Procrastination Flowchart

Blogveloper: [blawg-vel-uh-per] noun: a person or thing that develops or innovates and blogs about it... or maybe just reads things and wants to share them.

This week I reminded myself that I want to do a little more blogging. Perhaps reading How to Build an Online Presence as a Junior Developer by Sam Jarman helped spark the interest again. Although the title mentions Junior Developer I think it contains fair advice for any developer who wants to blog (myself included).

I tend to procrastinate when writing a blog post, as a matter of fact I have two in-progress posts that I have yet to finish (more info at the end of this post). So I ventured out into the "internets" in search of some advice. I stumbled across a video by one of the world's leading professors on procrastination Tim Pychyl. Teaching Talk: Helping Students Who Procrastinate. The talk is aimed at Teacher Assistants helping students however the claim is that if you know how it (procrastination) works, you'll avoid doing it. I embedded the video below:

One of the key takeaways I picked up was to start tackling your tasks by defining concrete steps to get it done. This is a fairly common practice, break down a large task into smaller tasks until it's complete. But breaking down the task is only half the battle, you still need to do the tasks! In the video he talks about the implementation intention. "People who make implementation intentions follow through on their intentions because the cue for their behavior is in the environment... you don't have to think." The framework for this is simple:

In situation X, I will do behavior Y to achieve sub-goal Z

For me that translated to:

After dinner, I will write a short blog post about avoiding procrastination, to achieve my goal of posting at least one blog this month.

Now during dinner I remember: "Oh yea after dinner I need to sit down and write that blog post." Finishing dinner is the cue and sure enough here I am writing a blog.

I hope this may be of some help to you. How do you avoid blogcrastination (I'm on a roll with these new words)?

For more from Tim and the topic of procrastination check out www.procrastination.ca

P.S. I have two blogs in-progress:

  1. An update to Setting Up a Front End Development Environment where I share what's changed since the original implementation.
  2. And I ran across a company handbook that has a great set of resources and examples of onboarding, benefits, policies, culture and more. I'll be digging through it and sharing the information.