Category Archives: Interview with the Procrastinators

This section contains transcripts of question-answer sessions, discussions, conversations with a variety of procrastinators in an effort to learn how they struggle, cope, and maybe even thrive when dealing with procrastination in their lives.

Arguing Against an Overly Supportive Environment (Interview with Devin)

We again welcome back Devin and thank him for taking the time to revisit us for another interview. Though our views often disagree, we certainly appreciate his concern, feedback, and suggestions for improvement. Today, he doesn’t hold anything back as he confronts us directly about still avoiding and not really taking concrete steps to deal with achieving meaningful change. The transcript of our interview is below.

Patrick: Welcome back Devin. I sense you’re eager to get started and still quite unhappy with us.

Devin:

Without a doubt, without a doubt! I see that not much significant has changed here since the last time we talked. At least, not in your postings or style. However, I am starting to sense some support from a few of the comments from other readers.

Patrick: Can you offer some specific examples of what you like?

Devin:

Absolutely! These words from a couple of readers…I totally agree with and I think is exactly what a lot of you need. That kind of slap in the face, via direct words, to wake up and not just constantly balance ideas, weighing back and forth, and seemingly forever in debate and reflection.

I think electrongasman put it quite accurately when he stated: “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?”

I agree in that you are in fact aggravating the situation by drawing a group towards your writing and methods. We usually think of support groups as being beneficial and promoting a friendly environment to share and empathize. However, with procrastinators, I don’t think we should try to manufacture such an agreeable, soft, ‘it’s okay’, kind of environment. It would serve procrastinators some good if they got used to more confrontation, pressure, disagreement, and just having less choices. A discplined environment would be more effective than a overly supportive one.

Patrick: Are you saying that it’s possible this project is doing more harm than good?

Devin:

There’s a good chance of that. As electrongasman mentioned, it’s even harder to instill change among a bigger group if the group starts to feel good about maintaining their old patterns. And your site, even if not on purpose, does promote that. You are making people feel a bit too comfortable with procrastination, and suddenly they get reinforced for not changing. The danger is now the group may think they are participating in change, addressing their procrastination problems, but in fact really making things worse. Going to gatherings, having distant discussions, writing in journals, while it all amounts to quite a bit of effort, does not equate to action and change.

Patrick: Are you worried that your approach can come across as quite patronizing and scare people off?

Devin:

Excellent. I think that is needed. To stimulate urgency and fear, and that there are people who are not on your side, and that’s just reality. Listen, I’m not in the business of feelings and I don’t worry about how hurt someone may get. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not totally against support groups. But I do think the group can be more effective by holding members accountable. As electrongasman said, 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.”

I get the feeling that too many here are so fixated on the ’emotional issues’ that they are not willing to activate change because it would be too painful. It’s as if the end goal is to feel better, and then leave it at that.

Patrick:

Well, this is quite stimulating, and I certainly do not want to leave our conversation at that, but unfortunately our time is up today. We have to bring you back for more, Devin, and also would like to encourgage other people with experiences in procrastination to consider coming on for an interview to maybe offer points to further support or argue against Devin? Or maybe in the future we’ll even consider having Devin and another participant on at the same time to hopefully provide interesting discussion.

Devin:

I look forward to it. Patrick, you seem to be falling more and more into the role of moderator. Wish you would argue with me a little more, and show some anger…voice it up, instead of just leaving everything in your writing…sometimes a bit too passively.

Patrick:

Hehe..it’s tempting…maybe next time. Again, thanks for making us think…or I guess….you would prefer to make us act…not think so much. See you again.

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Interview with the Procrastinators

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.

 

 

5 Comments

Filed under Interview with the Procrastinators