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  • So in college,

    大學的時候

  • I was a government major,

    我主修政治學

  • which means I had to write a lot of papers.

    這表示我必須要寫很多論文

  • Now, when a normal student writes a paper,

    一般學生在寫論文時

  • they might spread the work out a little like this.

    大概會做像這樣的進度表

  • So, you know --

    你們也知道嘛...

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • you get started maybe a little slowly,

    一開始慢慢來

  • but you get enough done in the first week

    但第一週能完成夠多進度

  • that, with some heavier days later on,

    後來工作量重了一點

  • everything gets done, things stay civil.

    但事情總會順利完成

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • And I would want to do that like that.

    我也想要這樣子做

  • That would be the plan.

    計畫本來就應該像這樣

  • I would have it all ready to go,

    我會把一切通通計畫好

  • but then, actually, the paper would come along,

    結果呢,等到真的該寫的時候

  • and then I would kind of do this.

    我的計畫會變成這樣

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • And that would happen every single paper.

    每一次寫論文都是這樣

  • But then came my 90-page senior thesis,

    但終於輪到了我 90 頁的畢業論文

  • a paper you're supposed to spend a year on.

    這論文照理應該花一年的時間寫

  • And I knew for a paper like that, my normal work flow was not an option.

    我知道面對這種論文, 不能用平常的工作方式來做

  • It was way too big a project.

    因為這實在是太大的工程了

  • So I planned things out,

    所以我好好地計畫了一下

  • and I decided I kind of had to go something like this.

    決定要這樣安排

  • This is how the year would go.

    這一年大概要長這樣

  • So I'd start off light,

    所以剛開始做一點就好

  • and I'd bump it up in the middle months,

    中間幾個月增加一點進度

  • and then at the end, I would kick it up into high gear.

    最後,我會火力全開

  • Just like a little staircase.

    就跟樓梯一樣嘛

  • How hard could it be to walk up the stairs?

    走樓梯是有多難勒?

  • No big deal, right?

    輕而易舉,對吧?

  • But then, the funniest thing happened.

    可是,好笑的事情發生了

  • Those first few months?

    前面幾個月

  • They came and went,

    突然就飛走了

  • and I couldn't quite do stuff.

    我根本做不了什麼

  • So we had an awesome new revised plan.

    所以我就修改成超棒的新進度表

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • And then --

    然後...

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • But then those middle months actually went by,

    然後中間的月份也飛走了

  • and I didn't really write words,

    我真的也沒擠出幾個字

  • and so we were here.

    所以就變成這樣

  • And then two months turned into one month,

    然後兩個月變成一個月

  • which turned into two weeks.

    之後剩兩週

  • And one day I woke up

    有天我醒來

  • with three days until the deadline,

    發現只剩三天就要交論文了

  • still not having written a word,

    我還是連一個字都沒生出來

  • and so I did the only thing I could:

    所以我能做的只有一件事:

  • I wrote 90 pages over 72 hours,

    我用 72 小時生出 90 頁的論文

  • pulling not one but two all-nighters --

    不只熬夜了一天,是連續兩天──

  • humans are not supposed to pull two all-nighters --

    人真的不能連熬兩天夜──

  • sprinted across campus,

    完成後我衝到校園

  • dove in slow motion,

    慢動作往前撲

  • and got it in just at the deadline.

    正好在最後一刻趕上

  • I thought that was the end of everything.

    我以為這樣就結束了

  • But a week later I get a call,

    但一週後,我接到電話

  • and it's the school.

    是學校打來的

  • And they say, "Is this Tim Urban?"

    他們說:「請問你是提姆.厄本嗎?」

  • And I say, "Yeah."

    我說:「對。」

  • And they say, "We need to talk about your thesis."

    他們說:「我們得談談你的論文。」

  • And I say, "OK."

    我說:「好。」

  • And they say,

    他們說:

  • "It's the best one we've ever seen."

    「我們從沒見過這麼棒的論文。」

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • (Applause)

    (掌聲)

  • That did not happen.

    並沒有發生這種事

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • It was a very, very bad thesis.

    我寫得超級無敵爛

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • I just wanted to enjoy that one moment when all of you thought,

    我只是想要享受一下你們心想:

  • "This guy is amazing!"

    「這傢伙太厲害了吧!」那瞬間

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • No, no, it was very, very bad.

    並沒有發生這種事,我寫得很糟

  • Anyway, today I'm a writer-blogger guy.

    總之,我現在是個部落客

  • I write the blog Wait But Why.

