Midourney

Reducing time spent procrastinating with ChatGPT

Alex Cox
3 min readMay 1, 2023

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A blank page staring back at you. A deadline looming. And Netflix just two keystrokes away. We never really had a chance not to procrastinate. But at least that blank page is a lot less intimidating with ChatGPT.

Take this post, for example. I realized a few months back that ChatGPT could give me a first pass on stuff I used to put off. Sure, those crazy ideas, emails, and A/B tests could wait a bit longer, but I was curious to see what ChatGPT could come up with. The output was never perfect, but it was damn close. I figured I could take a quick look — roll the roulette wheel and see if I got a winning response AKA have my work instantly completed.

While reading the painfully close output, I’d naturally start tweaking, rewording, updating some paragraphs, and filling in the gaps. Next thing I know, it’s 30 minutes later, and I’ve finished something I never really intended to start.

That’s the beauty of this tech for us chronic procrastinators. It massively lowers the activation energy needed to do most of the things we’re supposed to be doing. That blank page is now a fully written draft, feeling like it only needs a couple of minutes to make print-ready.

This plays on a psychological trick we serial procrastinators try to play on ourselves. “Oh, I’ll just write the first two words.” No one can just write two words — that’s not even a complete thought. But that’s the point. The energy needed to accomplish the goal is so low you can’t help but start. The sad thing is, like most of these tricks, they tend to stop working when you look at these two-word goals and know you don’t have the 30 minutes needed to finish whatever you’re trying to trick yourself into actually doing.

ChatGPT, though, means you can have an entire book written within a day, edited, and ready to go if you really wanted to. Now, let’s be clear — there’s no way I’m gonna muster up the energy to write an entire book in a day and put it on Amazon without a fast-approaching deadline. But at least something as crazy as that is now possible.

Speaking of crazy things I’ve always thought about but was too lazy to get started, ChatGPT just planned out the clothing line I’ve always wanted and even wrote me the MidJourney prompts to visualize them. Before, I would have needed to research clothing lines, common pieces, hire a fashion designer to draw the sketches based on my ramblings, and then start with the production side. Instead of doing any of that, ChatGPT and MidJourney got me ready to start finding sample makers while I ate dinner today. So, of course, everything is way faster, but these large, nebulous tasks like creating a clothing line become so much easier. Well, at least until, you need to go find a supplier to make the samples. Life can’t be too easy yet — we still need something to procrastinate on :)

ChatGPT and MidJoureny making it too easy to design clothing.

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Alex Cox

Product Manager and designer writing about ideas. Living and working in SF. See more of my projects at www.alexcreates.me