Lucky cold turkey
I've been thinking a LOT about what it means to 'quit' procrastination. This means thinking a lot about what procrastination is - and what it's not.
Taking a break is not procrastination.
Changing my plans is not procrastination.
Not completing my tasklist is not procrastination.
Not following a rigid schedule is not procrastination.
Surfing the internet (or any other 'non-productive' activity) is not procrastination. Can be, but doesn't have to be.
Even putting something off until tomorrow is not procrastination (except in a strictly etymological sense!) It can be, but it can also be perfectly appropriate and sensible.
Procrastination is when I lose control of my use of time.
This isn't as straightforward as it seems. I suspect there are moments in every addiction where you feel absolutely in control as you deliberately and defiantly do the destructive thing. But then afterwards you say ruefully, 'I lost control'. That tantrum-throwing, 'I'M GOING TO BREAK EVERYTHING' feeling isn't being in control, it's being out of control. So part of quitting procrastination is learning to tell an 'in control' feeling from an 'out of control' one.
It's just occurred to me recently that if procrastination is a real addiction, it can be broken like a real addiction. If someone suffers from alcoholism they shouldn't just be trying to drink less alcohol, they should be trying to stop. Same with smoking, drugs, etc. And if they do stop, they'll experience a period of withdrawal and need to fight hard to get through it, and then the cravings will diminish and eventually all but disappear. They'll always be a 'recovering addict' and need to keep an eye on themselves so they don't relapse, but basically, they'll be fine and able to get on with their lives.
So I'm going to see if this applies to procrastination. I'm going to shift my focus from trying to do as much as possible to trying to procrastinate as little as possible, i.e. not at all. Taking it one day, or even one hour, at a time and treating it as a proper addiction where 'just one' moment of procrastination is as bad as 'just one' drink or cigarette. I'm sure there will be hiccups as I work out what is and isn't procrastination for me, but basically, yes, I'm aiming to quit cold turkey! (With the full knowledge that I'll always be a 'recovering addict' and probably always need this site :) )
I've been 'sober' for the past 24 hours, mostly by dint of giving myself tons of planned breaks. I find that when I'm really resisting a task, doing 5m task and 5m break and repeating that over and over again works really well. I've actually been more productive using that method than I was when I was trying to work every second - which means that I was procrastinating over half the time...
Do let me know your thoughts... naysayers are welcome but please be gentle with any criticism :)