There are a lot of programs, applications, and online services to help you be more organized and have a better schedule. There are ways to manage to-do lists, to create to-do lists and to create and print calendars. I’m even working on an ADD Planner application to help with people with ADHD improve organization and scheduling. However, there is an unfortunate side effect to some of these time savers, they can make procrastination worse.
However, bookmark management is absolutely terrible in Google Chrome. There are no tags for bookmarks, which is just dumb. Furthermore, when you open your bookmark manager, every one of your bookmark folders is expanded by default, which defeats the entire purpose of folders. In other words, bookmarks are useless in Google Chrome. When I want to bookmark something, I literally open Firefox and paste the URL into it, and then bookmark it there.
Too Many Bookmarks?
The strange thing is, that for all of the technically savvy, demanding internet users that use Google Chrome, there is a shocking lack of complaints about how bookmarks are implemented in Chrome. That got me thinking.
Do I have too many bookmarks?
The answer is a resounding YES. I not only have bookmarks that I have no idea what they are for, I have FOLDERS of bookmarks that I don’t know the purpose of. I opened some of these mystery bookmarks and still don’t know what I ever saved them.
Did I think it was a good webpage design?
Did I really care about Colorado crystals at some point?
Do I really want to sign up to be a volunteer for a non-profit organization five states away?
It was about this time that a little light bulb went on.
The reason I have many of these bookmarks is because I meant to do something with them LATER.
I have another extension for Firefox called Read It Later which essentially bookmarks webpages for you to read later. It is so full that I could never hope to read half of what is in there. What’s worse, is that while I regularly add pages to Read It Later, I never actually go in an read any of them.
Computer Enabled Procrastination
Everyone procrastinates but people with attention deficit disorder have a whole extra layer of procrastination tendencies. Procrastination for us with ADD comes in two very sneaky forms.
- Procrastinating to avoid uninteresting tasks
- Procrastinating to avoid being distracted
The first is not uncommon whether you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or not. However, for those with ADHD, it can be tougher to notice.
My wife, who does not have ADD, knows when she is procrastinating. Sometimes, she does it anyway. There are many times when I don’t even realize that I’m procrastinating.
It is most common when I’m online. One moment I’m diligently researching a freelance writing article and the next I’m reading about World War II bombers thanks to an intriguing link from the Smithsonian website. Having been unknowingly distracted, it isn’t until I manually check in with myself that I realize I’ve moved off task.
At that point in time, I will either:
a) Chastise myself, close the window and return immediately to work
b) Decide I’ll do better later, and keep reading
c) BOOKMARK the webpage so I can read it later when I have free time
Which, brings us to procrastination type #2.
After being diagnosed with ADD you begin to try and not indulge your ADHD habits. ADD medications don’t solve everything they say, over and over again. You also have to change your habits and ways of exhibiting ADD behaviors. To do so, you try and notice when you are ADDing and then, stop it.
One method of trying to accomplish this is to put aside distractions until “later,” in other words procrastinating.
If you are putting off something that is distracting you from work or other important tasks, then that is good procrastination, even if it is technically procrastinating.
What I have noticed is that my bookmarks and my Read It Later list are filled with things that I meant to get around too, either productively or leisurely. For example, there are dozens of programming tutorials or tips that I have bookmarked to look at later. There are also dozens of “interesting” things to read.
Either way, those bookmarks are procrastinated tasks that were never completed.
It’s time for a new standard. From now on, bookmarks are reserved for known-useful references and functions, not for things to get back to. If it can’t be done now, I will leave a tab open in the browser. When there are too many tabs, choices will have to be made. In the end, virtually none of the “get back to” tabs will ever be read. After all, life is too interesting and new distractions appear every day.
Whenever I have free time, I can be assured that there will be numerous useful, interesting, entertaining or provocative things ready and waiting before my eyes without every clicking a link or opening a bookmark folder. Thus, those that were saved will be forever on the to-do lists, at least, that is, until they are finally purged as too old.
Do you procrastinate with bookmarks? Do you productively (or not) use Read It Later, or the like? Let me know.