About motivation, procrastination, time management and other fashionable but useless things

    Good day, Habr.

    In recent years, I personally have observed a very dubious tendency to preach a “successful” lifestyle. Success stories, as well as their refutations, pour down on us like from a cornucopia: the Internet is full of articles and books on motivation, advertising of trainings “how to become a successful spherical person in a vacuum”, “how to start your startup correctly and become the second Gates \ Jobs \ Zuckenberg ”(Emphasize necessary), TV channels trumpet the next appearance of the next company, based in a garage or Internet cafe, on an IPO and about the rapid rise of stocks on the very first day of trading.

    People consciously strive to achieve each of their goals. Some people study literature, others prefer to use web services such as SmartProgressand independently determine how, what and when to do, while observing other people along the way. Everyone wants to become rich, "successful", famous. This is called happiness.

    Happiness is subjective

    In the modern world, the main measure of happiness is money, in any case, with the young, active and "progressive" part of society. Tons of useless waste paper about “how to calm down and start making money” and others like them fill up the shelves of bookstores, crowding out worthy works, beating all kinds of sales ratings. "It is a masterpiece! This is a bestseller! Oh god, ten out of ten! ”screaming newspaper headlines and other media outlets, reviewing the next hit. Actually, in modern society, when an act of consumption is equated with achievement, a similar one, I’m not ashamed of this word, “hysteria” is quite understandable. However, I suggest stopping and thinking for a second, but why is this all? Why money, things, fame? Are only a few, achieving booming success, happy, and the rest only weave in the wake of their fame with varying success, without any hope of achieving anything in life? We can say with confidence that this is not so (Captain Evidence would be proud of me now).

    Thinking about what happiness is and why the cult of consumption is so persistently imposed on me, I remembered one old song of one old underground group TT34 - Boom :
    absolutely culturally excerpt
    He worked in two shifts, plowed that there is urine,
    And one night a kid is a worker,
    Unshaven and sweaty, but proud of himself ,
    In the dark quarters he trudged home.

    And it seems strange it’s a pride to go from the factory with a pay in your pocket. However, specifically for this person this is his Success, and he is absolutely parallel to motivation, time management and access to IPO. Because a person has a goal, even if it’s not worthy, that after 20 years he, like Richard Branson, would write a “motivating millions” autobiography, but a goal. And a person calmly and systematically fulfills it, he has no painful doubts about who he is, what will happen to him in the future and how he will live, he does not think about it. He is happy. With his ugly wife, a beer before bedtime and a couple of three children.

    Unfortunately, you, the reader, are people who think and, most likely, the ghosts of the questions mentioned above instead of a hypothetical locksmith of the sixth category torment you, slowly and sometimes imperceptibly poison your life, especially if you are still young and lonely, which is not uncommon in the IT field. And so many people are unhappy from this.

    It is necessary to clearly understand the following: happiness is subjective and achieved through the fulfillment of individual, personal goals , in which the SmartProgress service can help you, in the blog of which this publication is posted, if you still adhere to the principles of "recording" and not "keeping in mind".
    But move on.

    So how to measure this “ephemeral” happiness and what is needed for this?

    At one time, the author followed populist slogans in the style of “Faster! Higher! Stronger! ”, However, after six months of full dedication and work“ for wear ”this led only to a nervous breakdown and moral burnout. No, I’m not saying that everyone who works day and night without noticing anything around will come to the same end. I know people who have been living in a similar rhythm for years, and the inaction of death is similar to them. But I was able to extract from this situation extremely interesting information for myself. When I realized that my work was disgusting, and panic attacks and attacks of “paralysis of the will” began to annoy suspiciously often, I had to get acquainted with the rates of psychotherapists and the basics of gestalt therapy, which the specialist who helped me professed. He spent about two sessions telling me what exactly will he do with me and why. If you omit the lyrics, then it all came down to one. Happiness -there is inner peace , and peace is achieved through completed work . Yes, a person becomes happy after he finishes some business, and not specifically in his process, although his favorite work can also give pleasure, and not just its results. If to state on the "worker-peasant", the essence of the methodology, which my brains "ruled" is that everything in this life is gestalt , everything has its own logical beginning, development and end. So, if a person’s contact with something doesn’t matter, be it a task, a housework or a relationship with another person is interrupted without reaching the expected logical conclusion, it causes internal discomfort. With the accumulation of "unfinished business", or of great significance for a person of one interrupted gestalt, a serious obstacle may arise for gaining peace of mind, which is one of the main conditions for a happy life . Yes, yes, not only ghosts have unfinished business tormenting them. Someone may object, “Why do I need a state of rest? It relaxes and reduces tone! ” This is not true. The psychological resource is an extremely strange thing, but one thing is certain with certainty: when you are satisfied with yourselfand life, it’s easier for you to take up some activity than when you hate the whole world around you. Irritability and dissatisfaction have not really helped anyone in moving forward and developing, this is a fact. In general, the topic “satisfied with myself” ran through all my classes on “brain straightening” and it really works, just until you focus on it, this fact is taken for granted.

