There’s a sneaky type of procrastination that’s especially common among productive people, I call it: Productive Procrastination!
This is where productive people would engage in productive pursuits in order not to tackle their very important tasks for the day. For example, you may have an important assignment to complete, but instead of focusing on that important assignment, you start doing lots of other ‘productive’ tasks instead, e.g. Answering e-mails, setting up meetings, organizing your house, going to the gym, reading important reports..etc (Sound familiar?).
It’s quite easy to fall into productive procrastination mode, because you feel less guilty about not doing your important task since you’re engaged in supposedly productive tasks (even though deep inside you know that you’re only simply procrastinating on the BIG task ahead).
So how do you tackle productive procrastination mode?
1. Catch yourself in that mode!
When you find yourself ‘busy’ with lots of tasks and not focused on the single most important task for the day, realize that you’re in productive procrastination mode and need to get out!
2. Tackle the important tasks FIRST thing in the morning
Don’t schedule them as item no. 2 or 3 in your to-do list, but make them no.1! As Brian Tracy says “EAT THAT FROG!”, i.e. do that one annoying difficult task first before you tackle anything else.
Force yourself to focus on the important task of the day with the Pomodoro Technique: 25 minutes focus sessions, doing NOTHING else but the task at hand! Find out more at www.pomodorotechnique.com
Reschedule/Delay any other ‘productive’ tasks that would distract you from your most important task to another day/later during the day.
5. Ask for accountability
Ask people to catch you out if they feel you’re really derailing from your important task of the day and seeing you ‘busy’ doing other stuff. (p.s. Kudos to my team that always catch me when I’m in this mode and send me warnings on what I should really focus on! :P)
Being productive can be a form of procrastination if you don’t get your priorities right. Get your priorities right and tackle important tasks/projects each day and you won’t fall into productive procrastination trap ever again (insha’Allah!).