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[双语] 在拖延中寻求高效

2010-01-06 13:57:02  来源:国际在线专稿  编辑:杨大为   


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  Maryland lawyer Dana Moylan Wright was trapped in a vicious cycle. The more her work piled up, the less she wanted to do it. “At that point, I had many deadlines and was having trouble making myself do anything,” she says.

  马里兰州一位名叫达娜· 莫伊伦·怀特的律师陷入恶性循环。她的工作堆积得越多,她越不想去做。“当时,我有很多工作都到截止期限了,但我什么都不想做。”她说道。

  One day in 2005, Ms. Wright, 42, was surfing the Web, avoiding several pressing matters. She searched “procrastination,” seeking an antidote. But actually, she found a way to exploit her habit: “structured procrastination.”

  2005 年的一天,42 岁的怀特女士浏览着网页,将几件紧急事务撂在一边。她搜索“拖延”这个单词,试图找到一种矫正办法。不过,她找到的方法却需要利用她的习惯:“有安排的拖延。”

  The brainchild of Stanford University philosophy professor John Perry, structured procrastination involves doing small, low-priority tasks to build a sense of accomplishment and the energy to tackle more important jobs.

  这是斯坦福大学哲学系教授约翰·佩里的研究成果,他认为,“有安排的拖延”指的是专心完成小的、并不是当务之急的任务来积蓄成就感和活力,以解决更重要的工作。

  Too often, Mr. Perry says, people focus on their biggest and most important duties, then waste time on unproductive things - like surfing the Web and watching television. He suggests procrastinators fill their time with less formidable assignments, such as following up with clients or completing expense reports. He says the smart procrastinator can earn a reputation for productivity while giving in to the urge to delay.

  佩里先生说,人们通常只盯着他们最大最重要的任务,然后在无结果的事情上浪费时间——比如网上冲浪以及看电视。他建议爱拖延时间的人利用不太难应对的工作来填充时间,例如跟进客户或者完成开支报告。他说,聪明的拖延时间者尽管屈服于拖延的欲望,但他们能因高生产率而获得美誉。

  What about the big jobs? Mr. Perry says either a non-negotiable deadline will force action, or the procrastinator will gather enough information and confidence to make them appear less daunting.

  那么大的工作怎么办呢?佩里先生说,要么不可商榷的截止期限会促使拖延时间者行动,要么他/ 她能积聚足够的信息和自信使大任务看上去没那么可怕。

  While there is neither an explanation for why people procrastinate nor a recommendation for how to overcome the behavior, suggestions include goal setting, or breaking down large tasks into a series of smaller ones, and energy regulation - that is, planning to tackle difficult tasks at the time of day when one’s energy level is highest, often around 10 a.m.

  尽管“有安排的拖延”方案没有解释人们为何拖延时间,也没有说明如何克服这个习惯,但建议中包含了目标设置,或把大任务拆分成一系列小任务,以及能量调节——这指的是计划在一天中人们精力最充沛时(通常在上午10 点左右)着手处理困难的任务。

  “There are no positives to procrastination,” says Timothy Pychyl, director of the Procrastination Research Group at Canada’s Carleton University. Nonetheless, Mr. Pychyl enjoys Mr. Perry’s approach and suggests it may sometimes be useful. “It’s not going to solve everybody’s problems, but ... some people probably can get a lot done while avoiding other things,” he says.

  “拖延时间绝对是无益的,”加拿大卡尔顿大学拖延研究小组负责人蒂莫西·皮切尔说道。虽然如此,皮切尔先生仍旧赞赏佩里先生的方法并指出它在一些时候很有用。“它不能解决所有人的问题,但是……一些人在逃避某些事务时很可能会做完很多其他事情,”他说。

  Temitope Koledoye, a Philadelphia marketing director, says the technique helps her create “mental space” between herself and big projects and cope with attention deficit disorder, with which she was diagnosed in 2003. “While I’m doing all of those minuscule things, I’m still thinking about the big thing I have to do,” she says. “I’m organizing my thoughts.” Small accomplishments, like paying bills online, provide moments of satisfaction. “You don’t feel like a failure because you are getting things done.”

  泰米德普·科勒多耶是一位来自费城的营销总监,她说这个技巧能促进她在她自己和大项目之间构造一个“精神领域”,并解决注意力缺失症——她在2003 年诊断出患有这个病症。“当我处理微不足道的小事时,我仍然在考虑那些不得不做的大事情,”她说。“我在整理我的思绪。”微小的成就,比如网上支付账单,能让她拥有满足的时刻。“你不会觉得自己像个失败者,因为你可以做好一些事情。”

  Mr. Perry says procrastinators shouldn’t waste time feeling bad about their work habits because guilt saps motivation, reinforcing the desire to delay.

  佩里先生说拖延时间者不应该浪费时间去对自己的工作习惯感觉不好,因为内疚会侵蚀动力,加强拖延的欲望。

(译文内容由《英语沙龙·时尚版》独家提供,未经允许,请勿转载)

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