Use Procrastination to Boost Your Productivity. Here Is How
Do you procrastinate? Good!!! It means that you are getting feedback. Jump for joy and do a giant fist pump into the air. Because if your feedback receptors are intact, success is within reach.
I used to castigate myself every time I caught myself procrastinating. I was really mean to myself... And guess what? Yes, you got it: it did not work... The harsh self-disciplining did not make me work harder, it only made me feel worse about myself. I would feel guilty, worthless, inadequate, you name it....
Please do not put yourself through such self-torture. Whatever negativity you feel about yourself, STOP IT! Stop it and replace it with something positive...If you are dissatisfied with your performance, that’s OK. But rather than being your worst enemy and feeling bad about yourself, figure out how to improve and IMPROVE. If you procrastinate, rather than wasting your energy on feeling guilty and procrastinating more, pay attention to the message procrastination is sending you.
So start a dialogue with your procrastination and figure out where it’s coming from. It will inspire you! Procrastination is typically perceived as a bad habit, as a waste of time. Thou shalt jump out of bed, flex a muscle or two, smile, and eat the 2do list for breakfast… Well, as usually, things are not that simple. What if the tasks on your list are not the right tasks? Or are not in the right order? And your procrastination is merely telling you that you ought to review your strategy. That’s not bad, is it?
Unless you have an absolutely deadly dead line, or you must follow a certain task sequence to make things fit together, it’s not important in which order you do your daily or weekly tasks. What counts is that you get them done. Thus look at your list, pick a task YOU want to do right now and knock it out of the park. It will motivate you and move you to the next task, and the next one... and before you know it, you will be crushing the most unpopular tasks with gusto. The key is that you start with the task YOU WANT to work on and not the task you think you SHOULD work on. Grab the inspiring moments, get on a roll and take advantage of the snow ball effect.
And there is more procrastination can do for you. Many high performers use procrastination to get themselves into the state of action readiness. It seems that they are doing stuff they should not be doing, but they are actually getting ready to move swiftly and productively, and to achieve more in less time.
Even a few minutes of ‘procrastination’ can help you in a big way. When I was working on my PhD dissertation, I got into a habit of playing a few rounds of a simple patience card game on my computer. Is that a recommended morning activity for PhD candidates? No. But it helped me focus, streamline my thoughts and get the writing done.
Another example: have you ever noticed that when you give yourself an hour to write an unpleasant email, it takes you at least an hour to finish it and leaves you feeling de-energized and de-motivated? But if you linger a few minutes, do something you ‘should not be doing’, and then fully focus on the key issues and the desired outcomes, you will get the mail done much quicker and will feel in control and energized afterwards.
And that’s enough for this procrastination break. Please go back to whatever you were doing and get it done!
P.S. Please leave a comment below. I love to hear what you like, what you need, what moves you, what makes you day, and whatever else you like to share.
Dr. Iva Embley Neumann
is a coach, writer, marketer and data miner.
Before establishing her online business, she ran a forensic research center (crunching data to prevent crimes), and consulted numerous multinationals on issues such as assessing marketing strategies and optimizing operations (crunching data to maximize profits, among others).
Iva writes about and teaches internet marketing and strategies to free your creativity, talents, and strength to achieve your greatest potential.