Procrastination and Decompressing

Today the latest episode of Mikes on Mics was released, and it features a conversation that Michael Schechter and I had with The incredibly prolific Brett Terpstra.
Brett’s the man behind Marked, nvAlt, and put together one doozy of an iOS text editor comparison sheet that you really must read.

One of the things that came up during the conversation was procrastination – and both Brett and I revealed that we don’t think any procrastinating that we might do is all that harmful when the bigger picture is taken into account. Brett talks about procrastination in a sense that it is more of an avoidance thing than pure procrastination – in that he does other work rather than simply just not work at all. There’s really no difference on my end of this, either. I tend to “productively procrastinate” instead of just procrastinate…usually.

I simply procrastinate when I spend too much time decompressing. Decompressing is essential for me – it gets my mind off of writing so that I can come back to writing with a renewed sense of energy and strength. How I decompress varies – whether it’s playing a game or two of Madden 13 or going for a walk – but it has to happen at least once per day. It usually happens between the hours of 8:30 and 10:30 p.m., when my wife and I are both basically decompressing from the day’s work. Then I’ll get back to writing until about 1 a.m. or so…and I find that a lot of my best stuff is created during that time. If I stay in decompression mode for too long, it becomes pure procrastination – and it’s tough to dig my way out of it because I’ve let my mind go for too long.

You might think that setting an alarm or timer for this would be a good idea, but that’s not true. It needs to be dealt with as naturally as possible. Having the knowledge that a decompression period is being timed keeps you from fully decompressing.

I dive into more decompressing talk on the bonus episode of Mikes on Mics we’re releasing on Monday, but to hear the three of us talk about procrastination, obligation, and a lot of other things other than focus, head over to Mikes on Mics and get your ears on.


  1. says

    I’m a big fan of the nap to decompress. I also like the post-nap-snack sandwich with some sort of bacon item, which fuels the obligatory post-nap-snack-nap. For me, decompression can last days.

    • says

      @ExtremelyAvgI hear you. I almost use TV to decompress so that there is some sort of time limit attached to it (i.e. the end of a show) or with Madden 13 as a game will end at some point.

  2. says

    Hi Mike,My only problem is that I like to decompress with my favorite Oregon IPA, which isn’t exactly conducive to getting back to the keyboard. (well, maybe for some). Seriously, I do like to take more than few breaks during the day and for me, a 20 minute walk is often the best way to recharge.

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