“Procrastination is finding the most difficult way of doing something.” Jonny Kelly
The one thing most people would not call me is lazy. They see me taking care of my children, working with my clients, studying, bustling around the house, sending out emails before 7 a.m. and routinely cooking three course meals. It’s always been like that. I’ve always liked to work. So, no, it doesn’t look like this lady’s got a problem with procrastination.
But I know that before I became conscious about my time, this productivity often was just a smokescreen. I would busy myself with ‘things’ which seemed perfectly sensible if you looked at them from the outside.
However. When I look through The Filter of What-Is-Really-Important-For-Me, they were often a complete waste of time.
Honestly, sometimes often I did them just to flee the desk, the phone call, the workout.
How much time and energy did I waste that way in the past? I don’t want to even begin to think about it! I didn’t get the really important things done so I felt guilty and busied myself even more.
Result: in the end I felt guilty allowing myself any quality time at all.
Now, many an article about procrastination will tell you to power through the work, do it first thing and not to do anything else before you have finished the ‘one thing’.
With me that has never worked. Mostly because as soon as someone tells me what I ‘should’ do, I shape-shift into the stubborn mule I must have been not too many lives ago. And also because I know from experience that, as an industrious procrastinator, you’ll find at least ten things to do before you even can say ‘Prioritise’.
These days, I’m not entirely free of industriously procrastinating, of course not. I am however, completely guilt-free enjoying time with and for myself.
Here are six elegant ways to look at and to live with industrious procrastination:
- What does it tell you about your unique style of action? Do you procrastinate industriously simply because you need time to get into motion? What does help you to get going?
- Cut ‘the big’ into smaller bites. When you industriously procrastinate, it is often because you don’t want to do something. And this in turn is often because you don’t know how to do it. Have an article to write? Cut it up into paragraphs. A phone call to make? Write out what you want to say.
- ‘Variatio delectat’. Alternate things, give yourself breathing space. Work on the one important thing and procrastinate on purpose on something else.
- De-culpabilize. What you resist persists. When you feel guilty about being an industrious procrastinator, you’re going to be one for a long time. Let go of the judgment. We all do it!
- Enter leisure. Industrious procrastinators hardly allow themselves leisure. Are you addicted to stress and to feeling overwhelmed and uber-busy? Decide on leisure time!
- Slow down. A lot of the need to procrastinate stems from being busy and speeding all the time. Repeat after me: there is enough time.
- Mean business: when you are working, signify to yourself that now you are Create a work only station, wear a special outfit.
- Reward yourself. If you surf around on Facebook for half an hour before you start working, you’ll berate yourself for procrastinating. If you surf around on Facebook for half an hour after you worked it’s a reward: It will spur you on and make you feel good.
I’m curious: how do you deal with industrious procrastination?
Très belle journée,