Academic Procrastination 2006

Academic Procrastination 2006

I came across Fumbling Toward Geekdom while checking my referrer logs, and found this great personal review of anti-procrastination techniques that the author, an academic with the handle “StyleyGeek”, had herself tried in 2006. In short: what worked, what didn’t, with many interesting links to tricks like:

  • The Invisibility Cloak
  • Unscheduling
  • Contingency Management.

Intriguing! There’s also a link in this followup post describing an idea called rebooting your day, culled from a list of programmer productivity tips. It’s awesome:

As a last resort, reboot your day. This is something I do not just with work, but any time a day is going so incredibly badly it just can’t be saved. Turn off the lights and take a quick nap. 20 minutes is best. When you get up, take a shower, make a small breakfast, and just go through your morning routine as if it were the first time. Try to forget anything prior even happened.

Through Fumbling Toward Geekdom, I found another link to Jim Gibbon’s 5 Productivity Tips of 2006, which lists still more techniques I haven’t tried. Sweet!


  1. Michael Doornbos 18 years ago

    Love the idea of rebooting.  This works for me in the late afternoon when I’ve not been able to get the day rolling or when I’ve been knocked down by something.

  2. Devin 18 years ago

    That’s an awesome description of what I do with biphasic sleep (nap in the afternoon, sleep a little at night). I either come home from school or work, “reboot” and then start over. It’s worked well for almost a year now!

  3. zzap 18 years ago

    Awesome links, thanks. As Devin said, biphasic sleep really is awesome. I recommend you try it.

  4. Dave Seah 18 years ago

    I used to do the biphasic sleep routine for a couple weeks at a time when I was really split between lots of work and home stuff. I probably need to get back to it, since my day has now split into “blogging” and “project work”. Glad to hear that it’s worked for you, and thanks for that reminder!

  5. Vadi 18 years ago

    we should start using ‘precrastination’ as a word. This way there is a word that is opposite of procrastination. Precastination, for examole can be defined as willfully doing some task that does not necessarily needs to be done now. Once idea is encapsulated into this word, it is easier to fight procrastination with precrastination.

    I generally keep my clock about fiftenn minutes faster than normal. This way when I am supposed to be completing some task by some time, and my clock passes that time, I am concious. Though I know my clock is 15 minutes ahead, somehow it alerts.

    If this advancing clock can be done for dates it will be graet. Perhaps you have a Calendar that is a day in advance? But somehow that idea still looks far fetched. Any good suggestions?

  6. Dave Seah 18 years ago

    That’s an interesting idea, Vadi. It gives me an idea for a clock. I eventually get to know how fast my clock is, so I need a way to keep me on my toes…you’ve given me an idea :-)

  7. John Richardson 18 years ago

    Great post, Dave. Some very interesting ideas here. The best thing I found that worked for me in 2006 was a 48 minute focused work period. I work for 48 minutes with no distractions and then take a 12 minute break.

    This simple concept has really helped me overcome procrastination. On most work days I usually get up around 4:30am and do two, back to back focused periods.

    As far as naps go, I’ve had good luck with them at lunch and in the early evening. The big key to napping is to limit them to 15-20 minutes. When I really need to get a big project done, I divide the day into four, six hour periods. I sleep for 6 hours and end the next two 6 hour periods with a 20 minute nap. I call it <a href=“; title=“quadraphasic” rel=“nofollow”> living, and it keeps me alert throughout the day.

    Keep up the great work!


  8. StyleyGeek 18 years ago

    Thanks for the link!  I’ve been avoiding checking my site stats for the last two weeks because I am on holiday overseas and assuming I’d have no traffic.  What a surprise to see the huge spike in traffic when I did check!

    Now I’m just sorry I hadn’t put up any new content while I was away.