Why do I procrastinate

Why do I procrastinate | The never ending productivity bug I plan to kill

The 50 million dollar question that I’ve never been able to solve. Why do I procrastinate? I’ve started this thing called project 40 and it’s all about making changes to my life that I think I need to do before the age of 40. Procrastination is one of those things on the list. 

Delving into the reasons why I procrastinate may help identify the key reasons why I do. I don’t really understand it to be honest. I have sometimes wondered if I have some form of un-diagnosed adult ADHD. I’ve even done online tests which indicate I do in fact have symptoms which may indicate that I do have ADHD. But who’s going to believe an online test? Maybe me. That could be it.

I may also have some form of anxiety that I have quietly covered and masked for most of my life. If I was being extremely honest I would say that unexpected hiccups in life can sometimes lead me down a spiral of thought that can leave me both angered and frustrated. In saying that I thankfully have another useful personality trait and thats resilience. So whilst I react with a sense of WTF. I can recover quite quickly. This is where procrastination comes into play and it seems weird but completing things can tend to lead to a judgement of completed works and the results and reaction to the completed work may not be what I want. So I use procrastination to avoid such conflict. Sounds weird but I know this to be true now.

So these are two things from a personal and metal health perspective that I believe hamper my ability to push through procrastination. I remember seeing this TedX talk, which I will post below and it was like it was reading my mind. The concept of the instant gratification monkey was discovered and it made SO much sense to me when I was listening. What is this instant gratification monkey, well its that little guy inside your head that when you’re in the middle of doing something interrupts and reminds you about something unimportant, so you go off and do something that will provide you with a sense of happiness and instant gratification. For example a YouTube video and then another and then another. You know how it goes right? This video explains the concept perfectly:

So now that I understand a little more about why I procrastinate. It’s probably best that I put a plan into action.

Starting from today I am commencing an anti-procrastination diet. The idea of this is to look at your daily planner and put a specific single task that you will complete in that day that you have been holding off and push through and get it complete and done.

The tool I am going to use to monitor how I am doing is just the calendar on my phone, which I have filled in until the end of next week and I will monitor how I go with tabling in a diary below of my anti-procrastination diet. So here it goes and I look forward to reporting on how I am feeling after a month of completing daily tasks and training the brain into creating the habit of not procrastinating and just DOING IT!

Sounds silly in concept but for for those of you who have this same horrible habit of not being able to just hit go and complete tasks until the last minute, then you will understanf what I am talking about. To be honest its even harder when you have tasks that do not have deadlines, so lets see if this anti-procrastination training works.

Day 1 – Clean the weeds from the side of the house

Well I have this task of a whole bunch of weeds going crazy down the size of our unit that I have not managed to get to for a very long time. Seemed like an easy one to do. I literally only had 30 mins to complete this before the rest of my day was taken up by my ventures to the football. Happy to report that it was completed and a very happy wife to add to that.

Day 2 – Complete partnership program contract

This one is a specific work task I have been holding off for sadly a couple of months. Why? Well It’s going to add a lot more to an already cumbersome work load. I have completed this task and I just need to review it with my CFO before I can move forward with it.

Day 3 – New Application partnership

Again another task I have been sitting on. This one is easy. I just have to sign the contract and return it.



Starting out in the world of standup comedy

Starting out in the world of standup comedy

What I’ve learnt in my first year of comedy

The purpose of this article is to help try answer some questions for anyone who has just started out or is thinking of starting out in the world of standup comedy. No doubt professional comedians will be able to give some better advice having been in the industry for 10+ years, however we don’t want to bombard these newbies with too much information at once so this article should be a good starting point.

