Oh, the irony…
Procrastination. We’ve all been there and NOT done that, haven’t we?
I was in classic procrastination mode this morning. I had done my daily planning and determined my Most Important Tasks as I advocate in this article.
And guess what? My MIT was to write this article.
But I didn’t feeeeeeeel like it! Said with my best 2-year old whine. I didn’t have a topic I felt passionate about yet. Everything I thought about seemed … blah.
So I did what I felt like doing and that was explore a new leadership portal I had just received access to.
Clicking around exploring, there went 30 minutes – BAM!
But in that way that providence has of stepping in, I came upon a blog post about how to channel your procrastination of a task into energy to complete other tasks.
Wow! Now that sounded like what I needed! Not to mention, that sounded like what I was doing!
Voila! this weeks blog post was born.
Come on, I can’t be the only one who puts off doing something because I don’t feel like doing it right then!
So how can we turn this very normal (and dare I say, common) thing into a positive thing?
By doing what Stanford professor emeritus John Perry calls “structured procrastination“.
Structured Procrastination: The Process
- Actually follow the urge to NOT do the task. This is a procrastinator’s dream, right? But the trick is to not jump into social media. Keep going with the process.
- Order the tasks on your to-do list from highest to lowest priority. The trick here is to have some high-priority tasks that are really unappealing to you at the top. Like Write Blog Post for me this morning! Or tasks that are a little fuzzy like Review the Survey Results.
- Look at the revised to-do list and start working on the first task you feel like you can tackle at this moment. In addition to clicking around the new portal this morning, I also made 3 appointments, cleaned out my inbox and paid a couple of bills. Nothing was as important as writing my blog post, but I least I was doing SOMEthing!
- As time goes by, new tasks will come up that you don’t feel like doing. Put those at the top of the list. By the very laws of physics, this will move the first unappealing task down further on the list. At some point, that previously ignored task will look appealing and completely doable!
Think of the possibilities!
Don’t feel like giving that developmental feedback to your colleague? Perfect time to start digitizing all your paper files.
Don’t feel like washing the windows? Kind of makes vacuuming seem not so bad, doesn’t it?
Of course, there are limits to procrastination. If you put off something too long, it can turn into a crisis.
But if that happens, at least you will be forced to deal with it right then and you can check it off the to-do list!
Do choose wisely, but give this process a shot!
Worked like a charm for me this morning!
Leaving you with this from the lighter side: Is there a rehab for procrastinators? Yes, but they haven’t opened yet.