4 Ways to Procrastinate Successfully
Everyone procrastinates, but you can’t make a career of it. I’d be rich if I could find a CPO position – Chief Procrastination Officer.
People most likely to procrastinate are impulsive, disorganized, or perfectionistic. (BI)
“Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.” Unknown
4 ways to procrastinate successfully:
#1. Notice when procrastination is most inviting.
I have the willpower of a windsock in the late afternoon. I plan to write tomorrow’s article but end up clicking on best places to vacation.
Protect your best hours. I don’t squander mornings lifting weights. I go to the gym when procrastination is most appealing, afternoons.
Do the most important stuff when you’re at your best. Procrastinate successfully by maximizing typical procrastination hours.
#2. Lower your standards.
High standards make procrastination easy. You can’t do it good enough. You don’t know enough yet. It’s going to take too long.
Lower the bar until beginning feels easy.
Instead of putting off a tough conversation, schedule an appointment with a friend to craft language for an email invitation you might send someone.
Lower your standards by asking, “What’s something ridiculously small I can do right now?”
Raise standards as competence increases.
#3. Prepare for tomorrow tonight.
My journal and fountain pen sit centerstage on my desk. It’s harder to procrastinate when your tools are looking you in the face.
Put a sticky note on your computer monitor at the end of the day. Write one thing you must do tomorrow that stabs the dragon of delay in the heart. For example, spend 15 minutes preparing an agenda for your meeting next Tuesday.
#4. Adopt the Hemingway Method:
Stop before your tank is empty.
“The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel, you will never be stuck.” (Ernest Hemingway on writing.)
How are you dealing with procrastination?
Solving the Procrastination Puzzle (book)
How to Procrastinate Successfully and Defeat Pointless Procrastination
I would add “Acknowledge when you are procrastinating”. I have even said out loud to a colleague something along the lines of: “Yes, I can help you with that. I am currently avoiding doing something else I don’t want to do.” If all they need is 5 minutes of my time, that’s usually enough of a break for me to mentally reset. And if they need more than that, they usually tell me to do the other thing and get back to them. Thus giving me the incentive to get that other task done.
Love your suggestions, Jennifer. lt’s honest, light-hearted, and makes it safe to use words like avoiding, putting off, or procrastinating.
Lowering your standards and quitting before you’re out of gas are counterintuitive until you think about them. Good principles to work by. Thanks, Dan!
Another benefit of lowering the bar is the “Suck” effect. Similar to “I’ll just check my feed on social media”, start with something small. “I’ll just write the opening paragraph.” Next thing you know, half the article is done because you couldn’t stop. It sucks you in.
“Everyone procrastinates, but you can’t make a career of it. I’d be rich if I could find a CPO position – Chief Procrastination Officer.”
I was laughing at myself because I know this to be true of me. It makes good sense to acknowledge that everyone procrastinates. To me, I deal with procrastination by forcing myself to work at a time frame when I am most awake, active and clear of any distraction. Also, regularly writing “TO DO” lists helps me accomplish what I need to do yesterday.