemed impossible. Or did it suddenly dawn that the thing you were pursuing relentlessly all this while wasn’t worth it at all??

Yes, that’s what creators call epiphany… the eureka moment which will creep up shyly to you when you are alone. When you sit down and let it go. When you filter all the noisy channels and focus.

I can hear you asking – Focus on what?

And my answer is – Nothing.

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Posted in My World View, Random thots.., Time Machine

Resolutions 2012!


I was flipping through my Rambling journal (yes, I have one where I scribble about the humdrum of my plebian life!), and stumbled upon this post. It was written in these New Year holidays, and had somehow got lost in the abundanceof babble.

So, I guessed I might as well post it. Everybody posts New Year resolutions in January. But the good thing about posting it in Feb is that you have one less month to follow them! 😛

OK. Here are a bunch of things that I have to do his year, and the list goes like this:

Focus, focus, focus: I have always been like this. So many ideas buzzing in my head, like tiny arrows flying around – until they crash into each other and I am left with a heap of scrap!. And what is the reason?

I need to FOCUS!

I have realized the importance of this from my husband (he is a perfectionist in whatever he does). So, while he is at some task, it’s like he has been teleported to a parallel universe. So, no matter how much you coax, cajole, push or prod him –it’s like you have simply ceased to exist!. And after his work is finished, he will casually reappear and ask – “Were you saying something?”. That would infuriate me so much – I wanted to box his ears! (Don’t be so shocked, every wife wants to do that! 😛 )

The point is; that made me wonder – “Why can’t I work like that?”..  For one, I have so many other things ringing in my head. And all my energy is dissipated in trying to scare these thousand unnecessary problems away. And the pitiful truth is – they don’t even get sorted!. In the sense, even if you focus on these imps, there is no guarantee that you have solved these small recurring problems once and for all.

Hence, it is best to prioritize, realize what has value and what does not.. And then focus on the things that have value and move on. Follow the Pareto principle in your life. 80% of the shit in your life is because of 20% of things. So cut the crap, remove the chaff..Focus!.

Complete what you have started: I start on a lot of things, but end up finishing very few of them. And Dude, that is a very big problem! You have GOT TO finish off the things you’ve started..

For one, nothing has value until it is complete.

Two, you begin to lose faith in new ideas if you haven’t done very well with your old ones. That makes you begin to underestimate your potential (which is really BAD!).

Three, the feel good factor generated from finished projects is like an exhilarating drug. It gives you precious confidence and will spur a lot of new ideas too!.

I am not saying that you should run after all the things that you have started. What I am saying is that all your tasks should have a rational completion; even marking an incomplete task as an abandoned project is a logical end. Otherwise the work desk in your head is perpetually cluttered with unfinished projects and you feel dissatisfied all the time – for no real reason!

Set deadlines for yourself: Remember the time when you used to function perfectly like clockwork if there were certain deadlines for you to keep up to; maybe because you had an exam to write of a quiz to give? And notice how your productivity peaked during the last few moments of exam preparation?

Well, now that we don’t have many exams to give in life, yet it is useful to try and harness that last minute power rush by pushing yourself to work in time boxed compartments. That way, you would be doing all the things you want to do, and also ensure that other things are not neglected. I feel this is particularly useful for creative work because there is no empirical method to measure whether you have been successful in what you are doing. Also, you can carry on and on with a certain piece of work to give it the shot of perfection – but never be satisfied with it!  So, setting deadlines will help.

Don’t procrastinate: Well, this one is the biggest bug of all. Procrastinating.. Thinking.. Thinking.. And in the end doing nothing!. What is the cause of this scourge?

The number one cause would be laziness, which can then be turned into excuses like waiting for the perfect time or idea to stroll by. But mostly, it is me stuck in a mindset that I whatever I have with me right now is just not good enough. So I go round and round in a merciless loop. Low confidence leads to procrastination leading to lower productivity which lowers my confidence even more. God, I have problems!!!!

Well, what is the solution? I am reminded of a motivational SMS sent by a great friend – “You can’t cross the sea by merely staring into the water“!

So go ahead and write that prize fetching paper on “Why the Euro zone economic crisis is caused by the melting of Polar ice caps?” or crank up that Artificial Intelligence based e-commerce startup you had always been thinking about.

Stop brooding and start working; because Telepathic and telekinetic devices haven’t been invented as yet!:P

Positive thinking: Okay, let me make it clear here. When I say positive thinking, I do not mean daydreaming. I know the idea of dreaming to success is quite enticing, but unfortunately, wishful dreams rarely turn into reality. They keep floating like some intangible beautiful cumulonimbus clouds, making you gaze at them with a sense of wonder ( until you get a tight slap in the face from an irritatingly righteous fellow called Common sense, and a rude kick in the butt from that merciless guy called Reality X-( )..

Now coming to the point on why positive thinking is critical.

Because, you will always be equal or lesser of all the things that you thought and believed you were capable of. It is very rare that someone who thinks she is capable of very less actually went ahead and achieved a lot more. That is simply not possible. Whatever you achieve will always be a subset of what you think you can. So think huge, humungous, gargantuan, brobdingnagian.. Because your future ( and life ) depends on it!

So here is my list of self improvement resolutions for this year. Hope my rambling soliloquies have been useful to you.

Au Revoir for now, and cya soon!