    部落格名稱是「等一下但是為什麼」

  • And a couple of years ago, I decided to write about procrastination.

    幾年前,我決定開始寫拖拖拉拉的事

  • My behavior has always perplexed the non-procrastinators around me,

    我身邊不會拖拖拉拉的朋友 總對我的行為感到非常不解

  • and I wanted to explain to the non-procrastinators of the world

    所以我想解釋給全世界 所有不會拖拖拉拉的人

  • what goes on in the heads of procrastinators,

    看我們愛拖的人腦袋裡在想什麼

  • and why we are the way we are.

    以及我們為何如此

  • Now, I had a hypothesis

    現在呢,我有個假設

  • that the brains of procrastinators were actually different

    那就是拖延者的大腦

  • than the brains of other people.

    其實跟其它人不一樣

  • And to test this, I found an MRI lab

    為了證實這點, 我找到一個核磁共振實驗室

  • that actually let me scan both my brain

    同意讓我掃描自己的大腦

  • and the brain of a proven non-procrastinator,

    以及一位不會拖延者的大腦

  • so I could compare them.

    然後比較兩者的差異

  • I actually brought them here to show you today.

    我今天特地把掃描結果帶來給你們看

  • I want you to take a look carefully to see if you can notice a difference.

    請仔細看看有沒有不一樣

  • I know that if you're not a trained brain expert,

    如果你們不是專家的話, 可能沒有那麼容易看出來

  • it's not that obvious, but just take a look, OK?

    不過就稍微看一下好嗎?

  • So here's the brain of a non-procrastinator.

    這是不會拖延者的大腦

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • Now ...

    然後呢...

  • here's my brain.

    這是我的大腦

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • There is a difference.

    果然不一樣吧

  • Both brains have a Rational Decision-Maker in them,

    兩個大腦裡都有理性決策者

  • but the procrastinator's brain

    但拖延者的大腦

  • also has an Instant Gratification Monkey.

    同時還有一隻及時行樂猴

  • Now, what does this mean for the procrastinator?

    這對拖延者來說是什麼意思?

  • Well, it means everything's fine until this happens.

    在這種狀況發生前,一切都沒事

  • [This is a perfect time to get some work done.] [Nope!]

    [現在是該做事的最好時機喔。] [才不是!]

  • So the Rational Decision-Maker will make the rational decision

    所以理性決策者會做出理性決定

  • to do something productive,

    該做點事情了

  • but the Monkey doesn't like that plan,

    但猴子並不喜歡這決定

  • so he actually takes the wheel,

    所以就搶過方向盤

  • and he says, "Actually, let's read the entire Wikipedia page

    然後說:「不然我們看完維基百科上

  • of the Nancy Kerrigan/ Tonya Harding scandal,

    花式滑冰選手南茜·克里根 和譚雅·哈丁的整篇醜聞報導吧

  • because I just remembered that that happened.

    因為我剛剛想到有這件事。」

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • Then --

    然後...

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • Then we're going to go over to the fridge,

    然後我們再去看一下冰箱

  • to see if there's anything new in there since 10 minutes ago.

    看看跟十分鐘前有什麼不一樣

  • After that, we're going to go on a YouTube spiral

    再來去看看 YouTube 上的一連串影片

  • that starts with videos of Richard Feynman talking about magnets

    就從理察.費曼談論磁鐵開始

  • and ends much, much later with us watching interviews

    一路看看看看看

  • with Justin Bieber's mom.

    最後看到小賈斯丁他媽的訪問影片

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • "All of that's going to take a while,

    「這一切都需要花點時間

  • so we're not going to really have room on the schedule for any work today.

    所以今天沒有辦法做正事了

  • Sorry!"

    拍謝啦!」

  • (Sigh)

    (嘆)

  • Now, what is going on here?

    所以到底發生什麼事?

  • The Instant Gratification Monkey does not seem like a guy

    你應該不會希望及時行樂猴

  • you want behind the wheel.

    控制方向盤

  • He lives entirely in the present moment.

    他只活在當下

  • He has no memory of the past, no knowledge of the future,

    他沒有過去的記憶, 不曉得未來會怎樣

  • and he only cares about two things:

    他只在乎兩件事:

  • easy and fun.

    輕鬆、有趣

  • Now, in the animal world, that works fine.

    在動物的世界裡,這樣做完全行得通

  • If you're a dog

    如果你是隻狗

  • and you spend your whole life doing nothing other than easy and fun things,

    一輩子只做輕鬆有趣的事,不做別的

  • you're a huge success!

