Saturday, February 23, 2008


In a fit of energy, I decided to stop procrastinating. I was inspired by some listening and reading I did... while procrastinating. Tim Pychyl, a Carleton University Professor, has a great website on procrastination -- the research focus of his group at Carleton. He also has a great podcast called "iProcrastinate". Anyway, my favourite episode of the podcast basically consists of him chastising the listener for "cyberslacking". Basically, this is the self-delusion that because you are sitting at work, at your computer, you are "working". We all know, deep down, that isn't true. He rails against Facebook, email, IM, online news, etc. and says these are forms of entertainment, not forms of useful work activity (no matter how much we might try to convince ourselves that using Facebook is for research into social networks).

This really resonated for me. I often go home feeling like I've missed an entire day, and that is because I've been "cyberslacking" for hours, rather than getting up and leaving my computer if I've made a conscious decision not to work, or otherwise intentionally shutting off distractions and getting to it. As hard is it might be, I think he's right, I need to turn off IM and email notifiers for several hour blocks, and force the Facebook use and the newspaper to my at home hours. That way, maybe I'll actually get some at home hours. This isn't rocket science, it's something I've been battling for a while, but having a Dr. who researches procrastination somehow just validates the problem for me.

My favourite quote: "Cyberslacking is making you a mouse potato". OK, well maybe "desk potato" would be more congruent with the original phrase, but whatever, it's a nice saying.

So, as of today, no more mouse potato. At least until I forget about this blog post. Enough cyberslacking with my blog.


Anonymous said...

Definitely a well-written post. *applause* I agree with you about the need to stop procrastination. I've found help at and that website has a variety of ways to stop procrastination. I've tried and i can already see an improvement in my condition. should try.

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