A curious omission...

task avoidance.jpg

I had an interesting realization about the book last week: at no point do I use the word deadline.

This came about as I discussed the book with people who had not yet bought their copy (either here, here, or, better, ask your local independent bookseller to order it for you), and almost everyone's reaction to the idea that procrastination was key to the creative process was to laugh and joke about their habit of putting off stuff until the very last minute before the deadline.

One person got a little huffy about it, pointing out the obvious that when one's livelihood depended on meeting deadlines one couldn't afford to procrastinate on projects.  "That's not what the book is about," I said lamely.

And it's not.

That's when I realized that I absolutely did not discuss that aspect of procrastination in the book.  I went back and searched the text, and lo! the word deadline did not appear anywhere in it. As I say in the chapter "Introduction to Lichtenbergianism," This is not actually a book about procrastination.

That whole adrenalin rush of waiting until the last minute before you knock out that research paper? That's great as far as it goes, but it's not a useful implementation of TASK AVOIDANCE.  And it doesn't really obviate the main point of TASK AVOIDANCE: you avoid working on one project (the term paper) by working on another (that other term paper).

The fact that you avoided working on the term paper by sunbathing in the quad or attending the kegger with your buds is your own fault — don't try to blame it on the lofty ideals of Lichtenbergianism!  We see you.


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