Procrastination is a dirty word when it comes to productivity but the truth is it can be highly effective if we learn how to take control of it.
Humans suck at foresight and so we find it difficult to comprehend the success of our future selves, even though the rewards are likely to be much bigger. This is known as temporal discounting and because of this we use procrastination as a kind of premature emotional reward.
Here’s 5 easy ways to leverage your procrastination and get closer to where you want to be:
1. Create a list – Trello is an awesome free tool for creating to-do lists. Every day I set myself 5 tasks (no more) and once they are completed I reward myself with a large slice of procrastination!
2. All talk no action – Sharing my ideas with other people helps me to build a mental framework of how I’m actually going to achieve them, it also holds me accountable for when we next meet.
3. Times up – “The ultimate inspiration is a deadline.” – Bushnell Nolan. When you know you have to get something done NOW, you get super creative, super fast. This is due to the fact that you don’t have the time to listen to the critic inside your head.
4. Get scrappy – A lot of people procrastinate because their scared of not being perfect from the off, when in fact 80% is more than good enough; it’s great. “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dali
5. Treat yourself – If you’re getting the important things done then your system is already working. Sometimes it’s only when I’m walking the dog or slumped in front of the TV that new ideas comes to me.
If you’re working hard all the time you’re not living and you certainly haven’t got any time to let your brain wonder.