I tend to see myself as a doer, maybe because I grew up with the belief that to be successful and to make money you have to work really hard for it. The flip side to this is that I wouldn’t give myself permission to procrastinate, I wouldn’t make space for free time in my schedule and I would feel guilty when I didn’t do what I say I was going to do.
Now, I give myself space to procrastinate. I call it productive procrastination. I don’t fight it. Instead, I use my need to procrastinate to be more productive.
When I say procrastination this is what usually shows up for most of us:
We think about working.
We start beating ourselves up with a bunch of negative self-talk for wanting to procrastinate
We feel bad, including a bunch of negative emotions like guilt, shame, and disappointment in ourselves, on top of the already-strong urge to procrastinate.
We procrastinate on something emotionally numbing.
If we can find a better way to deal with procrastination and build ourselves up instead of beating ourselves down, not only will it help us stay motivated, it will actually boost our overall levels of self-confidence.
I’ve found that the best way to deal effectively with procrastination is through a series of techniques I call Productive Procrastination.
The basic idea is that fighting against our likelihood to procrastinate doesn’t work very well in the long run. And instead, it’s best to accept that it’s normal to want to procrastinate and figure out a way to work with it and have it benefit us in the bigger picture.
How can we make our procrastination more productive?
Include novelty into your procrastination: One way to look at procrastination differently is that it’s the result of our brain’s need for novelty and change. Instead of beating ourselves up because we crave novelty, what if we embraced this? For example, imagine you decided to go on a morning walk every day but you don’t feel like it. What if you included a new podcast you can listen to every day on your walk. You get to bring something new into the habit that pulls you back in instead of procrastinating.
Get rid of the negative self-talk By going with the flow of procrastination instead of fighting your urge to procrastinate, you avoid all the guilt and shame that comes from viewing procrastination as something bad and a major character flaw.
Add something positive to the procrastination You might be feeling guilty because you’re spending half a day binge-watching shows on youtube or Netflix. Why not make it inspiring shows, documentaries, and movies that might get you uplifted and excited.Or if you’re going to go down the rabbit hole of social media or reading on the web, why not take some notes for your blog or material you might want to use for your business?
Do it in small doses instead of all or nothing approach If you give yourself permission to procrastinate in small ways on a regular basis and in a structured way, you’ll be less likely to end up procrastinating in major, chaotic ways.
Listen to your body and your mind We live in a culture where we reward the busy and productive. Sometimes our bodies and minds need a break. There are also different seasons for our work and our productivity. When I wake up every morning I listen to myself and I ask: “how do I feel? What do I need today?” and sometimes it might be to rest, to sleep in, or it might be that I need to move more. When you listen to your body and mind you can give yourself permission to procrastinate so that when you get back to the swing of things you are full of vitality and energy.
By procrastinating about the right things in the right way, you’re never really procrastinating and you’re making it easier in the process.
I’m curious, how do you procrastinate in productive ways?
Have a fabulous weekend!
Make More Money.
Make A Bigger Difference.