Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I meant to post this yesterday

Digg linked to an article about procrastination.

I think the article's conclusions are a pungent pile of poopie.

This is most likely a case of the "researchers" approaching the topic "objectively" and not really looking into their own souls or to common sense (presuming, of course) for reasons they've procrastinated. Now, since they are interested in the topic, they're either procrastinators themselves and wanted to explore it, or worse, they're those hyper-efficient pains in the ass who "seize the day" and get shit done way before it's necessary, and then wonder prissily why everyone else doesn't do the same.

The reason MOST people procrastinate is because the thing they have to do is an obligation, not a choice (read: Something fun). Most of us don't procrastinate when something's a joy, or something we want to do. No, we typically only procrastinate on obligations. And the primary reason is time management. Why spend more time on something that has to be done than you have to? Often starting too early causes extra work, as does starting way too late. But starting about when something's supposed to be done, giving yourself adequate time to do it, is usually the best way to guarantee that you'll spend the least amount of time on it.

I once worked for a guy who said he liked to hire "lazy" people because they usually found the most efficient (read: Easy) way to solve a problem. They were point A to point B kinda people. I couldn't agree more. These also people tend to "procrastinate" because it's usually wise.

So why did these yahoos (and I use the term with good intentions) miss something that pretty much any given teenager could have told them?

First, let me say I respect the vast majority of the psychological sciences and its adherents. I think they have done a lot to help alleviate human misery and provide succor to those who've desperately needed it - and will do so for the foreseeable future.

But some of them are just freakin' idiots.

It's no secret that some folks who get into psychology do so to attempt to understand why they themselves are so fucked up. So, one has to be on the lookout for these patients in doctor's clothing.

And, some specialties in psychology seem to attract the biggest loons. I've never met a child psychologist (Phd. level) that I would allow to be alone with my child. (Though I've met many "general" clinical psychologists who are great with children, but that's usually because they understand that children's problems are often similar to adult's problems. )

One child psychologist I knew had a nanny because she literally couldn't figure out how to manage her children. She would panic and hire a temporary nanny/babysitter if the primary one went on vacation, took a night off, or became ill. She simply would not be alone with her own children. And ya know what? After getting to know her a little better, I believe her judgment on that issue was sound.

So, maybe the authors of the procrastination article should also do a little research on obsessive compulsive disorder. I'm just saying.

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