Weblogs: Miscellaneous

Personal obstacles: procrastination

Monday, July 14, 2003

Russell Beatie refers to an insightful post from MonkeyBlog about his personal flaws. I'm reading both pieces and nodding with agreement - I have the same problem, and I have some "valid-looking" excuses to alleviate the responsibility. I can relate to how Joel thinks in "Fire and Motion".

I have quite a few web projects on the go at all times - and in all of them I have a special and keen interest in doing. Ideas from component based portals and content management systems, to proxy-based browser agents, to websites about accessibility, through to my not-yet-started HTML authoring tutorials, and producing tiny bits of code for the syndication format formerly known as Echo.

The problem I face is that the motivation factor is there as long as there's an interesting problem left to think about. But I do have great difficulty kick-starting and getting stuck down to producing code - and I put it off with a number of excellent excuses:

Part of my procrasination obstacle is the unwillingness for a project not to be perfect. Even though I know I'm good enough to get something done, there's always a little voice whispering that it will never be good enough, and that I can't do it.

I guess over the past few weeks I'm beginning to start doubting the doubts. Spending a week on a WSAD course learning how to do JSPs, servlets and Enterprise Javabeans I realised that EJBs aren't that difficult. I've been building up a belief that I'll never be able to do EJBs, but there I was on a Friday morning creating an Entity Bean and a stateless Session Bean to handle a simple registration function.

I've been told by a few people that I am my own worst enemy. I believe I can't do something, so I won't try. But when I'm prodded and forced to do it I'm surprised by the ease of getting it done. I guess its my fear of making a mistake that holds me back. Its not that I don't have the confidence in my abilities, but I lack the confidence in the breadth of my abilities.

In Russell's comments, theres a link to an excellent article about overcoming procrastination - its probably something I should try out. I feel like I'm only taking baby-steps - and if I actually got really stuck in I could really get things done.

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