43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Mark Taw on Procrastination

Mark Taw has written a terrific article about procrastination that gets to the core problems that cause people to get derailed, distracted, and off-target. From low blood sugar through Skinnerian reward hacking, Mark unpacks the range of real-world problems most of us face in trying to attach ourselves to our work as well as find and maintain flow.

Although I’ve never seen Nanny 911 it sounds like a good metaphor for the occasional need to hide our treats and remove the shiny objects at the edges of peripheral vision.

Where in your life are you randomly reinforcing negative behaviors? Where do you need tough love?

So what do these nannies do to turn around all this negative behavior? They take away all the rewards. When the rewards are always available, there’s no need to do the work. They take away television privileges, and make the kids and parents go cold turkey with any negative habits they may have (like pacifiers).

Procrastination is the reward for not doing work.

Don’t miss this piece (as well as your accompanying new home page). Smart, thoughtful stuff.

John's picture

great article! i did find...

great article! i did find some other links that i just HAD to check out again....not getting work done is all due to self discipline over here.

sometimes its so stupidly simple when you just hack away at your to-do-list and accomplish so many things in little time.

let me log off and learn for my Literature exams tonight!




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »