Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Day Timers

There is a wide variety of day timers and ways to organize information. The traditional Franklin organizer is really rather pathetic given the options we have. There has been some cool research on them out there, such as:


I also remember one type, that I just can't track down, that uses a very nice funnel systems to get your day done (anyone know what I am talking about?).

There are also lists of suggestions about how to use an organizer, such as:

It has some basic ideas and lot of ones that I won't simply use (e.g., I just won't carry an organizer with me wherever I go). For the most part, I just write lists the days I need to do work and sometimes put long-term elements into my Outlook. calender It works for me, but I am thinking about getting a little more efficient.

I would like to hear about what works for you.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Sydney Morning Herald is getting quite sophisticated. Stutzer and Frey, the researchers they discuss, are right, though they have only part of the picture. First, procrastination is an expression of short-sightedness, not two different things. Second, there are still many other factors to consider. Oh well, what can you expect when you have economists doing psychologists work. Still, the overall article is good and deserves a read.


In a paper by Alois Stutzer and Bruno Frey, of the Institute for Empirical Research in Economics at the University of Zurich, they explain that self-control problems have two aspects: myopia and procrastination.
When people are affected by myopia (short-sightedness), they focus on consuming in the present and lack discernment or long-range perspective in their thinking and planning, thus undermining their wellbeing over time. What tempts us to over-consume are goods or activities offering immediate benefits but negligible immediate costs.
Consider the case of TV watching. The cost of doing it is no higher than having to push a button. In contrast to going to the movies, the theatre or any outdoor activity, you don't need to leave the house, you don't need to get dressed, or buy a ticket or reserve a seat.

Watching telly doesn't require any special physical or cognitive abilities. It's much easier than reading a book.
And unlike other leisure activities, it doesn't need to be co-ordinated with other people. You can sit alone in front of the television, while other leisure activities, such as tennis or golf, require a partner with similar time availability and similar preferences.
Even so, it offers entertainment value and is considered to be one of the best ways of reducing stress.
Moreover, say the authors, while watching TV the immediate marginal costs are made even lower by the possession of a remote control, which "is an invitation to ultra short-term optimisation (zapping)".



Well, since so much of life is about studying procrastination, it makes sense to talk about it less formally too. I am one of probably a dozen people world-wide who has the job of researching procrastination. Perhaps it is not quite as good a profession as being a video game tester, but I enjoy it. However, there is only so much that can be printed in an academic journal. And that is what eblogger is about.

This blog is dedicated to the experience of procrastination, including: thoughts, observations, war stories, and prevention suggestions. If it is about procrastination, I want to hear it!

So, if by some chance you stumble on this before I add any content, try checking out my website at www.procrastinus.com during the meanwhile. There is a ton of quotes, links, and an online measure.

You will forgive me if I am little tardy.

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