Use Side 'Procrastination Projects' To Become More Productive

Overcoming procrastination is a favourite topic on Lifehacker. The more tips and tricks in our arsenal, the better our chances of beating procrastination and getting things done. One strategy is to have a side project that helps you procrastinate more productively.Photo by somegeekintn

Recently we asked you readers "what's your side project?", and the responses were varied and inspiring. Make writer Saul Griffith suggests that side projects like these can be used to fool yourself into being motivated—particularly if your "procrastination project" develops skills you might need in an upcoming project. His reasoning:

I gave up on trying to do exactly what I was meant to be doing in favour of always doing something. Frankly, I'm not sure we're designed to focus on only one thing for eight or ten hours in a row. I've always found that it's useful to have something else to be doing when you're too burnt out to face the next thing on your list. That way, flipping back and forth between the two projects prevents focus fatigue.

The key is to have a side project that forces you to learn something. Having a project (or two or more, perhaps) on the back burner can make your (perhaps inevitable) procrastination time more productive, giving you a chance to refuel and be more productive for your real work or main project.

Check out the post below for more on this strategy, and let's share more of our favourite procrastination tips and tricks in the comments.

The Art of Productive Procrastination [Make]


Comments

    I for one can say this works (for me at least). I always break up boring tasks with non-boring activity.

    This might mean simultaneous activities (ie. watching TV while doing the ironing) or alternating activities (for example, at work I always put my hand up for creating any presentations or briefing packs, as I find it to be rewarding creative work).

    Simultaneous activities work best though (as you're not losing any time). My latest take on this is when my toddler can't get to sleep, instead of reading his favourite book 100 times over, I'll read it a few times, then tell him the abridged story of Luke Skywalker and the friendly robots! My story telling helps him get ready for sleep, while translating Star Wars into a story for a toddler keeps me from falling asleep!

Join the discussion!