I'll always say that procrastination isn't always a bad thing. Positive procrastination allows your brain time to fully think things out and can help you be more productive. It's helped me take a what would have been a standard journal to a more thought out journal with more areas that will help those who get the journal. The journal I'm taking about is my Dream, Write, Achieve goal and gratitude journal.
Just what exactly is procrastination?
There are so many reasons why we procrastinate, and different types of procrastination but do you know what procrastination actually is?
Merrium-Webster dictionary defines procrastination as;transitive verb: to put off intentionally and habituallyintransitive verb: to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done
It doesn’t seem that bad to intentionally put off something until tomorrow, as long as it gets done tomorrow but the problem comes when something else pops up on your to-do list and what you’re procrastinating over still doesn’t get done the next day.
The bigger problem is that the ‘new super important thing’ that goes on your to-do’s is not usually the most important task that you should be doing. It’s not that big task that will move the needle in your business the most!
So what can you do about this? One of the biggest reasons we procrastinate is fuzziness. With lack of clarity and confusion around what you need to do, what you’re trying to do and in what order you need to do them.
- Grab a sheet of paper and (some colourful) pens and get clear on your goals.
- What do you want your life/business to be like in 3/5 years?
- What do you need to do (step by step) to reach each goal?
- Why do you want to reach that specific goal?
Don’t procrastinate over this. Don’t worry about being neat. Unfrazzle your brain, get some clarity and stop putting off the most important things you know you need to do.
If you need some accountability, consider joining the co-working sessions.
Procrastinate on purpose!
Asked what his secret of success was, Warren Buffet said “Simple. I just say no to everything that is not vital to me at the moment”.
You’ve heard of prioritises. Everyone talks about them, but have you heard of posteriorities?
Quite simply you choose to procrastinate over your least important tasks. The one’s that aren’t going to make a big difference to what you want to achieve. You procrastinate with intention.
This can be easier said than done since we’re so used to scrolling and it’s so easy just to grab your phone and fall into the dreaded scroll hole.
Put your phone out of easy reach, switch off the sound, put it face down, cover it with a notebook. If it’s not in your line of sight, you can’t get distracted. (I do this in the evenings to make sure I rest and don’t scroll all evening - it works 90% of the time).
PRIORITIES are the most important tasks. The ones that will make the most difference in your business.
POSTERIORITIES are the least important ones. The random scrolling on social media, or doing the washing when there are more important tasks to do.
Don’t confused the random scrolling with active engagement on social media. It’s not procrastinating or a posteriority if you are using your time to be productive on social media.
Set your PRIORITIES and POSTERIORITIES
- Write your 3 top ‘must-dos’ and your 3 top ‘least important-to-dos’ for each day you work on your business.
- Practise your creative procrastination and make the decision to not do your ‘least-important-to-dos’
- Focus on ticking off your ‘must-do’s’ off your to-do list.
What’s going on your list of ‘not-imporantant-to-do’s’?
*Obviously, don’t switch off the sound if you’re expecting an important phone call. And putting ‘house-work’ etc on the ‘not-important-enough-to-ever-do’ list isn’t realistic (unless you outsource your cleaning) but focus on getting those most important tasks ticked off first.
Motivation comes after taking action.
I’ve been guilty of this, not feeling motivated to start a task but motivation comes after taking action. Motivation comes after taking that first action step. Just one minute of starting working on that most important task can motivate you to keep working on it.
- Estimate how long the task will take and set the timer on your phone (oh, that pesky phone!) Do this especially if you’re prone to hyper-focus.
- Remember how you feel when you start taking action and working on your task, and how you feel when you get to tick off your task.
- Acknowledge the feelings and sense of achievement, and remember these for the next time you want to put off a task. (I used to go to the gym and had to remind myself how I’d feel after the gym on the days I didn’t want to go).
- Procrastination hates clarity. Get clear on your goals.
- The tasks you procrastinate on most, are the usually ones that are most important.
- Procrastinate on purpose.
- Set your top priorities and top posterorities.
- Put your phone on silent, or out of reach.
- Motivation comes after taking action.