    Slightly motivated

    Frankly, the author himself is not sinless in terms of using such techniques to himself and others, but with an understanding of the ways to gain even a short-term emotional balance, I return to these methods less and less.

    Very often, to motivate themselves, people choose one of its two types, the definitions of which we introduce:

    • Constructive
    • Destructive

    The effectiveness of each of them depends solely on the character of the person himself.

    An example of constructive (positive) motivation - if I do %% taskname %%, I will be fine .
    Accordingly, destructive (negative) - if I do not do %% taskname %% I will feel bad .

    Everyone chooses the type of motivation that is closer to him, however, you should warn against abuse of the second. Its effectiveness decreases over time, and internal psychological pressure increases proportionally. Take care of yourself.

    There is also a life position very beloved by many people, or rather a word or phrase: “I want” / “I want”. And oddly enough, people are trying to pass him off as a motivating argument. For me personally, “I want” is not a particularly weighty argument, because it usually does not affect the ability to do unpleasant things for you, standing between you and the object of your “desire”. Most often people preaching “I want” talk a lot about their “Wishlist”, but, at times, do little. On the other hand, there is a magic word hated by millions that often confuses a person and drives them into a stupor, because absolutely does not fit into his picture of the world, where everything is done by him to fulfill his own desires. This word is "Must . "

    What is “necessary” and how to live with it

    In my opinion, “necessary” is an ideal motivating tool. Capacious and comprehensive, it replaces tons of logical conclusions, excuses, explanations, and, by its nature, is more like a kind of order to itself. Through “necessary” it is much easier to deal with unpleasant things. If you really want to ask the question “why” and the answer “because” you are not satisfied (although its effectiveness tends to 100%), then the word “need” has a very short logical chain, in any case, the male “must”.

    What for? -> It is necessary.
    Why is it necessary? -> Because no one will do it for you.

    All. Any further considerations loop and return to the starting point. One can argue that “necessary” does not bring satisfaction, however, if you go back a bit and recall the principle of gestalt, it becomes clear that any completed business brings its +1 to the peace of mind of the performer, even if through “necessary”.

    Actually, motivational literature also constantly operates with this tool. For success, you need to do ... and then a list of %% actionname %%. The problem is that the “necessary” imposed on us in smart books are external, alien, and not internal tasks, so they are often subconsciously rejected.
    Speaking about the literature on motivation, it is worth noting that you should be weakly exposed to external influences by a person with critical thinking, because universal recipes for success do not exist, and many tips, specifically for you, are harmful.


    Not so long ago, a word such as procrastination (from the English procrastination - delay, postponement; from Lat. Crastinus - tomorrow and Lat. Pro - on) appeared in widespread use - in psychology postponing cases for later, which leads to some kind of painful psychological effects , such an overseas analogue of our native word “laziness”, because let's face it, this is it, as if we would not want to see the opposite. Particularly cunning comrades even manage to call themselves, attention, “procrastinating perfectionists”, which in general, in my opinion, balances on the verge of good and evil. One way or another, as laziness in terms such as "procrastination" do not wrap, it will remain laziness. How to deal with it is already a philosophical question, but one thing is certain for sure, we need to use the previously mentioned “necessary”. Arguments, internal disputes, discussions in the head are ineffective, since it is impossible for logic to defeat that which has no logic (laziness), there is no logical justification for laziness, only facts and excuses taken away from the ears, no more. “It is necessary” for its part, as it has iron logic, so it can be used without any logical justification. But laziness is not our main adversary, far from it. Our main enemy in setting and achieving goals is someone else's schedule.

