Questioning the Procrastination Approach (Interview with Devin)

We are excited to present our first interview at this blog dealing with issues related to procrastination. Devin is our first participant, as he came across this blog while looking for methods to counteract and overcome the habit of putting off his priorities, tasks and, ultimately, his dreams. Devin wanted to volunteer and express his disagreement with a lot of what we are doing here. We appreciate his honesty and different perspectives. The transcript of the interview is below.

Patrick:
Thanks for taking the time to chat with me.

Devin:
It’s no problem at all. In fact, I warn you, I have to be blunt, because I feel like it’s important for me to express my views before too many procrastinators get carried away with what you’re doing here at this blog. I guess I’ve come as a warning, and to give my side because I don’t see much of the work here addressing any of my concerns.

Patrick:
Can you clarify what you mean? And don’t worry about holding back, or offending me, because it’s good feedback to know and learn about why certain materials are actually not help procrastinators.

Devin:
First off, I think too many of your posts have too much of an idealistic, playful tone. In essence, you are not taking the topic of ‘procrastination’ seriously enough. I stumbled upon your blog looking for ideas, methods, solutions, to deal with my own procrastination. Instead, I mostly found writing that perpetuated procrastination.

Patrick:
What do you mean by that? Can writing not be a means to be productive?

Devin:
Yes, it can, but too much of the writing here is just used to delay….at least that’s the sense I get. I mean, it’s great that you guys are having so much fun here, but all this time spent writing can be better spent directly dealing with the problem of procrastination. After exhausting yourselves with writing, what energy will you have left to do anything else?

Patrick:
I can understand your point Devin, but I guess part of the experiment with this blog is to explore the process a bit, and use writing as a means to do that. I mean writing is very helpful to hear about the experiences, the frustrations, and also the joys in dealing with this issue.

Devin:
I don’t have a problem with that, but I do worry about the imbalance. So much time is spent describing the experiences and how you procrastinate, but not enough time is used to deal with solving the problem. There just seems to be no urgency in this blog, in the writing, in the approach. You know what I mean?

Patrick:
But perhaps having too much urgency and a serious demeanor can cause more anxiety than it should. I’m maybe trying to introduce a perspective that considers a bit of lighter approach, noticing the humor, and that will put us in a better frame of mind to pick out what is really important.

Devin:
Sorry, not good enough. You lack discipline, structure, fortitude. What? Just share experiences all your life? Again, I maybe sounding harsh, but perhaps I’m just going to the extreme so you see what is obvious and most direct. By being indirect, talking around the issue, trying to write stories with hidden underlying meanings, it may be interesting for creativity, but not if you’re trying to solve procrastination. If my quick observations are correct, I think I’m the only one so far to give somewhat negative and critical feedback on your blog. There’s too much soothing, accepting, and keep going on what you’re doing kind of response here.

Some visitors may even mistake that you are promoting procrastination. Actually, come to think of it, I’m not even sure? Are you promoting it?

Patrick:
I don’t know if I would say it in those terms, but I am exploring other angles to it.

Devin:
Hey, I enjoy some of the writing here as well. Just want some more balance, and just want to tell you that a lot of people who came here with a purpose and expecting something, are getting nothing close to that. I’m sure there are some who are pleasantly surprised, but would there also be some who say you are avoiding what is most central?

Patrick:
Thank you Devin for these points. I have to admit, many of them I did not consider, and certainly some of your perspectives may need to be looked at for future posts.

Devin:
Thanks for having me, and thanks for letting me come on even though you knew beforehand that I’m quite critical and question the effectiveness in how the blog is helping procrastinators. Indeed, some people who worry about procrastinating may feel that you are not treating the subject seriously enough. Having said that, perhaps your target audience is a bit different?

Patrick:
Interesting points. A good way to end off this interview, providing food for thought that we can discuss further as we meet new participants interested in this subject. Thanks again, Devin, and hope you will return again to share your ideas.

 

 

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5 Comments

Filed under Interview with the Procrastinators

5 responses to “Questioning the Procrastination Approach (Interview with Devin)

  1. You can treat procrastination with a light touch, yet still overcome it when it threatens to be destructive. There’s a new book out titled Productive Procrastination, and it describes how to procrastinate productively, how to tell productive from destructive procrastination, and how to end the destruction kind. It’s available on Amazon.com. Learn more about the book at http://www.Procrastivity.com

  2. Kerul,
    Thanks for dropping by. Hmmm…either a light touch or destructive. Hmmm…think lots of my explorations so far have involved procrastination being somewhere in between light and destructive. It’s that gray area that fascinates me about this subject. But, Devin would probably disagree.
    -patrick

  3. electrongasman

    Well-put criticisms. I would add a support to that: I think that on a theoretical level a group of like-minded people exhibit the same issues as the individuals, so where’s the impetus to move the group on against the inertia and impulse of habit? It would be very easy to acclimate to confession and acceptance and so relieve some of the emotional issues, but much harder to engage the pain of change.

  4. Hello electrongasman,

    Thanks for visiting this blog and in your comment, an excellent reminder of some of the dangers in this project. Instead of a single procrastinator struggling, are we now just a big group of procrastinators giving ourselves justification and big group hugs to continue delaying?

    You are right in that many of the stories here center around themes of confession, and accepting the experiences we’ve had. And, emotionally, a lot of to get this release after sharing and writing. However, is any significant change happening?

    Thanks for asking, and pointing us towards the tough question. Can future posts take it to another level and include themes of change?

    -patrick

  5. Pingback: Arguing Against an Overly Supportive Environment (Interview with Devin) « Procrastination Post

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