November 29, 2019

Understanding my procrastination

Vlad Shulman @vdizzle

This week I found myself doing every possible errand on the planet except sitting down at the computer to work on my web app, so of course I decided to procrastinate further by researching procrastination. I found one concept that stood out to me - procrastination due to having a fear of failure.

The way I understood it for myself, I spent the last three months telling so many people about my startup ambitions and convincing myself this was my path to happiness, that I've manufactured a personal fear of showing the world some crappy prototype and having all those people lose faith in me. And I think this fear manifests itself in procrastination - if I never sit down to work on app, then I can never finish it, so I never have to face the reckoning of app showcase.

A few ways I'm trying to overcome this fear of failure:

  • Reminding myself about all the things I'm learning (I pretended to update my resume; listing out all the things accomplished to date reminded me that at worst case scenario this experience can help me get a job)
  • Giving myself permission to spend 3 months making jibberish (all credit to my mom on this one; she helped me get comfortable with the fact that this is a time-boxed life experiment, and it's ok if it ends with me having built some silly product no one wants because it will make for a funny story to tell at parties)
  • Before going to bed, spending a few mins writing down small bullet list of app features to draw/build and starting my day by journaling on each bullet point (got this idea from Marc Andreesen's index card system; helps me overcome morning static friction to at least do something towards app progress).

I'm happy to say that I've started writing code again. Built a feature where you shake the phone to charge your points lol

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