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拖延症人群的内心世界 – 译学馆
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拖延症人群的内心世界

Inside the mind of a master procrastinator | Tim Urban

上大学那会儿
So in college,
我是学政务专业的
I was a government major,
意味着我得写很多论文
which means I had to write a lot of papers.
当一名普通的学生写论文时
Now, when a normal student writes a paper,
他们也许会像这样 把任务分摊开
they might spread the work out a little like this.
所以 你懂的
So, you know —
[笑声]
[Laughter]
开始可能有点慢
you get started maybe a little slowly,
但是一个星期过后已经写了不少
but you get enough done in the first week
接下来有时写的更多一些
that, with some heavier days later on,
最后一切搞定 事情不会搞砸
everything gets done, things stay civil.
[笑声]
[Laughter]
我也想这样
And I would want to do that like that.
至少我的计划是这样
That would be the plan.
我准备好开始
I would have it all ready to go,
然而 事实上 到写论文的时候
but then, actually, the paper would come along,
我是这么做的
and then I would kind of do this.
[笑声]
[Laughter]
而且每次写论文都这样
And that would happen every single paper.
最后到了写90页毕业论文的时候
But then came my 90-page senior thesis,
本应该花一年时间去写的论文
a paper you’re supposed to spend a year on.
我知道对于这样一篇论文 我平常的做法行不通
And I knew for a paper like that, my normal work flow was not an option.
毕业论文是个大项目
It was way too big a project.
于是我计划好
So I planned things out,
决定这么去做
and I decided I kind of had to go something like this.
一年的工作就这么安排
This is how the year would go.
起初少干点儿
So I’d start off light,
中间几个月持续干多一点儿
and I’d bump it up in the middle months,
最后高速档全力以赴
and then at the end, I would kick it up into high gear
就像小台阶一样
just like a little staircase.
爬台阶能有多难?
How hard could it be to walk up the stairs?
没什么大不了的 对吧?
No big deal, right?
但是接下来 有趣的事发生了
But then, the funniest thing happened.
起初那几个月?
Those first few months?
来了又走
They came and went,
我基本没干什么
and I couldn’t quite do stuff.
于是就有了这个 很棒的修改了的计划
So we had an awesome new revised plan.
[笑声]
[Laughter]
再然后……
And then —
[笑声]
[Laughter]
中间几个月竟然就这么过去了
But then those middle months actually went by,
我基本上没写几个字
and I didn’t really write words,
所以变成了这样
and so we were here.
然后从还有两个月到还有一个月
And then two months turned into one month,
再到只剩两星期
which turned into two weeks.
然后有一天我突然意识到
And one day I woke up
离截止期只剩三天了
with three days until the deadline,
而我还一个字都没写呢
still not having written a word,
于是我做了我唯一能做的事:
and so I did the only thing I could:
我花了72小时写出90页
I wrote 90 pages over 72 hours,
通宵整整两天赶工
pulling not one but two all-nighters —
通宵整整两天赶工
humans are not supposed to pull two all-nighters —
全速穿过校园
sprinted across campus,
慢动作潜入
dove in slow motion,
赶在截止期之前交了论文
and got it in just at the deadline.
我以为一切就这么结束了
I thought that was the end of everything.
结果一个星期之后我接到一通电话
But a week later I get a call,
是学校打来的
and it’s the school.
他们问:“你是蒂姆·尔班吗?”
And they say, “Is this Tim Urban?”
我说 “没错”
And I say, “Yeah.”
他们说:“我们得和你 谈一下论文的事儿”
And they say, “We need to talk about your thesis.”
我回答”好“
And I say, “OK.”
他们说
And they say,
“这是我们看过最棒的一篇论文 “
“It’s the best one we’ve ever seen.”
[笑声]
[Laughter]
[掌声]
[Applause]
那并未发生
That did not happen.
[笑声]
[Laughter]
这篇论文写得非常非常烂
It was a very, very bad thesis.
[笑声]
[Laughter]
我只是想享受一下这个时刻 当你们全部以为
I just wanted to enjoy that one moment when all of you thought,
“这家伙太牛了!“
“This guy is amazing!”
[笑声]
[Laughter]
不是这样的 那篇论文超级烂
No, no, it was very, very bad.
不管怎么样 我现在是个博文作者
Anyway, today I’m a writer-blogger guy.
我为“打破砂锅问到底”写博文
I write the blog Wait But Why.
几年前我决定 写一篇关于拖延的文章
And a couple of years ago, I decided to write about procrastination.
