We are told to ship it; release it before it’s finished, get it out of our hands so we can get the feedback we need to iterate and perfect our product. It’s a grueling process that fires up the anxiety. Is this thing going to work or go out to the void?
In his latest op-ed Why Do Anything? A Meditation on Procrastination Humanities professor and author Costica Bradatan writes:
Procrastination and mourning are tied tightly together: for to procrastinate is to mourn the precariousness of your creation even before you bring it into the world.
We are stuck between thinking and action, for which we have no choice but to finish what we started:
The procrastinator is both contemplator and man of action, which is the worst thing to be, and which is tearing him apart.
Procrastination is the purest form of idleness. And it is the brain’s neurons that dictate what we decide to do. “Who you are depends on what your neurons are up to, moment by moment,” says David Eagleman in his book The Brain: The Story of You.
So if neurons predict our fate but the mind is plastic, we should be setting up the entire system to prepare for better decision-making. For starters, we can make a list of the things we can control. But there will never be any guarantees that it’ll work. That’s where the habits and enthusiasm come in to help us overcome the fear.