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Are you a procrastinator? Me too! How can I stop?

Discussion in 'Get productive' started by Lucy Kippist, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. Lucy Kippist

    Lucy Kippist Active Member Staff Member

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    The neurological explanation for 'why' we procrastinate is incredibly complex and as old as time. According to scientists via this incredibly comprehensive article (that's bound to kill some time! Ha) even the Greek poet Hesiod, writing around 800 B.C., cautioned not to “put your work off till tomorrow and the day after.”

    While sage words, Hesiod doesn't really go on to tell us 'how'...

    Care to share your most effective method for preventing procrastination?

    I'll put the kettle on ;)
    Netvantage likes this.
  2. bb1

    bb1 Renowned Member

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    I'll read it tomorrow, or maybe Sunday
  3. RoseC

    RoseC Member

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    Productive procrastination is the method for me.

    Checking social too much, re-writing the same sentence too often, reading stuff not related to my project, or simply staring at the beige wall in front of me too long and I know it's time to go do something else.

    I find spending five or 10 mins doing something not work related means when I sit back down at my desk I'm able to settle quicker and focus on what I need to.
    Josari and Lucy Kippist like this.
  4. Paul - FS Concierge

    Paul - FS Concierge Administrator Staff Member

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    I am with Bert!
    Lucy Kippist likes this.
  5. Greg_M

    Greg_M Renowned Member

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    I reckon it's a genetic trait.

    I've got a Doctorate in procrastination. My younger son, now in his 30's has a Masters, and is catching up fast.
  6. John Romaine

    John Romaine Renowned Member

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    Bills.
  7. Dave - FS Concierge

    Dave - FS Concierge Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Lucy,

    For me the danger comes from tasks that are related to your work but not the real work (could be email, admin, stationery, social media, planning, etc). You can fill your time with these and trick yourself into thinking you're busy.

    Write down all your tasks and highlight them in 2 different colours - real work and other work. If you make your main work blocks for "real work only". Then you're forced to do that thing or sit there and literally do nothing. Even the work you're putting off starts to look good compared to staring at the wall. But if you're email is sitting there or some other distraction it won't work. The idea is to make that block of time so boring that your boring task is the most interesting thing.

    Failing that, just do 5 minutes. Starting is the hard part, and after 5 minutes usually you're into it.

    Lucinda Lions has a great technique here for those tasks you put off because you're worried about doing a good job.

    Those are some techniques, but I find it useful to ask yourself why you're putting it off. Then you can solve the problem in a straight forward way. For example if it's a boring task, you could go to a café with some music and nice coffee. If it's because you are hazy about the finished product, you could sketch out a 5 min version so the elements become clear to you. And so on...

    Dave
    Tamara-H, Netvantage and Lucy Kippist like this.
  8. Lucy Kippist

    Lucy Kippist Active Member Staff Member

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    That is such practical advice, Rose I will try it thanks. It reminds me a little bit of the advice they give you for insomnia - to get out of bed and do something else entirely before attempting to sleep again.
    RoseC likes this.
  9. Lucy Kippist

    Lucy Kippist Active Member Staff Member

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    Hey Dave,
    These are terrific suggestions and I think the 5 minute rule seems like a good place to start. Similar to the way writing coaches encourage you to set a timer for 15 minutes each day and simply get words on the page (or screen). Cheers also for the link to Lucinda's article - seems like a good one to promote again.
  10. Lucy Kippist

    Lucy Kippist Active Member Staff Member

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    :(
  11. Lucy Kippist

    Lucy Kippist Active Member Staff Member

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    You know what they say about the apple and the tree, Greg!
  12. Lucy Kippist

    Lucy Kippist Active Member Staff Member

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    :D
  13. elissa.doxey

    elissa.doxey Active Member

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    Procrastination & distraction are one of the reasons I try to use co-working spaces occasionally, because my office set-up at home isn't ideal at the moment.
    I use a bullet journal system to try and keep on task, as well as manage client projects using Insightly, which gives me notifications of deadlines, etc. It's not foolproof (or procrastinator-proof) though.
  14. karensaid

    karensaid Member

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    A friend of mine Peter Shallard, operates a business that focuses solely on "how to beat procrastination for Entrepreneurs".

    No point me writing anything here on the subject. He's written some exceptional articles on the topic of eliminating procrastination, that plagues so many of us in business.

    He has a blog on the subject: http://www.petershallard.com/

    And a business that hosts effective accountability coaches. I have been through myself. A for awesome! Nothing about time management which I hate.

    Warning: Self sabotage is forced into the light.

    If anyone cares to take a peek or be interested, here it is: https://www.commitaction.com/

    Not an affiliate link in anyway. Just sharing some good stuff someone may find valuable to them.

    You can also Youtube Shrink for Entrepreneurs, Peter has a very cool video series filmed in New York where he resides and runs his business.

    Hope it's useful.
    Tamara-H likes this.
  15. battlers_everywhere

    battlers_everywhere Member

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    Split work into two categories: deep work and shallow work - an idea by Cal Newport. I've read his book; he also has a Ted talk which is worth checking out.

    Deep work involves concentration, getting in the zone, performing at a high level etc. A human can only do deep work for a maximum of, say, two hours a day, but will fatigue far sooner (e.g. can only do 30 mins of deep work) when trying deep work for the first time.

    I feel like I get MUCH more done in short sharp bursts of deep work than when compared to longer hours of distracted work. I find its easier to motivate myself to be productive when telling myself that I only have to work hard for 60 mins.
    Tamara-H likes this.
  16. Burgo

    Burgo Renowned Member

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    Procrastination, Oh weve discussed this many time here on the forum.
    I still maintain that Procrastination is the most underated Management tool
    What you say a Management tool
    Yes Procrastination allows you to think your problems through. You may not always be aware that this supposedly stuffing around is nothing more than indecision.
    Any student of Management knows that every problem requires you to assess all the alternative solutions and then choose the best one that suites you.
    So if you do find yourself Procrastinating allow your mind to travel and it will take the pressure off
    I love Procrastinating its one of my favourite hobbies / habits.
  17. Lucy Kippist

    Lucy Kippist Active Member Staff Member

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    A great perspective there, @Burgo! I have never thought about it like that.
  18. Joli

    Joli Member

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    I like @Burgo's way of thinking too... @Dave - FS Concierge says we should ask ourselves 'why' we're procrastinating...

    Thinking things through thoroughly is one reason. Ironing out the nuts and bolts, trying to word that email just right, factoring in the what if's...

    Fear is also anther one: fear of success, fear of rejection, fear of failure...
    Paul - FS Concierge likes this.
  19. JamesMillar

    JamesMillar Renowned Member

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    Set deadlines and stick to them. Time based goals (and tasks) are the cornerstone of progress. No better demonstrated than by JKF's moon speech when he declared in 1962 that by the end of that decade they would put man on the moon - and they did just that. Contrast that with our NBN which seemingly has no declared deadline. The result being that here we are many years after commencement with no NBN in most parts of Metro Melbourne.

    Set a date and get it done.
    Alexander Porter likes this.
  20. Jasonstallworth

    Jasonstallworth Member

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    Procrastination is just a lack of experience which is necessary to constantly put your energy into work. I know I'm very lazy and that's why I work hard - I make myself do things because I know what it's like to be ineffective.

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