    那你就成功了啊!

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • And to the Monkey,

    對猴子來說

  • humans are just another animal species.

    人類只是另一種動物物種

  • You have to keep well-slept, well-fed and propagating into the next generation,

    只要睡飽、吃好,繁殖下一代就行了

  • which in tribal times might have worked OK.

    這在以前部落時代還可以

  • But, if you haven't noticed, now we're not in tribal times.

    不過,如果你沒注意到的話, 我們時代已經不一樣了

  • We're in an advanced civilization, and the Monkey does not know what that is.

    我們處在先進文明的世界, 但猴子不知道這是什麼情況

  • Which is why we have another guy in our brain,

    所以我們腦中才有另一個

  • the Rational Decision-Maker,

    理性決策者存在

  • who gives us the ability to do things no other animal can do.

    他讓我們有能力 做其它動物做不到的事

  • We can visualize the future.

    我們可以想像未來;

  • We can see the big picture.

    可以綜觀大局;

  • We can make long-term plans.

    可以做長遠規劃

  • And he wants to take all of that into account.

    他想要把這些都納入考慮

  • And he wants to just have us do

    所以他只要我們做

  • whatever makes sense to be doing right now.

    當下合理的事情就好

  • Now, sometimes it makes sense

    有時候

  • to be doing things that are easy and fun,

    做輕鬆有趣的事情很合理

  • like when you're having dinner or going to bed

    像是吃晚餐或是上床睡覺

  • or enjoying well-earned leisure time.

    或是享受應得的休閒時光

  • That's why there's an overlap.

    這就是為什麼有中間重疊的部分

  • Sometimes they agree.

    有時候他們意見會達成一致

  • But other times, it makes much more sense

    但其它時候,做比較難的事情

  • to be doing things that are harder and less pleasant,

    或是比較不好玩的事合理許多

  • for the sake of the big picture.

    這是為了大局著想

  • And that's when we have a conflict.

    這就是發生衝突的時候了

  • And for the procrastinator,

    對拖延者來說

  • that conflict tends to end a certain way every time,

    衝突幾乎每次都會以同樣的方式作結

  • leaving him spending a lot of time in this orange zone,

    讓他有很多時間待在橘色這區

  • an easy and fun place that's entirely out of the Makes Sense circle.

    既輕鬆又好玩的地方, 可是完全在合理區之外

  • I call it the Dark Playground.

    我稱之為暗黑遊樂場

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • Now, the Dark Playground is a place

    暗黑遊樂場這個地方

  • that all of you procrastinators out there know very well.

    是所有拖延者都心有戚戚焉的

  • It's where leisure activities happen

    這是不該悠哉時

  • at times when leisure activities are not supposed to be happening.

    卻做悠哉的事情時,會出現的地方。

  • The fun you have in the Dark Playground

    暗黑遊樂場的玩樂並非真的玩樂

  • isn't actually fun, because it's completely unearned,

    因為完全不是努力賺來的

  • and the air is filled with guilt, dread, anxiety, self-hatred --

    而且空氣中瀰漫著內疚、 擔心、焦慮、自我厭惡──

  • all of those good procrastinator feelings.

    所有這些拖延的良好感受

  • And the question is, in this situation, with the Monkey behind the wheel,

    問題是,在這種情況下, 由猴子掌舵時

  • how does the procrastinator ever get himself over here to this blue zone,

    拖延者要怎麼過到藍色這個

  • a less pleasant place, but where really important things happen?

    比較不好玩,但重要事情發生的地方?

  • Well, turns out the procrastinator has a guardian angel,

    嗯,原來拖延者有個守護天使

  • someone who's always looking down on him and watching over him

    在最黑暗的時候

  • in his darkest moments --

    永遠照看他、守護他的人──

  • someone called the Panic Monster.

    這個人就叫做恐慌怪獸

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • Now, the Panic Monster is dormant most of the time,

    恐慌怪獸大多時候都在休眠

  • but he suddenly wakes up anytime a deadline gets too close

    但等到交期接近時會突然醒來

  • or there's danger of public embarrassment,

    或是快要遇到公開出糗、

  • a career disaster or some other scary consequence.

    事業危機或其它恐怖結果時驚醒

  • And importantly, he's the only thing the Monkey is terrified of.

    更重要的是,他是猴子 唯一會懼怕的東西

  • Now, he became very relevant in my life pretty recently,

    他最近跟我的生活息息相關

  • because the people of TED reached out to me about six months ago

    因為 TED 的人大概半年前聯絡我

  • and invited me to do a TED Talk.

