After working on my first i2 project for some time, I have learned some interesting things about procrastination and stumbled into some challenging, but inevitable roadblocks.
During my initial stages of the project, I intended to create an ambitious, large-scale app that would not only educate users on procrastination but would create a personalized reminder system to help them stop their procrastination habits. It turns out I vastly underestimated this task. While I was still on the research stage of my project, I thought that I could actually pull something like this off. However, when I got eventually made it to the implementation portion of the project, I soon realized how foolish I was. I simply did not have enough coding experience to create this razzle-dazzle, complex app from scratch. My grand vision for an app that some professional companies would take years to create suddenly deteriorated, leaving me demoralized.
Now, I thought to myself, I can either steer my project in a whole different direction, or I can try to salvage certain aspects of my original plan that would be more feasible to complete given my time constraints. I chose the latter, which led me to a much more refined, but still unique version of my original vision.
I knew I had to scale my project down immensely, but I also needed to maintain the most vital aspect of any app: Its uniqueness. I began brainstorming ways that would separate my procrastination app from the thousand other ones out there on the web. I knew I couldn’t compete with them from a technical standpoint (It would be a 9th grader against a skilled team of professional coders, I mean c’mon), so I instead began looking for ways to out-compete them from an idea standpoint. I began combing through mainstream procrastination apps, experiencing them and testing them out, trying to find any flaws. One of the most interesting things I found was a fundamental flaw in the method by which they instructed users to overcome procrastination.
Instead of taking the time to properly educate users on their specific procrastination habits, I noticed that these apps dive straight into the “scheduling” part of procrastination. Across multiple apps, all I saw were slightly different — sometimes nuanced — scheduling templates that the user utilizes to formulate a plan for the rest of the week. While this is cool and all, it doesn’t grasp at a significant cause of procrastination: the user’s lack of a solid understanding of why they procrastinate.
Using my new findings, I developed my app into something that was more education-based. Essentially, it “diagnoses” the user on their specific procrastination habits and helps them understand why they do the things they do. The app does this by giving the user a survey, and, based off of what the user said in the survey, gives feedback on how to overcome procrastination.
So far, I’ve learned that while creating a schedule containing all of your tasks is important to breaking procrastination habits, it is more important to truly understand why you’re procrastinating. If you are more aware of why you’re procrastinating, you are better equipped to stop it.