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Procrastination: Why We Don’t Follow Through and What To Do About It

Sitting down to write, he stared blankly out the window.

Then, he looked at the shackles chaining him to his heavy wooden desk.

There would be no walking around. No distraction. No procrastination. All there was left to do was ruminate and write. This hostage in his own room was Herman Melville, famed author of Moby Dick.

Procrastination was Melville’s Achilles heel, and he knew it. Brute force was his preferred method of powering through his aversion to writing. He’s rumored to have resorted to requiring his wife to chain him to his desk during his writing of Moby Deck. His battle with procrastination was won through a war of attrition.

Melville was not alone.

Victor Hugo suffered from the same plight during his struggle to complete The Hunchback of Notre Dame (he hit the deadline in the nick of time). Da Vinci, Frank Lloyd Wright, and even The Dalai Lama were not immune to procrastination’s kryptonite-like effect, the insidious trait of draining all motivation from highly capable and driven human beings.

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