No human on earth escapes the plague of procrastination. We’re all wired to put things off, but we also have the capacity to override that tendency. This weekend, pick one of the many ways to purge yourself of procrastination and start getting things done.
For the past week, I’ve been taking an hour or so at the coffee shop near my office to knock out most of my email and communications. Then when I get back to the office, I stay out of email as much as possible. The experiment has made me realise that shaking up my work environment helps me stay more focused and productive.
Some research says the best way to spark creativity is to walk away and that the best ideas come from those least-expected “aha!” moments. So maybe procrastination isn’t such a bad thing after all. Or is time spent on those cat memes taking its toll? Can procrastinating ever be a source of productivity?
Do you find yourself apologising constantly because you’re chronically late? Do your friends not even bother to show up until at least 15 minutes after they told you to arrive, knowing they’ll still need to wait for you? Have you missed out on opportunities, had work rejected, or had to pay a great deal of money in ticket change fees because you just couldn’t arrive on time? Do you keep saying you want to break this bad habit but never really seem to change?
All too often, our to-do lists fail us. They’re too long and unreasonable. You don’t have to completely ditch the to-do list though; you can actually feel more productive if you implement a priority rule for your tasks, such as the 1-3-5 rule.
When we’re subconsciously trying to avoid something, many of us fall into an “escape mode” where we pick up slightly unusual habits. It could be something fairly innocuous like obsessive cleaning or overeating, or even something dangerous like aggressive driving or heavy drinking. Either way, if you can identify the symptoms of your escape mode, you can work on breaking out of it.
There’s a difference between being always busy and having a lot to do and not enough time to do it in. You probably know at least one person at work who seems to always be stressed out and busy, but you know they don’t have as much on their plate as other people do. If that person is you, or you’re stressed out because you’re having trouble managing your to-dos, the problem may be simple: procrastination.