我的拖延行为总是让 我身边那些不拖延的人感到困惑
My behavior has always perplexed the non-procrastinators around me,
所以我想向不拖延的人解释一下
and I wanted to explain to the non-procrastinators of the world
拖延者脑袋里到底是怎么想的
what goes on in the heads of procrastinators,
还有为什么我们这些拖延者会这样
and why we are the way we are.
我的假设是
Now, I had a hypothesis
拖延者的大脑
that the brains of procrastinators were actually different
和不拖延者的大脑是不同的
than the brains of other people.
为了证明这一点 我找到一个核磁共振实验室
And to test this, I found an MRI lab
让我可以扫描自己的大脑
that actually let me scan both my brain
和一个经证实不是拖延者的大脑
and the brain of a proven non-procrastinator,
然后我就可以对比这两种大脑
so I could compare them.
今天我把它们都带来了
I actually brought them here to show you today.
我希望大家能认真比较 这二者之间是否有什么差别
I want you to take a look carefully to see if you can notice a difference.
我知道大家 不是受过训练的脑科专家
I know that if you’re not a trained brain expert,
看起来可能不明显 但是让我们来看一下 好吗?
it’s not that obvious, but just take a look, OK?
这是一个不拖延者的大脑
So here’s the brain of a non-procrastinator.
[笑声]
[Laughter]
现在
Now …
这是我的大脑
here’s my brain.
[笑声]
(Laughter)
这二者之间有一个区别
There is a difference.
两种大脑里头 都有一个理性的决策制定者
Both brains have a Rational Decision-Maker in them,
但是拖延者的大脑里
but the procrastinator’s brain
还有一只叫即时满足的猴子
also has an Instant Gratification Monkey.
对拖延者来说这意味着什么呢?
Now, what does this mean for the procrastinator?
它意味着在这件事 发生之前一切都挺好的
Well, it means everything’s fine until this happens.
[现在是开始干活的最佳时机] [才不是呢!]
[This is a perfect time to get some work done.] [Nope!]
于是当理性的决策制定者 做出理性的决策
So the Rational Decision-Maker will make the rational decision
想做一些富有成效的事时
to do something productive,
猴子不想这么做
but the Monkey doesn’t like that plan,
于是他开始掌控方向盘
so he actually takes the wheel,
而且他说:“实际上 让我们来读一下维基百科上关于
and he says, “Actually, let’s read the entire Wikipedia page
南茜·克里根/汤妮·雅哈丁 的丑闻案吧
of the Nancy Kerrigan/ Tonya Harding scandal,
因为我刚想起来这件事
because I just remembered that that happened.
[笑声]
[Laughter]
然后
Then —
[笑声]
[Laughter]
然后让我们走到冰箱
Then we’re going to go over to the fridge,
翻翻看这10分钟以来 有没什么新东西
to see if there’s anything new in there since 10 minutes ago.
之后 让我们继续 在视频网站上浏览
After that, we’re going to go on a YouTube spiral
从理查德·费曼 谈磁性的视频开始看
that starts with videos of Richard Feynman talking about magnets
一直看到 对贾斯汀·比伯老妈的采访
and ends much, much later with us watching interviews
看到地老天荒
with Justin Bieber’s mom.
[笑声]
(Laughter)
“这一切都花时间
“All of that’s going to take a while,
所以我们今天的日程安排 没办法抽空干活
so we’re not going to really have room on the schedule for any work today.
很抱歉!“
Sorry!”
[叹气]
[Sigh]
这是怎么回事呢?
Now, what is going on here?
即时满足猴子似乎不是那个
The Instant Gratification Monkey does not seem like a guy
你想让他操控方向盘的人
you want behind the wheel.
他完全活在当下
He lives entirely in the present moment.
他完全活在当下
He has no memory of the past, no knowledge of the future,
他只关心两件事
and he only cares about two things:
简单和快乐
easy and fun.
在动物世界里 这样没问题
Now, in the animal world, that works fine.
如果你是一只狗
If you’re a dog
你简单、快乐地度过这一生
and you spend your whole life doing nothing other than easy and fun things,
就已经是巨大的成功!
you’re a huge success!
[笑声]
[Laughter]
而对于猴子来说
And to the Monkey,
人类是另外一种动物
humans are just another animal species.
你睡好、吃饱、繁殖下一代
You have to keep well-slept, well-fed and propagating into the next generation,
这么做在部落时代或许没问题
which in tribal times might have worked OK.
但是 假如你还没注意到 我们现在不是生活在部落时代
But, if you haven’t noticed, now we’re not in tribal times.
我们处于一个先进的文明 而猴子根本不懂那是什么
We’re in an advanced civilization, and the Monkey does not know what that is.
