On why this post would have a better title if only I weren't so busy

"Jane Burka and Lenore Yuen, pioneer researchers on procrastination, provide some especially useful insights into blocking.  Procrastinators are, for instance, uniquely incapable of enjoying free time; they have trouble relaxing because they customarily rush from one immediate task to another as a way to avoid other, less pleasant activities such as writing.  That is, instead of using free time wisely as writers (e.g., relaxing, noticing, and putting ideas into writing), they spend it on busywork (e.g., reading and responding to unnecessary memos [or emails]) or distractions (e.g., office cleaning to the point of obsessiveness).  When they cannot stay busy, they worry.

"Procrastinators also, because they approach tasks blindly and try to complete them hurriedly, do not learn to make realistic estimates of how much time major tasks like writing will take.  First, they underestimate the time needed for prewriting, rewriting, and editing.  Then, they fail to appreciate that large projects can be completed in an accumulation of brief, regular bits of work.

"Other researchers make similar points about procrastinators.  For one thing, procrastinators stand out for their use of negative emotions (anger, anxiety, guilt) as both motivators and as excuses; writers who rely on pressure to work may then feel too tense to write.  For another thing, procrastinators rush to submit what is clearly less than their best effort; they impatiently and recklessly shortchange the proofreading and other minimal safeguards against misunderstanding and rejection."

--Robert Boice, How Writers Journey to Comfort and Fluency: A Psychological Adventure (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1994), p. 94.


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