How I procrastinate: “research”

Only recently I realised how much time I waste by what I call “research”.

It’s an overly fancy word that translates into entering the black hole of Wikipedia and reading an article after article until “oh wow, is it dinner time already?”.

And while reading Wikipedia is certainly not a bad thing in general, I realised it’s taking me time I originally allocated for different things.

So I started to do 2 things that turned out to be quite useful:

  1. I have a note in Evernote titled “Research queue”. Every time I feel like learning more about something, I just put it there. Once in a while I reorder everything by how much I really care to read about it and some times I take things from the top of the list and actually do the research — in the evening. Many things I eventually decide to just delete from the list.
  2. I started to use Pocket again. Pocket is “save an article for later” app, so if an article I really want to read wonders into my browser, I click the extension to save it to the app and then I read it later (again, in the evening) on my iPad.

The most tricky scenario is when the research is seemingly part of the task at hand. I like to think that I really have to read this and that before I know enough and before I can start to work on something.

It’s a dangerous trap, but doing meditation regularly helps me to develop the awareness, step by step, so these days I can see it for what it is much more than I ever did before.