这就是为什么我们脑袋里还有另外一个家伙
Which is why we have another guy in our brain,
理性的决策制定者
the Rational Decision-Maker,
他让我们有能力去做 其他动物无法做到的事情
who gives us the ability to do things no other animal can do.
我们可以预见未来
We can visualize the future.
我们可以顾全大局
We can see the big picture.
我们可以做长期打算
We can make long-term plans.
而且他想把这些都考虑进去
And he wants to take all of that into account.
他想让我们做
And he wants to just have us do
任何值得现在去做的事儿
whatever makes sense to be doing right now.
有时做简单快乐的事
Now, sometimes it makes sense
是有意义的
to be doing things that are easy and fun,
比如吃饭、睡觉
like when you’re having dinner or going to bed
或者享受应得的休闲时光
or enjoying well-earned leisure time.
这就是为什么即时满足猴子 和理性的决策制定者之间有重合
That’s why there’s an overlap.
有时他们意见一致
Sometimes they agree.
但是有时 更有意义的是
But other times, it makes much more sense
去做那些比较难 而且不那么让人享受的事情
to be doing things that are harder and less pleasant,
这是出于全局的考虑
for the sake of the big picture.
此时二者之间会产生冲突
And that’s when we have a conflict.
对于拖延者来说
And for the procrastinator,
每次冲突都以这种方式结束
that conflict tends to end a certain way every time,
就是他在橙色区域 花费了大量时间
leaving him spending a lot of time in this orange zone,
这是那个简单又快乐 但是又没有意义的那个区域
an easy and fun place that’s entirely out of the Makes Sense circle.
我把这片区域称为黑暗的操场
I call it the Dark Playground.
[笑声]
[Laughter]
黑暗的操场是一个
Now, the Dark Playground is a place
所有拖延者都很熟悉的地方
that all of you procrastinators out there know very well.
这里是在本来不应该休闲的时候
It’s where leisure activities happen
的休闲娱乐的活动场所
at times when leisure activities are not supposed to be happening.
在黑暗的操场得到的快乐
The fun you have in the Dark Playground
其实并不是快乐 因为它完全是不劳而获的
isn’t actually fun, because it’s completely unearned,
这会带来内疚、恐惧、 焦虑、自我憎恨
and the air is filled with guilt, dread, anxiety, self-hatred —
这是所有拖延者的感受
all of those good procrastinator feelings.
而且问题是 在这种情况下 由猴子掌控着方向盘
And the question is, in this situation, with the Monkey behind the wheel,
怎么能让拖延者把自己 带去蓝色区域那边呢
how does the procrastinator ever get himself over here to this blue zone,
那边虽然没那么舒适 但是有很多重要的事情要做
a less pleasant place, but where really important things happen?
其实拖延者有个守护天使
Well, turns out the procrastinator has a guardian angel,
总是看不起他并且看守着他
someone who’s always looking down on him and watching over him
在那些最黑暗的时刻
in his darkest moments —
它被称为恐慌怪兽
someone called the Panic Monster.
[笑声]
[Laughter]
恐慌怪兽大部分时间都在冬眠
Now, the Panic Monster is dormant most of the time,
但是截止期很近时 或者面临在公众面前出丑的危险时
but he suddenly wakes up anytime a deadline gets too close
或面临事业灾难时
or there’s danger of public embarrassment,
或有其他可怕的后果时 它就会突然醒来
a career disaster or some other scary consequence.
而且重要的是 他是猴子唯一害怕的东西
And importantly, he’s the only thing the Monkey is terrified of.
最近在我的生活里 恐慌怪兽变得相当重要
Now, he became very relevant in my life pretty recently,
因为TED的工作人员 6个月之前联络过我
because the people of TED reached out to me about six months ago
邀请我做一次演讲
and invited me to do a TED Talk.
[笑声]
[Laughter]
当然 我答应啦
Now, of course, I said yes.
我以前一直梦想着 可以做一次TED演讲
It’s always been a dream of mine to have done a TED Talk in the past.
[笑声]
[Laughter]
[掌声]
[Applause]
但是在这种兴奋中
But in the middle of all this excitement,
理性的决策制定者 似乎在想别的事
the Rational Decision-Maker seemed to have something else on his mind.
他会说: “我们清楚刚才答应了什么吗?
He was saying, “Are we clear on what we just accepted?
我们现在具有完成 将来那个任务所需的能力吗?
Do we get what’s going to be now happening one day in the future?
我们得坐下来开始干活”
We need to sit down and work on this right now.”