Now that’s sorted, let the information transfer begin:

  • If you haven’t started out in standup comedy then I suggest you book your first two gigs, seriously DO IT NOW!
  • If you haven’t booked your first two gigs, don’t tell everyone that you intend to do standup comedy. Book the gigs first and then spread the word!
  • If you aren’t sure which room you should contact for your first gig, politely ask some comedians at a gig and I’m sure they’ll point you in the right direction.
  • Don’t worry about failing, because you will definitely fail. Ten years into your career you will STILL have bad gigs, you just have to accept that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose but as long as you have a positive attitude you will be fine.
  • You will learn a lot about your jokes when you fail so record every gig and analyse what was different, was it the delivery? Was there someone on before you who told some horrid jokes and upset the audience? Did you deliver it exactly in the same tone as when you told it on a successful night?
  • Stack the deck, if you can rope all your mates into coming down for your first comedy gig you’ll be likelier to succeed and also have a lot of fun. Hopefully it’ll give you the drive and ambition to keep going.
  • If you stack the deck on your first gig you will probably bomb really bad on your second non-stacked gig, but it’s good to get it out of the way so don’t worry too much about it.
  • A bad gig will never be as horrible as your worst gig.
  • Do as many gigs as you can at as many different venues as you can. More stage time gives you more experience and a variety of venues lets you experience a variety of crowds.
  • Any gig is better than no gig in your first year. Struggling in front of a crowd of three is better than sitting at home.
  • If a joke isn’t getting laughs stop telling it. That said, if a joke is not getting laughs don’t scrap it completely, just put it aside and further down the track you might figure out a way to fix it.
  • Find one or two or three rooms where you enjoy telling new material. And never be afraid to try new material.
  • If you tell a bad joke and the next act then makes fun of you for bombing don’t take it to heart, all the comedians for the night are trying to put on a show for the audience, so if they can win the audience back and leave them wanting to come back to comedy again, your job is done.
  • Book as many gigs as you can, if a comedian does 1 gig a week for an entire year and another comedian does 2 gigs a week for an entire year, the second comedian will have done 2 years worth of gigs in the same period.
  • Don’t talk shit about other comedians, just be a good person.
  • Don’t judge other comedians if they aren’t too good, everyone succeeds at a different pace. Steve Martin failed for 25 years before he found success.
  • During the Fringe Festival/Melbourne International Comedy Festival you should see if you can volunteer at some of the venue hubs (i.e The Imperial), you will learn a lot about the process of putting on a show, how flyering and promotion works, lighting/music/projector issues, etc… Seriously you will learn A LOT!
  • Most comedians start out by telling sex jokes, now that you are aware of this try to separate yourself from the rest of the new comedians. Find a topic or story that you are passionate about, if you have a humourous personal story it’s going to be easier to remember on stage and no-one will be able to steal your material.
  • Don’t steal other comedians jokes, I haven’t seen much of it going on in the scene but I can guarantee you don’t want to get caught out.
  • The Comics Lounge (North Melbourne) have workshops on Tuesday nights, this is a great place to get industry advice, network with other new comics and test out some of your material to get feedback.
  • If people give you feedback at the workshop take it with a grain of salt, unless of course you are getting advice from an industry professional.
  • If you’re having trouble getting gigs you should be going out to the venues, introducing yourself to the room runner, offering to fill in if someone has pulled out, etc… It’s all about networking.
  • NEVER pull out of a gig if you can, room runners are more likely to give gigs to people who are reliable and don’t dick them around.
  • Don’t get drunk before you go on stage, this seems to be a rite of passage for quite a few newbie comics, they’ll drink before going on stage gig after gig until the point that they have an absolutely shithouse gig.
  • If the crowd isn’t laughing at your jokes don’t abuse them…and if you do please be gentle so the comic coming on stage after you has a chance at winning the room back.
  • Start with your 2nd best joke, end with your best joke.
  • Use your dirtier jokes near the end of your set, the audience has to get to know and trust you before they care about your dick/vagina.
  • Some gigs are tough, learn to love them, keep doing them, if you can win over an audience of three people a packed crowd should be a piece of cake.

Well that’s it for now, thanks for taking the time to read and if you haven’t booked your first gig, GO DO IT NOW!

By Aaron MacFadyen with helpful suggestions from Peter Jones

Aaron MacFadyen has been performing comedy for 2 years and runs a Netflix style guitar string service at http://www.qualitystringsclub.com Feel free to add him on facebook to keep up to date with his antics https://www.facebook.com/aaron.mcnandos