    Thoughtless time management, or how to destroy your day

    Whatever praises sound in honor of time management, it, in essence, is not the most, so to speak, effective tool for most people, which can be divided into several categories:

    • Scheduled
    • Not living on schedule, but able to accept it
    • Not living on schedule and not able to accept it

    The last one in general should forget about what time management is and live on in the impulses that we lived in, focusing on increasing efficiency at the moments of these impulses and increasing the frequency of their appearance. However, not all time management principles are equally useful even for people who can accept it.

    Scaling and going to extremes

    There are a number of recommendations, following which it is necessary to use each minute of your own “wakefulness” as efficiently as possible, however, this can have an extremely negative effect on overall efficiency when analyzing a long period of activity. A sharp, violent and cardinal change in one's own biological rhythm, the rhythm of life and work, has an even more destructive effect.


    The programmer Petya, waking up one morning, well, like in the morning, around noon, he realized that he was burning his life empty and it was time to change something. Petya opens Google and the almighty returns a link to a book on time management and self-development from %% starname %%, where he is advised to get up early at least, keep track of time spent on things, do sports and eat right. Separately, these tips are very harmless, however, all at once they plunged Petya’s body and psyche into shock: Petya loved beer, fatty meat, TV shows until 3 a.m. and never ran. His productivity fell, his irritability increased, and Petya himself became “not very” in the eyes of his superiors and colleagues, because due to chronic sleep deprivation and fatigue, tasks were delayed and deadlines were broken. In the end, Petya,

    Having a vivid negative experience, our invented Petya is unlikely to experiment with similar things in the future, although implement and scale it written in parts and sequentially, something could come out of this.
    In general, the essence of many books on time management and self-development is that most often you are trying to impose someone else's schedule and someone else's rhythm of life, to make things unusual for you to do. Although violence against one’s self is permissible, it’s only in extreme situations when there is simply no other way out, but in this case, consciously going to “change” your life, you should understand that someone else’s empirical experience does not take into account your habits, biological rhythm, specificity work and psyche. Poison in small doses can be a medicine, and medicine in large doses can be poison, but in any case it’s definitely not worth emptying a “bubble” of healing medicine “time management” / “self-development”.

    Time management also implies a different setting of goals and objectives for oneself, reducing the person’s schedule to the daily TO DO list. We can say with confidence that if you try to radically change your life with the dubious usefulness of literature and methods that may not suit you as a person, you will only harm yourself. If you still want to resort to mechanisms of control over yourself, choose the right scale.

    An example of a good goal is to improve some existing skill or to acquire a new one in the “basic configuration”. For example, if you can’t swim, it’s a good goal to learn how to do it, if you can, but slowly, then within the pool you can set a goal to double your speed of passing the distance N. Please note that even if you set a tight time frame ( for example, they took a week for swimming training), but by the end of that week the result does not correspond to reality, this does not mean that you failed the goal, it means that you incorrectly estimated the time necessary to achieve the goal. Methods of tough time management and others like them preach life "on schedule", in whole or in part, without the right to force majeure, a sudden case or a commonplace illness. Worth understanding that following the principles of time management also becomes your gestalt, which you need to successfully complete. Therefore, it is very important to formulate the agenda realistically and choose the right scaling, do not rush to extremes, painting everything in minutes and counting 150 steps forward and to the sides.

    Instead of conclusions

    Personally, I would not recommend “smart” literature at all. Each of us already has a list of our tasks and responsibilities, learn how to perform them quickly and efficiently. As soon as the load is reduced and old things become boring - add new ones yourself, expanding the area of ​​your own responsibility. One way or another, you better know your rhythm of life and realize what you are ready to do and what will bring you only stress and discomfort without any dividends.

    Remember, the positive feedback is important to us, which we get after completing our next gestalt goal, whether swimming training or the planned completion of a five-year project. If you interrupt the gestalt process in the process (I did not manage to sail in a week, the goal is failed or we did not manage to deliver the project on time), instead of benefit, it will only be a heavy burden on you for another failure. You can keep everything in mind or keep a record of your unfinished business as part of the SmartProgress web service , you decide. But two points are undeniable:
    1. Your goals are worth recording and controlling.
    2. better late completed business than unfinished at all .

    Always worth remembering.

    With respect.

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