而猴子说:“完全同意 但是让我们打开谷歌地球
And the Monkey said, “Totally agree, but let’s just open Google Earth
把镜头推进到印度地下200尺
and zoom in to the bottom of India, like 200 feet above the ground,
然后花两个半小时 向上滚动到这个国家的地表
and scroll up for two and a half hours til we get to the top of the country,
让我们更好地感受一下印度”
so we can get a better feel for India.”
[笑声]
[Laughter]
那天我就是这么做的
So that’s what we did that day.
[笑声]
[Laughter]
当6个月变成4个月 然后2个月 然后1个月时
As six months turned into four and then two and then one,
TED工作人员开始发布演讲者的信息
the people of TED decided to release the speakers.
我打开网站 看到自己的脸
And I opened up the website, and there was my face
盯着自己看
staring right back at me.
你猜这个时候谁醒了?
And guess who woke up?
[笑声]
[Laughter]
于是恐慌怪兽开始发疯
So the Panic Monster starts losing his mind,
几秒钟之后 整个系统一片混乱
and a few seconds later, the whole system’s in mayhem.
[笑声]
(Laughter)
而猴子 还记得吗?他害怕恐慌怪兽
And the Monkey — remember, he’s terrified of the Panic Monster —
嘣的一声 他爬到树上去了!
boom, he’s up the tree!
终于
And finally,
理性的决策制定者 终于可以操控方向盘
finally, the Rational Decision-Maker can take the wheel
我可以开始准备这次演讲
and I can start working on the talk.
在恐慌怪兽看来
Now, the Panic Monster explains
所有那些相当愚蠢的拖延行为
all kinds of pretty insane procrastinator behavior,
就比如我这样的人花了两个星期
like how someone like me could spend two weeks
还没办法开始写论文的开头语
unable to start the opening sentence of a paper,
然后奇迹般地又拥有了 令人难以置信的工作热情
and then miraculously find the unbelievable work ethic
整晚熬夜写了8页
to stay up all night and write eight pages.
这整个情况 加上那三种角色
And this entire situation, with the three characters —
就是拖延者的系统
this is the procrastinator’s system.
不美好 但是至少还有用
It’s not pretty, but in the end, it works.
这是我几年前决定在博客写的东西
This is what I decided to write about on the blog a couple of years ago.
发布之后 收到的回应让我大吃一惊
When I did, I was amazed by the response.
我收到几千封邮件
Literally thousands of emails came in,
来自世界各地不同地方的人
from all different kinds of people from all over the world,
他们做着各种不同的事儿
doing all different kinds of things.
有护士、银行家、画家、工程师
These are people who were nurses, bankers, painters, engineers
还有很多很多博士生
and lots and lots of PhD students.
[笑声]
[Laughter]
内容基本上差不多:
And they were all writing, saying the same thing:
“我也有这个问题”
“I have this problem too.”
但是让我印象深刻的是那种反差 帖子的轻松口吻
But what struck me was the contrast between the light tone of the post
和那些邮件的沉重语气的反差
and the heaviness of these emails.
这些人有强烈的挫败感
These people were writing with intense frustration
因为拖延影响到他们的生活
about what procrastination had done to their lives,
因为猴子控制了他们的想法
about what this Monkey had done to them.
思考之后 我的问题是
And I thought about this, and I said,
如果拖延者的系统可以运转 那么到底是怎么回事?
well, if the procrastinator’s system works, then what’s going on?
为什么这些人 都有一个如此黑暗的角落?
Why are all of these people in such a dark place?
结果我发现原来有两种拖延
Well, it turns out that there’s two kinds of procrastination.
我今天谈到的 上面举过的例子
Everything I’ve talked about today, the examples I’ve given,
它们都有一个截止期
they all have deadlines.
而当有截止期的时候
And when there’s deadlines,
拖延的影响 被限制在一个较短的期限内
the effects of procrastination are contained to the short term
因为恐慌怪兽会介入
because the Panic Monster gets involved.
但是对于第二种拖延来说
But there’s a second kind of procrastination
它发生在没有截止期的情况下
that happens in situations when there is no deadline.
比如你想自己创业
So if you wanted a career where you’re a self-starter —
或者从事艺术类的工作
something in the arts, something entrepreneurial —
起初并没有截止期 因为在你还没有开始努力干活之前
there’s no deadlines on those things at first, because nothing’s happening,