    邀請我來 TED 演講

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • Now, of course, I said yes.

    當然,我說好

  • It's always been a dream of mine to have done a TED Talk in the past.

    「以前」做 TED 演講 一直都是我的夢想

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • (Applause)

    (掌聲)

  • But in the middle of all this excitement,

    興奮之餘

  • the Rational Decision-Maker seemed to have something else on his mind.

    理性決策者似乎心事重重

  • He was saying, "Are we clear on what we just accepted?

    他說:「我們知道剛剛答應了什麼嗎?

  • Do we get what's going to be now happening one day in the future?

    我們知道未來某一天會發生什麼事嗎?

  • We need to sit down and work on this right now."

    我們需要坐下來, 現在就著手進行這件事。」

  • And the Monkey said, "Totally agree, but let's just open Google Earth

    然後猴子說:「完全同意, 不過我們先打開 Google Earth

  • and zoom in to the bottom of India, like 200 feet above the ground,

    縮放到印度底部大概地平面上兩百呎

  • and we're gonna scroll up for two and a half hours til we get to the top of the country,

    然後花兩個半小時, 一直看到印度頂部

  • so we can get a better feel for India."

    這樣才能好好了解一下整個印度。」

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • So that's what we did that day.

    所以我們那天就做了這件事

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • As six months turned into four and then two and then one,

    六個月變成四個月, 又變成兩個月,然後一個月,

  • the people of TED decided to release the speakers.

    TED 的人決定公佈講者名單

  • And I opened up the website, and there was my face

    我打開網站後,看到我自己的臉

  • staring right back at me.

    就在我正前方

  • And guess who woke up?

    這時候,猜猜看誰醒了?

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • So the Panic Monster starts losing his mind,

    恐慌怪獸開始發瘋

  • and a few seconds later, the whole system's in mayhem.

    幾秒鐘之後,整個系統一片混亂

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • And the Monkey -- remember, he's terrified of the Panic Monster --

    然後,還記得猴子怕死恐慌怪獸了嗎?

  • boom, he's up the tree!

    砰!他跑到樹上了!

  • And finally,

    最後

  • finally, the Rational Decision-Maker can take the wheel

    最後,理性決策者可以搶過方向盤

  • and I can start working on the talk.

    我也可以開始準備這演講

  • Now, the Panic Monster explains

    恐慌怪獸解釋了

  • all kinds of pretty insane procrastinator behavior,

    各種瘋狂的拖延行為

  • like how someone like me could spend two weeks

    例如像我這樣的人怎麼會花兩週的時間

  • unable to start the opening sentence of a paper,

    就是無法寫出文章開頭的幾句話

  • and then miraculously find the unbelievable work ethic

    然後神奇地發現自己 驚人的職業道德

  • to stay up all night and write eight pages.

    並熬夜寫出八頁的文章

  • And this entire situation, with the three characters --

    這三種角色存在的整個情況

  • this is the procrastinator's system.

    就是拖延者的系統

  • It's not pretty, but in the end, it works.

    是不漂亮,但終究是能發揮作用的

  • This is what I decided to write about on the blog just a couple of years ago.

    這就是我幾年前決定寫部落格的事情

  • When I did, I was amazed by the response.

    寫了之後,讀者的回應讓我很驚訝

  • Literally thousands of emails came in,

    真的有幾千封電子郵件進來

  • from all different kinds of people from all over the world,

    世界各地的千百種人寫信給我

  • doing all different kinds of things.

    他們來自各行各業

  • These are people who were nurses, bankers, painters, engineers

    其中有護士、銀行家、畫家、工程師

  • and lots and lots of PhD students.

    還有超多、超多的博士生

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • And they were all writing, saying the same thing:

    大家都說一樣的事:

  • "I have this problem too."

    「我也有這個問題。」

  • But what struck me was the contrast between the light tone of the post

    但我驚訝的是,我寫得很輕鬆的文章

  • and the heaviness of these emails.

    以及收到的沉重信件形成強烈對比

  • These people were writing with intense frustration

    這些人都非常挫折

  • about what procrastination had done to their lives,

    覺得拖延對生活有很大影響

  • about what this Monkey had done to them.

    對猴子的行為感到挫敗

  • And I thought about this, and I said,

    我想了想之後說:

  • well, if the procrastinator's system works, then what's going on?

    嗯,要是拖延者的系統有用, 那怎麼會發生這種情況?

  • Why are all of these people in such a dark place?

    為什麼這些人還是灰頭土臉?