Oh procrastination. When will we stop talking about you? You really are a “curse” like they say in the Newsweek article. Part of the problem with procrastination is its subtleness. It’s a state were you’re between being depressed and being effective. It’s not laziness and it’s not just about not doing things. David Allen, author of GTD, said once that “procrastination is not about not doing things, but not doing and feeling crappy about it.” It’s a hard to pin down “condition”, but the article references some research that tries to figure out why procrastinators procrastinate. The problem, of course, is in people’s head and has a lot to do with they way they frame tasks. From the article:
When you first think about the possibility of trying something new, you’re focused on why: What’s the purpose? Does it make sense for me to do this? It’s still just a distant possibility, and these are the things that matter. Only as you get closer to actually taking on the task do you start to think of the more immediate how-to details. So conversely, thinking about the how-to of a job gives it immediacy–and urgency.
Speaking of Getting Things Done, David Allen is soon releasing his new book, Making it All Work The above link takes you to a page were there are links to excerpts from the book. It looks like Allen is taking cues from Stephen Covey, using his own quadrant. Below is the image:
It isn’t about intelligence as in “gray matter” or peoples I.Q., but more about how the line between “high” culture and “low” culture has gotten thinner. You no longer have to be “rich” to be exposed to classical music for example. The article is obviously elitist. Being interested in classical music and going to museums doesn’t necessarily correlate with having a high intelligence. That’s like saying that everyone that enjoys watching reality T.V. have Down Syndrome. But I get what it’s saying. Not that it ever was, but now more than ever, being part of an “economical strata” is no longer an excuse for being “stupid.” Really.
A quote from the article:
Philippe de Montebello, soon to step down after 31 years as director of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, is fond of saying “the public is a lot smarter than anyone gives it credit for.” He seems to be right. But why? It’s unlikely people are more intelligent than they used to be. Perhaps the elites that enjoy high culture are now bigger for some reason? Perhaps popular tastes have changed in such a way as to benefit high culture? Or perhaps it has nothing to do with changes in the audience, and more to do with the artists and institutions, who have become more skilled at attracting people? Answer: all of the above.