不会有任何事情发生
not until you’ve gone out and done the hard work
没有产生推进力让事情继续进行
to get momentum, get things going.
除了事业之外那些重要的事情
There’s also all kinds of important things outside of your career
也没有截止期
that don’t involve any deadlines,
比如看望你的家庭 或者锻炼身体保持身体健康
like seeing your family or exercising and taking care of your health,
努力改善恋人关系
working on your relationship
或者离开一段不满意的关系
or getting out of a relationship that isn’t working.
如果拖延者做这些困难的事 只有一种机制
Now if the procrastinator’s only mechanism of doing these hard things
即恐慌怪兽 那么问题来了
is the Panic Monster, that’s a problem,
因为在这些没有截止期的情况下
because in all of these non-deadline situations,
恐慌怪兽根本不会出现
the Panic Monster doesn’t show up.
他没有需要醒来的时候
He has nothing to wake up for,
于是拖延的后果是不受限制的
so the effects of procrastination, they’re not contained;
他们只会无限延期
they just extend outward forever.
而这种长期的拖延
And it’s this long-term kind of procrastination
比起更有趣、更短期、 基于截止期的那种拖延来说
that’s much less visible and much less talked about
不那么明显 也不经常被谈论
than the funnier, short-term deadline-based kind.
它通常是安静地、悄悄地影响我们
It’s usually suffered quietly and privately.
它可能是
And it can be the source
大量长期不快乐、内疚的来源
of a huge amount of long-term unhappiness, and regrets.
我觉得 这才是那些人 发来邮件的原因
And I thought, that’s why those people are emailing,
这才是他们处于 如此糟糕状况的原因
and that’s why they’re in such a bad place.
不是因为他们为了某个项目狂赶
It’s not that they’re cramming for some project.
而是这种长期拖延 使他们感觉在他们自己的生活中
It’s that long-term procrastination has made them feel like a spectator,
有时好像只是一个旁观者
at times, in their own lives.
他们的沮丧不是因为 他们无法实现自己的梦想
The frustration is not that they couldn’t achieve their dreams;
而是他们甚至无法开始 去追逐自己的梦想
it’s that they weren’t even able to start chasing them.
所以读完这些邮件之后 我有一点领悟
So I read these emails and I had a little bit of an epiphany —
我认为不存在不拖延的人
that I don’t think non-procrastinators exist.
没错 我认为大家都是拖延者
That’s right — I think all of you are procrastinators.
你也许并不是像我们这样
Now, you might not all be a mess,
你也许并不是像我们这样
like some of us,
[笑声]
[Laughter]
也许有些人可以 很好的面对截止日期
and some of you may have a healthy relationship with deadlines,
但是请记住:猴子最卑鄙的伎俩
but remember: the Monkey’s sneakiest trick
在于没有截止日期的部分
is when the deadlines aren’t there.
现在我想给大家最后看一样东西
Now, I want to show you one last thing.
我把它叫做生命日历
I call this a Life Calendar.
假设一个人可以活到90岁 每个星期是一个格子
That’s one box for every week of a 90-year life.
其实没多少格子
That’s not that many boxes,
尤其是我们已经活了这么多年
especially since we’ve already used a bunch of those.
我认为我们都需要花些时间 认真看一下我们生命的日历
So I think we need to all take a long, hard look at that calendar.
我们需要认真思考 我们真正拖延的是什么
We need to think about what we’re really procrastinating on,
因为每个人都在拖延某件事
because everyone is procrastinating on something in life.
我们得时刻意识到 即时满足这个猴子的存在
We need to stay aware of the Instant Gratification Monkey.
这是我们所有人都应该做的事
That’s a job for all of us.
而且因为格子并不多
And because there’s not that many boxes on there,
这项工作也许应该从今天就开始
it’s a job that should probably start today.
好吧 也许不是今天 但是……
Well, maybe not today, but …
[笑声]
[Laughter]
你懂的
You know.
就在不久的将来
Sometime soon.
谢谢
Thank you.
[掌声]
[Applause]

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视频概述

蒂姆·尔班知道拖延没有意义,但是他从来没有办法改掉最后一刻才去干活的习惯。在他诙谐而又深刻的演讲中,尔班在带领我们在视频网站狂欢,在维基百科浏览,甚至一阵阵观望窗外的鸟语花香的同时鼓励我们去仔细思考在时间消逝之前,我们究竟在拖延什么。

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

B11101001

审核员

瞌睡虫儿

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arj7oStGLkU

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