Productivity / Business Productivity

How to procrastinate: nine tips from a pro

Why is there such focus on how to be productive when many of us spend our time faffing around? There should be more tips on how to procrastinate. Here they are.


Having studied my own habits – in between randomly browsing infographics, social media and videos of classic newsreader bloopers – I’ve compiled a set of sure-fire principles on how to get less done in more time.

1. Hit the inbox first thing every morning, definitely

Unquestionably, an hour attending to random promotions, LinkedIn requests and Facebook photo alerts will be more important than anything else on your to-do list. Treat your inbox like your boss – it knows exactly what’s important for you to do all day and every day.

2. Answer the phone, always

It doesn’t matter who you are with or what you are doing, never forget that the sound of your ring tone supersedes ALL else in terms of priority – treat it like a fire alarm.

3. Relax, you’ll have a clear day tomorrow

Despite the fact that this has never ever happened before, you can rest easy knowing that you’ll definitely have an empty mind and clear schedule tomorrow, so you can put off tackling that important proposal until then.

"Treat your inbox like your boss – it knows exactly what’s important for you to do all day and every day."

4. Respond to everything immediately

Make sure that other people’s priorities become your own. Constantly reacting to ‘urgent’ yet ‘unimportant’ tasks is how visionary people achieve great things. Pretty sure it’s how the Pyramids were built for example.

5. It’s got to be 100% perfect

Firstly, don’t start anything until you have absolutely everything you need. Secondly, understand that you can never do too much tinkering around the edges. It’s not done unless it’s a masterpiece.

6. Never miss a news story

It is proven by business owners globally that it is crucial to read all breaking news, viral stories, industry insider blogs and photo galleries with titillating headlines. That old 2009 political gossip will come in handy one day. Tip: set your local news site as your browser home page.

7. If in doubt, set up a meeting or conference call

Nothing gets something off your to-do list and into next week like teeing up a ‘chat’. A conference call like this one is perfect.

8. Final checklist of things to do before starting any project:

  • Make a fresh cup of tea
  • Check the inbox
  • Get the clothes off the line
  • Clear the desk of clutter
  • Get the mince out of the freezer
  • Check the phone for texts
  • Get the bins out
  • Quickly see if there’s any action on Facebook
  • Did you check your email?

9. Multitask

Now you’re ready to start. All that’s left to do is write 15 things on today’s list and get cracking on all of them at the same time. Write a blog while returning a call, research a new supplier while doing the books – don’t forget the inbox.

Damn! Time for school pick up – gotta run! Let’s tee up a call or coffee in a week or so.

PS: For real productivity tips this neat infographic from Funders and Founders will help.

What are your worst productivity killers?

Peter Crocker

looks after content at Flying Solo. As part of Business Copywriter he partners with digital agencies and corporate clients on websites and digital content. He's the co-author of Flying Solo Revisited: How to go it alone in business.


127,204 people use Flying Solo to help them create a business with life. Do you?

Connect with Flying Solo

Explore the benefits of membership